Tennessee vs Vanderbilt features one team hoping for a bowl and another hoping for the Sugar Bowl. Here is the preview for the Volunteers and Commodores.
It’s one of the oldest and most one-sided rivalries in the history of college football. Tennessee vs Vanderbilt is back, but this time, there is meaning in the game for both teams.
And the meaning is significant.
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The Vols are still hoping for a chance in the Sugar Bowl, which will only happen if Alabama beats Auburn and then Florida in the SEC Championship game while they win in Nashville.
Meanwhile, Vanderbilt is trying to get to a bowl game. They choked away games against the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Missouri Tigers, but they revitalized themselves with a huge win over the Ole Miss Rebels last week.
Derek Mason has a lot of ammo to sell improving the program now, but getting to a bowl game could be the final shot in that selling effort.
They’ll need to beat a Top 25 team in front of their home crowd Saturday to do that. Here is the basic information you need to know for the game.
No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Commodores
Although Tennessee seems to be way better than Vanderbilt on paper, the Commodores pose significant match-up problems for the Vols.
For starters, Tennessee has had major issues stopping the run game. Ralph Webb could give them problems as a result. Meanwhile, Kyle Shurmur could make that more difficult if his improvement last week wasn’t a fluke.
That’ll turn Vanderbilt’s offense into a balanced offense and create major issues for the Vols.
Also, Vanderbilt has a very aggressive defense that forces turnovers, something Tennessee has a habit of giving away.
However, the Commodores also have a very questionable pass defense. And Joshua Dobbs knows how to air it out with his elite receivers in Josh Malone and Jauan Jennings.
If Tennessee is to win, that’s what they have to rely on. Otherwise, this could be a scary day for the Vols.