After a heartbreaking loss at South Carolina last week, Tennessee finishes its non-conference schedule on Saturday when it hosts Charlotte for homecoming.
Tennessee needs a win to keep its bowl hopes alive, but the Vols have struggled against similar opponents in recent years. Will the Vols get it done this week?
Conner Knapp: Tennessee 41, Charlotte 17
I like the way Jeremy Pruitt and his players have approached this week. It is apparent that Tennessee is not taking Charlotte lightly.
This should be a pretty clean game for the Vols as they look to get a win back heading into the most crucial part of the season.
Terry Lambert: Tennessee 38, Charlotte 16
It’s an interesting spot for Tennessee here. Jeremy Pruitt has said all of the right things this week and seems to be taking Charlotte seriously, but we’ll see how the team responds on Saturday. Regardless, they’re the more talented team here. I’m fully expecting some sleepy moments in this one, but the Vols will eventually put some distance in between themselves and the 49ers eventually.
Noah Taylor: Tennessee 48, Charlotte 14
After that monumental win at Auburn three weeks ago, back-to-back losses to Alabama and South Carolina dealt a serious blow to Tennessee’s chances of bowl eligibility. The 49ers are coming at an opportune time as the Vols need three more wins to reach the post season for the first time since 2016.
I don’t expect Tennessee to be looking ahead to Kentucky and should roll in this one, before going into a crucial three-game stretch to close out the regular season.
Evan Winter: Tennessee 27, Charlotte 7
I really don’t know how this game is going to go to be honest. If Tennessee comes out and presses the issue, this game will be over early.
However, if the defense plays like it did last week and if the offense continues to commit penalties like they did against South Carolina, then you can toss every point spread out the window.
It’s still uncertain how the offensive line will perform and if they can have a repeat performance per the Gamecocks. If the defense has another bad game then all hope may be lost for that side of the ball.
Regardless, the Vols should march one step closer toward a bowl game on Saturday.
Austin Burlage: Tennessee 38, Charlotte 3
Tennessee is by far the better team in this game. Following a humiliating home loss to rival Alabama, and a close loss to division rival South Carolina, the Vols will be looking to take out some frustration on an inferior opponent.
Another consideration is that Charlotte might be looking ahead. Sure, they’ll be excited to play at an SEC team. But, they’re stepping into Neyland knowing that they are not as big, strong, fast, or athletic across the board as Tennessee. Currently they sit at 4th in within the C-USA Eastern division. However, they play both the first and third ranked teams within their division to close out their season. By winning out in conference play and with some help they have an outside shot at winning their division. I expect Charlotte to come out strong, fade quickly, and just try to get out of Knoxville healthy. Vols roll on homecoming, and set their sights on the remaining SEC schedule.