What’s in store for Tennessee football this year amidst all the chaos surrounding the program? Will the Vols make a bowl? Are they even going to be eligible for a bowl given the NCAA investigation? How possible is finishing the season with a winning record given a new head coach and a wave of attrition via the transfer portal?
All of this has been looming over the program ever since Josh Heupel took over. The only real expectation at this point is, well, points. Regardless of what happens throughout the season, the expectation is that Rocky Top will score a lot and put on a heck of a show.
Whether or not that translates to wins remains to be seen, but at least it will be a fun ride. What does that mean for the outcome of each game? Well, that’s what we’re going to break down here. This is our game-by-game prediction of Tennessee football’s 2021 season.
Thursday, Sept. 2; Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.
Hey, maybe this is a good sign. After all, the Vols’ only two top 25 finishes since firing Phillip Fulmer happened in 2015, the last time they opened the season against the Bowling Green Falcons, and 2016, the last time they opened the season on a Thursday night. Why not combine them together to see what happens?
UT faces a team under Scot Loeffler that went 0-5 last year. Loeffler is entering his third year as a head coach with the program and has yet to have a winning season. However, he also has an offensive mind, as he spent was the Virginia Tech Hokies offensive coordinator from 2013 to 2015 and Boston College Eagles offensive coordinator from 2016 to 2018.
Heupel’s offense won’t fully click yet, and his defense will struggle all year. As a result, BGSU will get its points. However, this is a terrible team with an even worse defense, so Tennessee football will still score at will and walk away with a dominant shootout win.