The Volunteers thrashed Montana 42-16 in their opener. Tennessee fumbled 6 times in the game, but lost none of them. They did recover 2 Montana fumbles. That's rather lucky. The Vols threw the ball all over Montana, racking up 311 yards. That's something to worry about. The Vols managed only 2.8 a rush, which is another thing to watch for.
This is a revenge game for Kenbrell Thompkins. Kenbrell was all set to join Tennessee, but Lane Kiffin left to the pastures of USC. Thompkins decided to come to UC. He wasn't released for his letter of intent, and had to sit out last year. So Lane Kiffin can leave Tennessee any time he wants, but a player can't do the same without penalty, even though he never played for them? Yes. That's the NCAA for you.
The man Raphielle Johnson thinks that Thompkins and DJ Woods could be good for your college fantasy teams. Tennessee gave up 235 yards in the air in week 1.
If you've walked around campus, you might have heard Rocky Top blaring while UC practices. Butch Jones said he likes the song because it stays in his head. I'm worried about Butch Jones. I think hearing Rocky Top on a loop during practice isn't the same as when it's live though. Unless UC practices with 90,000 people wearing orange in the stands at a historic(?) stadium, it's not going to be the same at all. Not at all. They will know the song though.
Speaking of Rocky Top, this article by John Adams at Vols Xtra calls Cincinnati a Conference USA team. He says the whole league is like a C-USA team. He says the Bearcats can't keep a coach, are all offense, and ends with this capper:
"Even when the Bearcats won 33 games and played in two BCS bowls under Kelly (2007-09), their only nonconference BCS victories came against Oregon State (twice) and a 3-9 Illinois team. So beating the Vols in Neyland Stadium would be huge for the program.
Just like it would be for a C-USA team."
If that's not motivation to #BeatTenn, I don't know what is.
The Sports Network has a pretty generic preview of the game, in which they pick Tennessee to win 24-23.
Pat Forde of ESPN says this:
Cincinnati at Tennessee (19). There wasn't a whole lot to learn from either team's opener, but there was an appearance in relief by delightfully named Bearcats reserve quarterbackMunchie Legaux (20). If Munchie plays much in Neyland Stadium, it's probably not a good sign for Cincy. Dash pick: Cincinnati 27, Tennessee 25.
The Volunteers have two standout receivers in Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter. They combined for 11 receptions, 246 yards and 2 TDs last week. 2 receivers getting all the passes? Sounds familiar.
Tyler Bray will try to get them the ball deep early and often, which could make things high scoring. Rocky Top Talk feels the same way, and they ranked the top 10 modern Tennessee shootouts. You will probably remember all of them. That's the advantage of being Tennessee and being on tv every week.
Another writer on RTT suggests this is the scariest game of the year for the Vols. This being the week before Florida, it could be a defining game for the 2011 squad. I would be worried about it too.
Tennessee is trying to get back to the top of the SEC after a few rough, by Tennessee standards, years. This article by Nooga.com tries to figure out what to make of the game. It also offers this comment by Daniel Hood:
“Cincinnati runs a lot of the same plays, but I think they run it a little better than Montana does,” Hood said. “From watching film this morning, they have a few better athletes, too. It’s going to be a good matchup for us.”
Disregarding the last part, I would certainly hope Cincinnati would have better athletes and execution than fucking Montana. C'Mon son. It's Cincinnati, not North Texas. Pretty sure Isaiah Pead is better than anyone on Montana's vaunted offense.
This piece is from week 1, but it's about the Vols youth. 4 sophomores on the offensive line, and at QB and WR. 2 linebackers are freshmen, as is corner Justin Coleman, who was burned for an 80 yard pass in week 1.
Finally, Athlon ranked Tennessee 8th in their SEC standings this week, saying:
As was the case at many college football games in Week 1, weather played a factor in Tennessee’s opener. The kickoff was delayed due to storms, but it didn’t slow Tennessee down once the game started. The Volunteers cruised to an easy win over Montana, led by sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray’s 293 passing yards. Although it was a positive opener for Derek Dooley’s team, question marks remain. The Volunteers struggled to establish their rushing attack against the Grizzlies, while the defense is still short on depth. With Cincinnati coming to Knoxville this Saturday, the defense will have its hands full trying to slow down quarterback Zach Collaros.
I don't know what's going to happen Saturday, but I can not fucking wait. Beat Tennessee.