10. Tennessee football’s motivation to play
Once again, motivation becomes a question. Last week, this one was near the top. However, we dropped it this week because the Vols shouldn’t need too much motivation to beat a 1-1 FCS school that has a first-year head coach.
But it still matters. The fact is the Chattanooga Mocs will head into Neyland extremely excited to play. In fact, they may be more excited now knowing that Jeremy Pruitt’s team is beatable. This could be a signature FBS win for them.
Taking that into account, Jeremy Pruitt needs to have his guys excited to play. The one thing working in his favor is the fact that the Vols may actually be excited to play this game. After all, maybe they have a real chance to pull out a victory, and that’s something to celebrate if you play on Rocky Top right now.
It’s also possible, though, that UT players have already quit on the season because of the horrific start, and that would turn this game in Chattanooga’s direction. Yes, the Mocs are good enough to cash in on that, or the Vols are at least bad enough to let them cash in and pull off a major upset.
Simply put, the Vols not being excited all of a sudden will make this an interesting matchup, as we’ve seen enough on the year to know that they can’t just fall out of bed for wins. As a result, motivation is going to be key in this game.