I've already lost confidence in my Vols after that first game. The article's description of "flat performance" was exactly right. Also add this description: "a win by sheer luck". We probably won't be as lucky against the Hokies. This game could go either way. Yeah, we have the RB edge with Hurd and Kamar, but they have the WR edge with Ford and Hodges (even against Sutton, I'm afraid). Both teams have mobile QBs, but Dobbs gets rattled just way too easy, and our line is just atrocious. Their defense is going to eat our line alive, I'm afraid. You think we had troubles against App State, you wait until we line up this Saturday. Not looking forward to that. I think Dobbs is going to turn into an interception machine in this game, and unfortunately that'll probably be our undoing. My reluctant prediction is UT 24 / VT 27. Maybe THEN Butch Jones and this team will get the shake-up we need to turn things around and salvage the rest of the season.
God help us against the Hokies. :(
I love my Vols, but I was really EMBARRASSED about last week's game. Sure, we had a few great plays that our fanboys and ESPN will no doubt focus on as an example of how good we "really" are, but for most of the game we got pushed around by App State. Supposed talent aside, in the end we were just plain LUCKY to walk away with a win. Now don't get me wrong, I'll take an embarrassingly poor win over a valiantly played loss, but it still left me embarrassed ... and WORRIED about how we're going to show up against the Hokies. With the new coach, new QB and new up-tempo playbook in Blacksburg, their defense now has some breathing room where they don't have to keep stepping up every game to bail out their offense. And VT doesn't have the injuries they've had to deal with for the last 2-3 seasons. Their defense last Saturday looked relaxed, confident and AGGRESSIVE, and their results showed that too. Our guys? Meh ... Yeah, we better step up our game, and "find our identity" real quick, cause we can't keep relying on lucky breaks to win games. I think this Saturday's game is going to be close. We have all the hype, ranking and expectation to live up to, but the Hokies don't, so we're going to play with pressure on us (which has rarely worked well for us in the past) while the Hokies have nothing to lose. Sounds like a recipe for disaster for us Vols.
After watching my Vols play App State last week, I came away with 2 thoughts: our effort and execution overall was surprisingly poor, and we were just plain lucky to walk away with that win. And then factor in who we played against, and that just made me feel worse. Yes, it was "just" the first game and no doubt we'll get better, and "a win is a win", but that doesn't make me feel any better. There were plenty of other teams who came out and executed well, right out of the gates. Even if they lost, they could still go back and look at tape and see a level of effort they were proud of (albeit for the outcome). But not so for my Vols. Yeah, there were several good (maybe even great) plays we made, but WAY too many POORLY EXECUTED plays. We got pushed around and penetrated against for most of the game by their guys who were 50 freaking pounds lighter on average than our guys; how in the owrld do you think we're going to hold up against Bud Foster's defense? Yes, the Hokies' defense in the last couple years hasn't been up to the level it was back several years ago, but it surer looked like they returned to their old ways in the game last Saturday. OK, you can say, "Yes, but that was only against Liberty, a glorified high school team" ... but wouldn't many say the same thing about OUR opponent last week? At least the Hokies made a great effort; but not so much for our Vols. I sure do hope Butt Jones lights a fire under our guys, cause we're going to need it this Saturday.
I don't know ... I hope you're right, but if we had that much trouble executing with a simple, plain vanilla offensive playbook, I wonder how much better we're going to do with a more expanded playbook. We just executed poorly, very poorly, and were lucky that a couple key plays happened to go our way. What really concerns me (among many things) is how App Stat's line (which averaged about 50 pounds lighter than our guys) pushed us around almost all night and got too much penetration. Again, poor execution by us. Despite whatever polls you might want to look at, Vtech is even more aggressive than App State. Vtech's offense was not great last Saturday (and yes, it was against FCS Liberty), and Vtech did make some mistakes (althought not nearly as many or as bad as our Vols), but Vtech with their new, very mobile QB scorched Liberty. And Liberty's 13 points only came as a result of a couple of mistakes Vtech made, otherwise Liberty would have had 0 points. I'm actually afraid the Hokies are going to scorch us and really expose us. They have NOTHING to lose, as they are unranked and are EXPECTED to lose ... just as we are EXPECTED to win ... so all the pressure is on us, not on them. And they have a new coach, new QB, and totally new offense to show to the world, so they're very hungry to make a statement (without that expected pressure to perform that I just mentioned). Yeah, maybe we fix some of our problems this week and play better ... but so will Vtech. Like us, they kept the playbook plain vanilla so as not to reveal their full playbook potential, but this Saturday everything's gonna be opened up ... but that's true for BOTH teams, and I'm really afraid our Vols are going to be embarrassed. We can only rely on lucky breaks for so long.
I keep hearing "A win is a win", but it was just an awful performance by my mighty Vols against Appalachin State. Yes, App State is better than many people give them credit for, but there was such HYPE in the off-season about my Vols' expectations, that this first game has caused some serious pause-and-rethinks ... not just by me, but just about everyone. Yes, it was just the first game, and it was a win, so so many other teams looked sharp right out of the gates ... but not my mighty Vols, not at all. We were LUCKY to walk away with that win. LUCKY. We might not be so lucky against VTech this Saturday.
I am trul;y loving the possible of my mighty Tennassee Vols defeting the VTech team on the field of play. It is a real possible. (But, maybe more of a difficult game that some or most are thinking?) I truly hop that my mighty Vols do refrain from a repeating of the type and kind of GAMe they played against the Appalachin State . That was too close! And we should have defeting them by more than say 55 points that evening, but we were very fortunate that luck went our way that evening.