Hey, upsets do happen. Okay, so if Tennessee football loses this weekend with the UT-Martin Skyhawks coming to town, it would be the most historic letdowns of all letdowns in the history of the sport. It may be the first time in history a team went from beating somebody ranked No. 1 in at least one of the polls to losing to an FCS team.
By all metrics, this should be a blowout with the third team in. However, the Vols, now 6-0 after arguably their greatest win of the century so far, still have to show up and play the game, and they are not playing a bad team. UT-Martin is 4-2 and top 20 in all FCS polls.
There are plenty of strengths that the Skyhawks enjoy, and many of them can directly attack the Vols’ biggest weaknesses, so they need to be careful. Still, any chance at making this a game falls on what the Vols don’t do and if UT-Martin can exploit it. Here are the 10 keys to the game for Tennessee football and the Skyhawks.
These factors will determine what happens in the Tennessee football Volunteers’ 2022 matchup with an FCS foe.
10. Who starts fast?
Ever since the bye week, the Vols have been starting a lot faster than they were before then. For the first four games, they did most of their damage in the second quarter, but they built their leads over the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the first quarter, looking more like the Josh Heupel team last year.
Well, they obviously want one of those again so they can rest their players before returning to SEC action next week. However, UT-Martin is coming off a bye week. As a result, Jason Simpson, who was at the Alabama game last week since his son Ty Simpson is on that team, may have a few tricks up his sleeve to catch the Vols off-guard.
Taking that into account, Tennessee football has to be ready for what might be thrown at them Saturday. Simpson could dial up just enough things to make the Vols have to play at least through the second quarter and into the third, and then it could get concerning.