1. Tennessee football can exploit West Virginia’s horrible defense.
Amidst the exterior factors of the crowd and excuses and the factors of West Virginia’s offense struggling under pressure and committing turnovers, you almost forget that there’s another side of the ball. But it does exist, and we’re talking about the Vols’ offense against West Virginia’s defense. But that’s our biggest reason for a potential upset.
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Sure, Tyson Helton is installing a new system on Rocky Top by bringing back the pro-style. But he’s proven in the past that he knows how to be aggressive and exploit weak defenses. On Saturday, he’s going up against a weak defense.
The Mountaineers were ranked No. 106 last year in total defense by giving up over 440 yards a game and over six yards a play. They ranked No. 90 in pass defense and No. 103 in rush defense. It was just bad all the way around.
Meanwhile, despite its questions, particularly at quarterback between Jarrett Guarantano and Keller Chryst, Tennessee football has some weapons on offense. Marquez Callaway and Jauan Jennings have both proven to be elite playmakers in the passing game. Trey Smith has proven to be an elite blocker, and Drew Richmond and Brandon Kennedy have clearly shown promise as well.
In the running game, Ty Chandler showed himself to be a playmaker last year in the running game and the passing game. And either Madre London or Tim Jordan is bound to work out. With all of these weapons, there’s a great chance that Tennessee football’s offense could be the one controlling the tempo of the game. If that happens, it becomes there’s to lose.
The Vols have a lot of match-up issues heading their way Saturday when they face the West Virginia Mountaineers. And yes, there’s reason to bet against them. But those issues are mainly on defense, and they have lots of talent on offense to exploit West Virginia’s defense as well. So don’t fully write this game off as a loss. With their playmakers, anything could happen.