For the first time since 2016, the Vols are bowl eligible after taking down the Mizzou Tigers on their home turf 24-20. While there is still one more game before Bowl invites start to matriculate, 2019 can now officially be considered a success. However, many fans, myself included, are more than ready to take down Vanderbilt. Let’s look at this past weekend’s victory and our one coming on Saturday on Senior Day in Neyland Stadium.
Taming the Tigers
While I can’t speak for all Vol fans, I know one thing- I have grown a serious hatred for pseudo-SEC East foe Missouri. Tennessee ripping them apart in Columbia this past weekend was more than gratifying. It was an ugly, strange game that I never really felt we had a complete hold on until the very end- like, “Jauan Jennings 12 yard reception with under 3:00 left” end. A win is a win though, and knowing the Vols are going to play during Bowl Season is such a relief.
Jarrett Guarantano became only the third player the wear the Orange and White to throw for over 400 yards in a game (joining Tyler Bray and the G.O.A.T., THE Sheriff, Peyton Manning) and the entire Wide Receiver Corps absolutely shredded the Missouri secondary. Aside from some lapses on Special Teams and Shawn Shamburger having a “C’mon, man” moment, I was impressed with our effort and resilience. Tennessee looks strong heading into their regular-season finale (man, that feels great to say knowing a post-season berth is secured), and firing on all cylinders couldn’t have happened at a better time.
7-5 on the Horizon
I am absolutely confident in saying Tennessee is going to beat Vanderbilt on Saturday. While I do believe that the emotions can get to players on Senior Day, I think the Vols will shake them and “win bigly” against the Commodores. Vanderbilt has one of the best running backs in the conference in Ke’Shawn Vaughn (who has eclipsed 3,000 career yards), but that is really all I can say good about them. Tennessee has lost games 111, 112, and 113 against Vandy, but game 114 is really looking like it is going to be a blow-out for the guys in Orange, and I can think of no better way to send out our seniors than them ending this putrid 3 game losing streak.
Should Tennessee win, I believe Jeremy Pruitt should be in contention for SEC Coach of the Year. After starting 1-4, I never really lost hope for a 6-win season, but I wasn’t confident. The fact that he lead this team, along with a great senior class, to a bowl game speaks volumes about his staff and players, and I think the future on Rocky Top is very bright. After Saturday, it will be fun to get to presume where the 7-5 Vols will end up around the New Year’s holiday!
Thanks for reading! The Vols are on a serious roll and are looking to close out the season in the right way, and I, for one, will be there in person to send our seniors off! I hope you will be there, too, and make Saturday afternoon as loud as possible for a group that has given their all for Tennessee! Also, for minute to minute coverage of all sports on The Hill, be sure to check out MoreImportantIssues’ articles and podcasts on a variety of platforms, including Twitter (@More_Issues) and iTunes! I hope you all have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving, and Go Vols!
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