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Ole Miss Game Preview
Posted: Thursday, October 16th, 2014, 7:55 PM
by Josh
No need to recap the Chattanooga game. Tennessee sleepwalked to a 45-10 victory. It is what it is.

I would like to address an observation I made this week, however. I have come to the conclusion that always winning leads to whiny, overly sensitive fans who like to constantly be petted and told how great they are. We all know how most Alabama fans are. You know, the 85% as Clay Travis call them. The likes of Harvey Updyke, the Krystal Teabagger, the woman who shot another Alabama fan because they weren't upset enough after losing to Auburn, as well as Phyllis and other various callers to Paul Finebaum. Well, it came to my attention that a certain local high school team that never loses has a similarly crazy fanbase. I was listening to the state run morning show the other day when Heather made the statement that she was tired of Maryville not playing the best teams in the area and how she wished they would be playing Fulton this year. Something to that effect. Now I'm not one to defend Heather Harrington. I'm not really a big fan of hers. However, the hordes of butthurt Maryville fans that proceeded to call in and attack her for the rest of the time after that left me thinking that Maryville fans were just like Alabama fans. So I posted something saying just as much on the morning show's Facebook page. I believe my exact post was "So Maryville fans are the Alabama fans of high school football. Who know?" The next thing I know I'm getting a friend request (which I immediately rejected) and a private message from some deranged, butthurt Maryville fan. They were basically going on a tirade about how people can bash Maryville all they want, they are just haters and how it was a good thing to be compared to Alabama fans because they both win.

Let me just say this. I admire the job George Quarrels has done. He is the best coach in Tennessee and I've always kinda liked Maryville because they were so dominant and they brought state championships to the area. Their fans, however, are a disgrace. I am not going to let them ruin the appreciation I have for Coach Quarrels and the program, but they are a textbook example of how winning all the time isn't healthy. I imagine Tennessee fans were pretty insufferable in the 1990's but we usually had Florida to keep us humble. I was just in high school at the time so I really didn't know how other fanbases viewed Tennessee at the time, nor did I care. But it is safe to say that Tennessee fans have had a heavy dose of humility since 2002.

Now that my rant is over, the Vols travel to Oxford Saturday night. Until the division split, Tennessee and Ole Miss was a pretty fun rivalry. Tennessee dominated for the most part but each side has had their moments. Unfortunately this rivalry, along with the Auburn rivalry was destroyed in 1992 by the division split. And it would just figure that Tennessee is catching Ole Miss when they are way up and Tennessee is still fighting to get back to relevance. It was also the case that Ole Miss was up the last time Tennessee visited them in 2009 as Tennessee was down. That year, the Vols were McClustered and Monte Kiffin had no idea how to stop him. This year Ole Miss has been building for 3 years now and is a very solid team with a great defense.

All week we have heard how great Ole Miss' defense is. And it's true, they are very good. Tennessee's offensive line will have its hands full for sure. Their secondary is also very good. They are very fast and talented. What I haven't heard much is anyone talk about Tennessee's defense. Tennessee quietly has one of the best defenses in the SEC. Ole Miss gives up about 12 points per game and 307 yards. Tennessee gives up 19 points per game and 316 yards. Tennessee is 2nd in the SEC in pass defense giving up 160 yards while Ole Miss is 4th giving up 194 per game. Ole Miss gives up 113 rushing compared to 156 for Tennessee. Ole Miss clearly has the better run defense but Tennessee clearly has a better pass defense. Defense is where Tennessee's chance lies.

Offensively we all know that Tennessee is going to struggle. You can probably expect Ole Miss to get 4-6 sacks. What Tennessee has to do to have a chance is make sure those sacks aren't catastrophic. Worley has had a devastating sack fumble in pretty much every game since Oklahoma. That can't happen in this game if Tennessee is to have a chance. They can't give Ole Miss short fields. Tennessee must get Ethan Wolf more involved. He has been a severely under utilized weapon. Von Pearson should be good to go. North needs to have a big game. Jalen Hurd and the other running backs need to have at least some success running the ball. Evan Berry having some great returns would be a huge help as well. Tennessee will need all the field position it can get in this game.

Defensively I think Tennessee can match up with Ole Miss and keep them in check for the most part. They have performed well in every game this year, holding many teams to season lows. The problem has been devastating turnovers giving opponents short fields. Treadwell is a great receiver but Sutton is a great corner. I think he can cover him well. Bo Wallace has been pretty good this year so far, but Tennessee needs to force him into mistakes and just maybe bad Bo will show up.

Ole Miss has had 2 strait weeks of playing very good teams. I don't think they will play at the same level emotionally. It's very hard to get up 3 strait weeks. I also think Tennessee will play its best game since the loss to Georgia. Tennessee will have its chances to win this game. Unfortunately I think there will come a time that the catastrophic turnover happens and the chance is blown. I see this game playing out similar to the Georgia game, only not as high scoring.

Ole Miss 27
Tennessee 17

In other games...

Texas A&M 31
Alabama 27

LSU 35
Kentucky 24

Arkansas 27
Georgia 21

Oklahoma 31
Kansas State 28

Notre Dame 24
Florida State 23

Overall record strait up (22-14)

Thanks for reading everyone. It's always appreciated. For those who want you can follow me on Twitter @Joshes_Blog

Have a fun and safe weekend everyone. Go Vols and God Bless!

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