1. Who has moved on from their season-opening loss?
This last key seems a bit similar to our first one, but it actually applies to both teams. And that’s what makes it different. The mentality of the players and the coaches, in Jeremy Pruitt and Kalani Sitake, apply here.
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Tennessee football is the only one that has to worry about motivation. But they also have to worry about moving on from their loss to the Georgia State Panthers and not losing confidence. That’s going to mess with their mind, especially if things don’t go well early in this game.
Meanwhile, despite the BYU Cougars expecting to lose to the Utah Utes and actually spotting them three of their four touchdowns, they are likely questioning if they can get any rush or move the ball well at all through the air after last week. This game is now one they expect to be able so show that.
Because of these questions, either team that makes the early mistake could begin to panic. And both teams will likely make early mistakes. Whichever team has kept its confidence up after such disastrous performances last week is the one who is going to be able to control the game. It will be difficult mentally.
These concerns are worse for Tennessee football since their loss was worse. But they are a major problem on both fronts, and Pruitt and Sitake will need to make sure neither team gets too jittery after a mistake or two. Otherwise, those mistakes could magnify.