4. Big plays throughout the game
Again, football comes down to turnovers and big plays. But in this case, both are magnified. That’s because we expect to see a lot of them, and fight songs are going to be ringing throughout Bank of America Stadium Saturday.
West Virginia’s air raid against the Vols’ secondary is naturally going to open things up for big plays. However, Tennessee football has its own collection of weapons, especially in guys like Ty Chandler and Marquez Callaway. And if they don’t lose a step on special teams, they have even more weapons.
The combination of those guys should allow for the Vols to make a few big plays too. Sure, they’ll want to focus more on controlling the clock. But to win they still need to score, and that will take a few sparks.
The Mountaineers’ defense is more than capable of surrendering quite a few of those big plays, and that’s what makes this a key to the game. The team that makes the most big plays will win. It’s pretty much that simple.
When we refer to big plays in this context, we’re either talking about kickoff or punt returns that set up a team in field goal range, or we’re talking about offensive plays of 30 or more yards or at least in that vicinity. Sacks on defense are also part of this. It’s pretty self-explanatory. WVU will be relying on them Saturday. The Vols will be looking for them. Both teams will need them.