Tennessee football hosts East Tennessee State University out of the FCS Saturday. Here are four reasons the Buccaneers could be the Volunteers.
After a blowout loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers, conventional wisdom among everybody is that Tennessee football will get its first win in the Jeremy Pruitt era on Saturday as they host the East Tennessee State Buccaneers. But to quote the great Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend!
When first year ETSU head coach and former Vols offensive coordinator Randy Sanders leads his team into Neyland Stadium on Saturday, he may have just the recipe needed for an upset. There’s a bit of history here.
Don’t forget 1996, when the Memphis Tigers upset Peyton Manning and the Vols. For those of you who want a history lesson, the University of Memphis was originally called West Tennessee State University, part of a system that included ETSU along with Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee State.
ETSU now may be on the same level Memphis was at then. And the Vols are significantly worse. Even if you want to look back before Memphis, let’s remember the Duke Blue Devils, Rutgers Scarlet Knights and North Texas Mean Green all upset the Vols within a 14-year span at Neyland Stadium between the end of Bill Battle’s tenure and the start of their peak run in 1989.
So yes, a program as down as Tennessee football is more than capable of losing to ETSU. Just imagine, after a 40-14 loss to WVU, the way Vol Twitter would overreact then! It would be an absolute disaster, with the world turning on Pruitt.
Hey, it could happen. And if you look at the way things are shaking out heading into Week 2, things look even worse. The Vols haven’t lost nine of their last 11 for no reason. This is a program desperately looking to get something going. Until then, here are five reasons ETSU could upset Tennessee football in what should be an easy win for Rocky Top.