After becoming one of many teams to suffer a blowout loss at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs, Tennessee football is back at home for its first non-conference game since September. The Vols also enter a game as favorites for the first time since the second week of October.
UT welcomes another .500 team with a first-year head coach in the South Alabama Jaguars to Rocky Top Saturday night. South Alabama comes in under Kane Wommack, on a two-game losing streak and having lost three of their last four games.
Both teams will be looking to clinch a bowl berth with a win. Tennessee football is looking at the next two games at home to clinch a winning record in Josh Heupel’s first season. Here is all the information you need for this matchup.
- TV: ESPNU
- Live stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: Vol Network; Jags Radio Network
- Listen online: UTSports; SportsTalk99.5 FM Mobile
- Satellite: Sirius (Channel 137); XM (Channel 190)
Gambling odds according to WynnBET:
- Line: Tennessee -27.5
- Over/Under: 61
- Moneyline: Tennessee -5000; South Alabama +1500
The last time these two teams faced off was when the Vols had another first-year head coach. UT held off South Alabama 31-24 back in 2013, Butch Jones’ first year on the job. They led 31-7 but nearly blew the lead in the end. Since then, the Vols have been through two other head coaches.
Despite just having a 5-5 record, the Vols have the No. 1 ranked strength of schedule. Taking that into account, Heupel has a strong case to make for coach of the year given the disaster he inherited from Jeremy Pruitt.
On the other side, though, Wommack inherited a Sun Belt team that hasn’t won more than four games in five years and has never had a winning season since entering FBS play. As a result, they have a lot to play for too.
After this game, Tennessee football will close out the season at home against the Vanderbilt Commodores. South Alabama will host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Taking that into account, UT has a better chance of reaching that sixth win without winning this game, but for the Vols, a winning season is the goal now. They need this win for that.