The Tennessee Volunteers are trying to make a name for themselves with a huge win on Saturday. The news of SEC players receiving extra benefits has had some ramifications for the Volunteers however. On Friday September 13, according to CBSsports.com, defensive lineman Maurice Couch was ruled ineligible for the Oregon game. That’s not good news when you’re trying to slow down the most potent rushing attack in college football. The lack of depth may prove costly as the game wears on. Oregon is a 28 point favorite for Saturday’s game.
Tennessee will have their hands full with Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks offense. While Mariota doesn’t run a lot, when he does, there’s a great chance that he’s taking it to the house. During the first two games, he’s averaging 26 yards per carry. Overall, Oregon is gaining 425 yards on the ground.
The good news for Tennessee is that they are respectable defense that thrives off of turnovers. The Volunteers only give up 125 yards and 177 yards passing per game, Still this challenge will be the most difficult to date.
The key to Tennessee pulling off the upset may come down to how well they can possess the ball. That doesn’t mean, Oregon scores then you run 10 plays, kick a field goal, then Oregon scores again. That type of possession will not win you the ball game. Tennessee needs to shorten the game while scoring touchdowns. Otherwise, Oregon’s quick possession will amount to 50 points in the blink of an eye.
Oregon will try to make it a track meet. They’ll try to make big plays in all facets of the game. They also have a stable of running backs that just won’t quit.
One thing to look for by Tennessee; Will they use the fake injury scheme to slow down the up tempo system of Oregon’s offense?
While Tennessee forced a lot of turnovers last week, they still gave up plenty of yards and points. Oregon makes defenses look silly when they don’t know where to line up properly. That Autzen crowd will make it tough on Tennessee. The Volunteers can play well and still lose big.