BYU Cougars at Tennessee Volunteers
TV: ESPN; Line: Tennessee -3.5; Over/Under: 52.5
Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. E.T.; Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.
And here we are, back to Tennessee football. Our prediction that they would cover their 27-point spread against the Georgia State Panthers didn’t hold up too well last week, although the game did hit the over as we predicted, thanks to GSU’s scoring.
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Well, this week, the Vols have to host another team who is much better, one who faced the Utah Utes last week. The BYU Cougars come to town after a 30-12 loss at Utah in which they spotted their opponents 21 points, including 14 that came off of two pick-sixes.
Kalani Sitake’s team has lots of experience on defense, a quarterback in Zach Wilson who can do everything Dan Ellington did to the Vols but is even better, and proper weapons everywhere. So this is a very dangerous Independent team, one that should be much better than Georgia State.
Both the Vols and the Cougars committed three turnovers last week, so they’ll be looking to force turnovers on each other again this week. In the first meeting between the two schools, though, there is clearly a heck of a lot more pressure on Jeremy Pruitt’s team after last week’s loss. So how will they respond?
We picked Tennessee football to beat the BYU Cougars in a close game before the season started, saying it would be a much closer game than people think. Now, people actually think it will be a close game. Our preseason pick was for the Vols to win by four. Vegas has them winning by three and a half.
So the obvious choice is for us to now adjust our pick by a point and say BYU will cover. That spread is a bit too high. We’re still going to be safe and say the Vols win, but it’s an extremely close game that comes down to a couple of key turnovers. Thanks to Wilson and UT’s run game, this one also hits the over.