The Tennessee Vols will be looking to rebound on Saturday after a frustrating 41-34 loss against a very good Pitt side. Next up is a Tennessee Tech squad coming across I-40 for a nice payday and a shot at a huge upset. Here are the three keys to a Vol victory.
By Steve Wright
1 – Take the ball away
Being dead last in the country in any stat is generally not a good thing. Tennessee currently holds the distinction of being last in the entire nation in turnover margin at -5 thanks to zero takeaways and five giveaways. It doesn’t really matter how the offense and defense is playing as a whole if you can’t keep hold of the ball or take it away and that is the situation Tennessee is currently in.
2 – Who is the quarterback?
The quarterback situation in Knoxville is still a work in progress. Joe Milton started against Pitt, but his inability to generate anything downfield meant that the Panthers’ defense could just sit on the shorter stuff. Hendon Hooker came in and was able to provide that extra dimension of threat, but he still wasn’t at the level you need for SEC football. This game, thankfully, is a glorified scrimmage in which some of this should get sorted out.
3 – Defense on top
There is no reason to think Tennessee Tech will move the ball on the Vols. They scored zero points last week against Furman and picked up just 121 yards of total offense. They also gave the ball away three times and have exactly as many turnovers generated on the season as the Viols. The defense should be looking to hold this team to under 100 yards until the backups come in, which should really be at some point in the third quarter if Tennessee is playing anything like the type of football that it can.