5. Tennessee will give up at least four sacks on the day.
The transition from the spread back to the pro-style is a good thing for Tennessee football long-term. But Tyson Helton has Trey Smith moving over to the outside as the new starter at left tackle. As good as he is, that could bring some growing pains. It’s also worth noting that the Vols have a new starter at center and at least one of the guard positions.
Meanwhile, he’s got the quarterbacks getting back under center more. And finally, the Vols don’t even have a set starter at quarterback yet. Will it be Keller Chryst or Jarrett Guarantano? These things alone are enough for us to say that the offense, while it may have a lot of big plays, will also give up a lot of sacks.
WVU has a very good linebacker in David Long, who had 15.5 tackles for a loss and three and a half sacks last year. He is going to have numerous chances to get to the quarterback. Dana Holgorsen’s team will come after the Vols throughout the game. And given these facts, they are bound to give up a few sacks.
Jeremy Pruitt and Tyson Helton will probably stress here that they can’t commit turnovers. Sacks in general are almost as bad, but in this game, the interceptions and fumbles will probably be a much bigger issue. That’s because the Vols need that stat line to work in their favor, which leads to our next prediction.