Friday Sports etc: Tennessee vs. Oklahoma

The Vols get the Sooners tomorrow night in Neyland. (It’s a good thing we scheduled easy out of conference…take that all you SEC haters!) It should be a memorable game as both teams have the potential to have great years and they seem evenly matched (of course, one week of evidence does not really tell us much, but all factors considered, it should be close.) The Vols are obviously concerned about their pass defense which got torched for 400 yards against Bowling Green. The Sooners are hoping that their new offensive coordinator and his new scheme will pick up where it left off last week against Akron. Both have srengths and both have potential weeknesses. I guess the only thing left to do is line em’ up and snap the ball.
I feel good about this game for a few reasons:

  1. I like our running game: It is hard to stop a good running back. It is really hard to stop two. When you take two good running backs and pair them with a smart running quarterback, you just might have something special. Of course, you have to do it against a better defense than Bowling Green.
  2. Our secondary issues seem fixable: Last week was bad, but it seems like a number of factors worked against us: missing players, missing coach, missing playbook (they confessed to keeping it pretty vanilla). So that’s encouraging. Oklahoma is going to score some points on us, they have a good running back and decent recievers. But my hope is that they won’t simply be connecting on bombs all day. We need to make them work for every point they get. And hopefully #1 means we score more than them in the end.
  3. Special teams: Dude, who knew we might be really good at this? Bad news, it comes at the cost of risking our best DB on punt returns. But that’s no big deal, right? Right (scratches head and igonores #2)
  4. 102,000 enraged fans: Coach Stoops blew off the difficulty of playing in front of such a large this week. He is a smart man and a good football coach, but that sentiment doesn’t prove it. People will be loud just to be loud on Saturday night. Hopefully we can capitalize on that early and blare Rocky Top ALL NIGHT LONG. If I had anything to say about it, which of course I don’t, I would play a clip of him making those comments before every one of Oklahoma’s drives. That would be fun.
  5. 10 years of national obscurity: OK, if I am honest, this one actually makes me nervous a bit. I want to believe that we are due a big win, but then I am reminded of all the big games that we have lost over the past 10 years (not encouraging, thanks for the memories Kiffin and Dooley). In truth, I think Butch Jones has us in a good position to win a game like this. It may not happen tomorrow but I believe it will happen this year. We could just go ahead and win a few of them this year, starting with the Sooners.

The fun thing (and unbelivably frustrating thing) about sports is anything can happen. I honestly think we have a good shot for the above reasons. Looking forward to finding out! GO VOLS!



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