Tennessee football: Vols, SEC and Top 25 predictions for Week 2 of 2018

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the outside of Neyland Stadium before a game between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the outside of Neyland Stadium before a game between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images /

East Tennessee State Buccaneers at Tennessee Volunteers

Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m.; Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.

TV: SEC Network

Garrett Sanders

Tennessee football had a horrible game last week. West Virginia picked and pulled apart the secondary and the Vols Offensive Line was abysmal. With everything wrong that happened last week, Vols fans can move on. It’s over. There is still a long season ahead for the Vols. Things didn’t look promising, but Jeremy Pruitt now has an idea on what kind of adjustments he needs to make.

The Buccaneers have a decent passing attack and could rattle this young Tennessee secondary. But the D-Line will provide enough pressure to the Buccaneers. Meaning that the inexperienced Vols secondary won’t have to worry about the ball getting released. The Vols Offense will also be much improved this Saturday and will show flashes of explosiveness. Tennessee must carry the momentum for this week and next as they get ready for the gauntlet ahead of them. It’s no easy task, but that’s why Vols fans need to trust Pruitt.

Tennessee: 38 East Tennessee State: 7

Billy Williford

After opening with the tough opponent in the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Vols head to Knoxville for the first home game in Jeremy Pruitt’s coaching tenure to take on the East Tennessee State Buccaneers. What to expect? I personally think Tennessee football should come out and dominate this game. But the truth is they have nothing to gain.

The Vols could win 70 to zero and I still don’t feel any better about the season then I did after the West Virginia game. Conversely they have everything to lose. If they come out and they don’t look good we could be in for a long season. Now I don’t want to overreact to just two games but you have to come out and you have to take care of business against ETSU. I like the Vols big with a multiple touchdown game from Jarrett Guarantano.

Tennessee 38 ETSU 14

Caleb Calhoun

Coming off a brutal loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers, morale remains at an all-time low for Tennessee football. Meanwhile, the Vols have to face their former offensive coordinator in Randy Sanders, who now leads the East Tennessee State Buccaneers against his former counterpart, Jeremy Pruitt. With both coaches spending time on the Florida State Seminoles in 2013, this could be interesting.

Imagine, for a second, if ETSU gets the early breaks. There’s likely little confidence among the players. Add in the transitions, and maybe the Bucs pull off a huge upset. Don’t count on it. ETSU looks to be turnover prone, and they don’t have a great pass defense. Whether it’s with Keller Chryst or Jarrett Guarantano, the Vols will exploit that. Jeremy Pruitt gets his first win as Tennessee football’s head coach, and the Vols take care of business in their home opener easily.

Tennessee: 45 ETSU: 21

Next. 5 Vols to watch for vs. ETSU. dark

All in picks at All for Tennessee (unanimous gambling picks)

Mississippi State -9.5 at Kansas State

This would normally be an odd one. A Bill Snyder-coached team at home against a team with a new head coach? You always bet on the Kansas State Wildcats then. But KSU barely beat an FCS school last week, MSU hasn’t lost a step with Joe Moorhead replacing Dan Mullen, and the coordinator changes on both sides of the ball in Kansas are too much for the Wildcats to overcome.

South Carolina +10 vs. Georgia, the Under 56.5

This isn’t so much about belief in Will Muschamp and the South Carolina Gamecocks as it is on the Georgia Bulldogs rebuilding and what happened last year. As we noted, Kirby Smart and the Dawgs have struggled to put away USC the last two years, and this year they have a lot of talent to replace while South Carolina has a lot of experience. If this game were later in the year, it would probably be a blowout. Also, the under is pretty easy with two defensive coaches and a 56.5 line.

Missouri -18.5 vs. Wyoming, the Over 52

We clearly agree on a lot of games this week. And the Missouri Tigers against the Wyoming Cowboys is another one. Even with Derek Dooley, everybody believes in Mizzou’s offense under Drew Lock. Against a defense like Wyoming’s, it should be very easy to hit the over on 52 as a result. On top of that, Wyoming’s rebuild on offense without Josh Allen significantly favors the Tigers, which is why we all have them covering.

Kentucky at Florida, the Under 49.5

This seems odd because none of us should have faith in Florida’s or Kentucky’s defense. But we don’t really have faith in either offense. Meanwhile, Florida has the players, even if they don’t have the scheme yet, to shut down UK’s offense. So we all have the Gators winning, but we’re still taking the under.

Stanford -6 vs. USC, the Under 56.5

We all saw USC struggle to put away UNLV last week because of their issues with the run defense. And we all also know about Bryce Love. So David Shaw and the Stanford Cardinal covering is an easy one. As for the under, come on! USC is breaking a new quarterback, Tyson Helton is gone, and this is Stanford’s system we’re talking about! Also, the game is at Stanford. There’s no way this breaks 56.5. We all agree on that.