Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vols seek to avoid Florida letdown as Ohio comes to Knoxville

Tennessee played hard and showed improvement during last week's loss to Florida, but it was a loss nonetheless. Though we were competitive, I have been distressed this week as some Volunteer fans have talked with glee about the game as a moral victory.

Moral victory? Is this what it has come to? Say it isn't so. The Tennessee football program is one of the elite programs in college football history. We rank in the top ten when it comes to all-time wins, bowl appearances, and bowl wins. Let's drop the talk about moral victories. We should set the bar higher.

As for the team, we pretty much know what the Vols are at this point. We have a good defense, a limited offense, and so-so special teams. The team still has a long way to go.

This week, Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) comes to Knoxville. They are 2-1 and are coached by former Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich. The Bobcats defeated Cal Poly last week 28-10, and their only loss was in the season opener to Connecticut 23-16. Quarterback Theo Scott has passed for 397 yards and six touchdowns this season, but he has only completed 50 percent of his passes. Running back Chris Garrett leads the rushing attack with 169 yards for the year, including 91 yards last week.

Not a lot of analysis is needed for this game. This is a game Tennessee has to win if it is serious about having a winning record. The Florida game was so emotional that the Volunteers will likely be a little flat to start the game. And, as we all know, teams from the MAC relish the opportunity to knock off big-time programs in their stadium.

It won't be pretty, but the Vols will find a way to win.

The pick: Tennessee 24 Ohio 16

Other SEC picks: Alabama over Arkansas, Florida over Kentucky, Georgia over Arizona State, LSU over Mississippi State, Ole Miss over South Carolina, Vanderbilt over Rice, Auburn over Ball State

Last week: 8-1 (.889), Overall: 23-2 (.920)


Thunder Son said...

Go Vols. Don't play to not lose or for moral victories. Play to win!

At least that's how I see it.

Chris said...

Tennessee 34 Ohio 23. To paraphrase the Knoxville News Sentinel about this game, if the Florida game was a moral victory, then this game was a moral loss.

Injuries are piling up on defense just as the heart of the conference schedule is beginning.

Buckle up everybody.