The Fearless Prediction is coming off a big win thanks to Tennessee’s overtime victory at Pittsburgh. We are currently moving all of our winnings to an offshore account in the Caymans.

It has been a great start to the season for the Fearless Prediction, now sitting pretty at 2-0. But we aren’t here to talk about the past. Instead, we will put all of our energies into this week’s game between the Vols and Akron.


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Is this is the premier contest on the college football schedule? No, my friends, it most certainly is not. But we are only guaranteed 12 Tennessee games a year. Come April, we will be begging to watch a game like this one.

Let’s start by talking about the MAC visitors. This is the 2nd straight paycheck game for Akron. Last week, they went to Lansing and got shut out, 52-0, by 11th-ranked Michigan State.

The Akron defense allowed nearly 500 yards, and most of that yardage (and all 52 points) were given up by the end of the 3rd quarter.

The Zips accounted for only 225 yards of total offense, with a paltry 22 of those on the ground.

Quarterback DJ Irons was knocked out of that game in the 1st half, with backup Jeff Undercuffler Jr. playing the rest of the way. Neither had much success. The Zips’ offense also fumbled 4 times.

There won’t be much time devoted to that game in the Akron “2022 Season in Review” VHS tape sent to Zips boosters this offseason.

I don’t think the Tennessee game will get a lot of airplay, either.

Even if the City of Akron’s own LeBron James lines up at wide receiver (as he did in high school, winning all-state honors as a sophomore), this is shaping up to be a long night for the Zips.

As for Tennessee, the Vols’ offense struggled at times against Pittsburgh. In fact, it put only 3 points on the board in the 2nd half. That said, the Vols still scored 27 points in regulation and 34 for the game. The UT offense is averaging 46.5 points per game, tops in the SEC.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker is on a 2021 pace, completing 67 percent of his passes and not turning the ball over. He also has 546 passing yards and 4 TD tosses to go with 2 rushing TDs. Cedric Tillman looks every bit the part of a No. 1 receiver, already with 15 catches for 230 yards and the game-winning TD grab against the Panthers. Tennessee’s running game has yet to get into full gear and is averaging 154.5 yards per contest.

On defense, Tennessee linebacker Aaron Beasley has taken a leap this season, with 22 total tackles in 2 games. Tyler Baron and Byron Young have contributed with 2 sacks apiece. As a unit, the Vols have recovered 2 fumbles and picked off 3 passes. It’s early, but this looks like a group that will finish the season much better than 99th in the nation in total defense, as it did in 2021.

So much attention is already being placed on next week’s Tennessee-Florida game. Neyland Stadium will be sold out. The atmosphere will be electric. There are rumors of another “Checker Neyland.”

But before the Gators come to town, Tennessee has to take care of business against Akron. The Vols will want to get their starters as much rest as possible, much like they were able to do in the season opener against Ball State.

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The Vols throttled the Cardinals that night. Expect a similar result this Saturday as UT looks to go 10-0 all-time against MAC opponents.

Fearless Prediction time …

Tennessee 56, Akron 7