The Tennessee Volunteers under first year head coach Butch Jones seems to be on the upswing. The Vols who are 4-6 right now, have shown that they can compete in the SEC in the future. Each of the six Tennessee losses have come from teams ranked in the top 20 at the time. In my opinion Butch Jones has done amazing in his first year as head coach for the Volunteers. Not many coaches could survive a schedule that currently has five top eleven teams. He is surviving this schedule with players that majority of them he did not even recruit. Currently right now The Volunteers have the #2 ranked recruiting class according to RIVALS. Even though the future looks bright for Vol fans lets not forget about the remainder of this one. Right now the Volunteers are fighting for bowl eligibility and this is a goal that could be attained.
- 6-4(3-4) Vanderbilt
- 2-8(0-6) Kentucky
Lets not kid ourself, even with the improvements James Franklin has made at Vandy, they will always be viewed as little brother to Tennessee. Actually its more like if your little brother had a pet, that pet would be Vanderbilt for most Tennessee fans. Tennessee has beaten Vanderbilt 28 out of the past 30 games. Vanderbilt did win last years game by a big 23 point margin but the game will be a lot closer this year. It is also interesting to note that Vanderbilt has not won consecutive games in this series since the 1920′s.
Four out of the seven SEC teams that Vanderbilt has faced this year have put up at least 30 points on the Commodore’s. This kind of game should really help young quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs was thrown in the fire for his first three college games against three top ten teams. While Vanderbilt’s secondary is beatable they are pesky, as they have caused havoc for some SEC quarterbacks, even Aaron Murray. Kentucky running backs averaged four yards a carry last week against Vanderbilt, meanwhile Tennessee running back Raijon Neal is averaging over 5 yards a carry.
For Tennessee to win this game they will have to take care of the ball and grind it out with their rushing game. Also they need to somehow shutdown wide receiver Jordan Mathews and force Austyn-Carta Samuels to find other receivers.
As much as Tennessee has dominated Vanderbilt, the rivalry against Kentucky has been even worse. The Vols have won 27 out of the past 28 games against The Wildcats. Mark Stoops has been improving Kentucky but they are way further down the improvement road than Tennessee is. The Volunteers should have no problem against the two wins wildcat football team. Especially a Wildcat team who is winless in the SEC and is 104th in scoring offense