Depending on your mindset, you are either a) really looking forward to this game or b) dreading this game worse than a weekend getaway with the in-laws.
Hopefully the Vols can pull out a win and begin the healing process, but BYU is a much more formidable opponent than Georgia State. The Vols are still a better team on paper, but right now, everything has been tossed out the window after last weekend.
We will try and provide some optimism, but we can’t make any promises.
Austin: BYU 31, Tennessee 20
For the season long prediction post I predicted 6-6, and I had BYU down as a loss. Unfortunately, as we all saw last week, Tennessee hasn’t really done anything on the field to change my mind. Pass protection was much better than a season ago, but we still struggled running the football. On the flip side our defense was in Nickel personnel a majority of the game, and struggled to stop the run. That doesn’t bode well against a physical BYU squad. To make matters worse, BYU played their opening game on a Thursday, giving them additional time to recover and prepare for this important non-conference game.
I still think Tennessee is the more talented team in this game. Honestly, I don’t think it’s very close, either. But, I see two major problems. For one, I think BYU’s strengths match up well with Tennessee’s weaknesses. For two, enough information has come out within the last week to suggest that the Vols might not have optimal team chemistry. I think Tennessee shows more fight than last week, but ultimately comes up short.
Clint: Tennessee 20, BYU 13
Perhaps the shock from last weekend hasn’t fully worn off. Maybe it’s the childhood Tennessee fandom clouding my vision. But for some odd reason I think Tennessee is going to win a very ugly game against BYU.
The defense will rebound thanks to fixing easily correctable issues like alignment and rotations. The Cougars offense is error-prone and the Volunteers will benefit greatly from timely turnovers, giving their own offense a shorter field to work with.
Which is good news for their offense, cause they will need every bit of help they can get. I think Guarantano is going to have another awful showing and will largely be carried by the talent around him.
Remember that awful 2017 Florida game? Get ready for another edition, except this time the Vols come out on top.
Evan: BYU 23, Tennessee 17
I picked BYU to win this game before the Neyland Nightmare, so why on Earth would I back down from that pick now?
I currently have zero faith in this team/coaching staff to get things right. A win over the Cougars would help restore a miniscule amount of said faith, but it’s going to take a long time to rebuild this relationship.
The Vols keep it close, but BYU makes enough plays at the end of the day to win the game.
Noah: BYU 28, Tennessee 14
I was really high on this Tennessee team heading into the season, and while I thought BYU would be more of a challenge than people thought, I definitely thing it’s a game the Cougars can come to Knoxville and win.
The response from the Vols following last weekend’s humiliating loss to Georgia State will be interesting, but so far, I think only senior wide receiver Jauan Jennings has said the right things this week. Will the team follow suit?
I think BYU scores late to put this one out of reach. Tennessee dropping to 0-2 is almost as good as guaranteeing a 1-6 record heading into late October. Ouch.
Terry: BYU 27, Tennessee 20
I want to believe that this team can bounce back, but we really have no reason to think they can. Tennessee will still be down a few key players defensively — at best getting Daniel Bituli back for a few snaps. Are we really supposed to believe this defense will suddenly know how to line up? They face another mobile quarterback this week too, we saw how that went last week.
They’ll be facing a more talented, bigger and stronger defense too. While I think they are fully awake now, I just don’t think this group is good enough to win this game.