Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tennessee, Georgia game begins series of must-win games for Volunteers

The rest of Tennessee's football season would have been much more manageable if the Vols had beaten Auburn last week. Of course, that did not happen. Tennessee is now 2-3, and qualifying for a bowl has to be considered only a 50-50 proposition at this point.

The Volunteers have to find a way to win four of their next seven games to qualify for a bowl. For a team incapable of functioning consistently on offense, this will prove a challenge. This week, a good Georgia team visits Neyland Stadium. Considerable improvement is needed if the Vols are to win.

Though the criticism of quarterback Jonathan Crompton has been well-chronicled, we saw last week that his wide receivers are not providing much help. Sitting in the crowd, it was frustrating to watch open receivers drop balls. The receivers were not open that often, and many of them had problems creating separation. In other words, our offensive woes aren't all Crompton's fault.

Defensively, we have been playing well enough to win. However, that unit is not creating enough turnovers, sacks, or defending well on third down. We have also done a poor job of pressing the kicking game. Last week, the kickoff coverage team was awful again, and it allowed a long return late in the game that led to Auburn's game-clinching field goal.

Obviously, this posting has a lot more to do with Tennessee's problems than with Georgia's strengths. Don't get me wrong; Georgia is a good team. They took fourth-ranked LSU to the wire last week, and likely would have won if not for a questionable celebration penalty late in the game.

Still, the winner of this game will be dictated by what Tennessee can do on offense. If the Vols somehow pull it together, they have a chance. Otherwise, oh well...

The pick: Georgia 28 Tennessee 14

Other SEC picks: Florida over LSU, Alabama over Ole Miss, Auburn over Arkansas, South Carolina over Kentucky, Mississippi State over Houston, Vanderbilt over Army

Last week: 6-1 (.857), Overall: 36-4 (.900)

1 comment:

Chris said...

Tenn 45 Georgia 19. Wow, was I wrong about this one (and happily so). The special teams were still bad, but this game shows we can be a good team when the passing game produces. Congratulations to Jonathan Crompton on an outstanding game. He should take a few days to savor this one.