5 Big Things: To beat Virginia Tech

1. Berry Last Chance: It would be poetic justice to see Eric Berry pick off a Virginia Tech pass and return it 8 (or 80) yards to end his career with the NCAA record for interception return yardage. Berry started his junior year needing a measly 15 yards and, to everyone's great surprise, is still 8 short as he points to the NFL draft a year ahead of schedule.

2. Cure The Curse: The Georgia Dome has been Tennessee's personal haunted house in the 21st Century. The carnage includes 0-3 in SEC championship games and 0-2 in Chick-fil-A Bowls. It's worse - the basketball Vols are 3-6 in SEC Tournament games at the Dome, never surviving past the quarterfinal round. The last time a UT fan left the Dome with a smile was 1998, on the road to the national championship.

3. Who's Kicking?: It's never a good thing to go into a bowl game as an underdog with your placekicking duties unsettled. Based on unimpressive practice-field results it's unclear whether Daniel Lincoln or Devan Mathis (or even punter Chad Cunningham) will attempt field goals. Maybe Lane Kiffin just goes for it on fourth down.

4. Tech's Dynamic Duo: There's no mystery who makes Virginia Tech's offense go. Monte Kiffin and the UT defense have to contain tailback Ryan Williams (1,538 yards, 19 TDs) and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (2,102 passing yards) who has passed for 13 touchdowns and run for four more. Do that and the Hokies will struggle to score points.

5. SEC vs. ACC: The SEC likes to think of itself as clearly superior to the ACC - in football. Not so in 2008, when it was a 6-6 stalemate in head-to-head play. This year the SEC has a 5-3 edge (including an Alabama win over Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome). A Tennessee win tonight would deny the ACC any wiggle room for yapping. A Tech win, however, would make the two-year score sheet an indecisive 11-10.

- Mike Strange

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Comments » 23

ut_vols13 writes:

GO VOLS!!!

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

VOLS will have their hands full tomorrow night. VT is a team that can put points on the board very quickly, more so than other ACC teams. We have to contain the QB and stop the points by their special team play. "Beamer Ball" can be exciting to watch, hopefully it will be handled tomorrow night. GO VOLS

qspr91iz writes:

If Hardesty has 100 yards rushing we will win the game. I hope Hardesty breaks the all time single season rushing record and Berry gets his 9 interception yards. A win would give us great momentum to end this recruiting season with a top 5 class in February.
GO VOLS!!!

rockytopatl writes:

We will get it done better than most believe:
Tennessee 24
Va. Tech 13

Ringside writes:

The more pressure packed such as Florida and Alabama, seems like UT played some of its best ball. I hope no one gives them a chance. Seems like the hit harder when they feel like they are not respected. Will be tough without good special teams play, but the Vols pull it out 30-28. GBO!!!

tenuscvol writes:

Perhaps for kickoffs (after scores) we could always attempt an onside kick. Probably could get on of three or so....so sad...

GBO!

UT: 35 (5 TDs...we will not attempt any FGs)
VT: 27 (3 TDs... (one special team) 2 FGs)

colt writes:

If our Q B has a good game we win. Its that simple. I like Tennessee and the 5+ points.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Well Dave Clawson...yes THAT Dave Clawson just won his bowl game...

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Here's a little known fact....Tennessee's bowl will be the last played this decade....know the only other time TN has played the last game of the decade? Bluebonnet Bowl 1979 vs. Purdue ended the 70's.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Also tomorrow night is not ONLY a full moon on New Year's Eve.....but ALSO a full blue moon, which only happens on NYE every 19 years!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

well nevermind, Idaho came back on 2 great passes and a 2 point-conv....Clawson lost...just like he did at Tn.

DennisVols writes:

The only game UT’s defense did not step up this year was against Ole Miss and that followed a week in which one of UT’s best defensive players and 2 other jokers decided to do a snatch and grab at the local Pilot station. Now if you believe that was not a major disruption then I have some ocean front property in AZ for sale.
Bama, GA, UF never could establish any kind of a running threat against UT’s defense and neither will VT. They don’t have Tebow or Ingram to guide them. UT will win if they do not give the game away on special teams. They do not have to be great on Special Teams they just have to not make the mistakes that could cost them the game.
UT has more weapons on offense and a defense that has had to play against much better offenses all year than VT has. Head to head UT played Bama much better than VT did.
Kiffin’s record as UT’s coach in the GA Dome is a perfect 0-0. This is not Fulmer’s team, I repeat this is not Fulmer’s team. After the National Championship year UT failed to prepare for most of their major games under Fulmer. This is not an insult of Fulmer, it is a record of fact.
So I don’t put anything into UT’s record at the dome prior to this year. Different coaches, different players, different system suggest different results.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

DennisVols writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Well Dave Clawson...yes THAT Dave Clawson just won his bowl game...

Not sure what game your watching but the one I saw with Clawson coaching ended in a loss for Clawson

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Well Dave Clawson...yes THAT Dave Clawson just won his bowl game...

Wrong! You should know better than to ASSUME. Idaho won in regulation with a 2 point conversion. As a Vandal alum, and a transplanted Vol, I was thrilled.

NorthwestVol writes:

So let's say poop happens, VT scores a couple on special teams and wins by 10. Is the season still a success? Tough call for me. Am I expecting too much?

rockytopatl writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Here's a little known fact....Tennessee's bowl will be the last played this decade....know the only other time TN has played the last game of the decade? Bluebonnet Bowl 1979 vs. Purdue ended the 70's.

Wish you hadn't brought that game up. I was there, in the Astrodome. We lost. 27-22.

RaineyVol writes:

Im going to the Memphis vs. Tennessee game.. then coming home and watchin this bad boy.. GO VOLS!!!

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to RaineyVol:

Im going to the Memphis vs. Tennessee game.. then coming home and watchin this bad boy.. GO VOLS!!!

For gosh sakes, make sure we get the win against Tiger High. By circumstances, I'm forced to reside in the worst place in our great state (since Brushy Mountain is closed) after growing up in the shadow of Neyland Stadium and have to hear from the inmates about how great their only team is that is even close to being competitive in NCAA competition. In most cases, I would overlook an infantile enjoying his rattle, but we need to take it away and hear their crying.

GO VOLS !!!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to NorthwestVol:

Wrong! You should know better than to ASSUME. Idaho won in regulation with a 2 point conversion. As a Vandal alum, and a transplanted Vol, I was thrilled.

If you checked I corrected myself a few minutes later....thought it was over with 32sec left.

JACK8254 writes:

It is a little unsettling that Heather Harrington said today on the radio that she did not think the Vols were focused. She indicated that they are not fired-up, at least for the last 2-3 days. Lets hope she was wrong cause anything less than an all-out effort will doom us vrs a good Va Tech team that seems to sincerely want to stomp us into the turf. Come on guys (Vols) this game will go far in deciding how you srs are remembered. Go Vols!

alavol writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Well Dave Clawson...yes THAT Dave Clawson just won his bowl game...

I think Iowa won it 43-42 in the last four seconds.

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

well nevermind, Idaho came back on 2 great passes and a 2 point-conv....Clawson lost...just like he did at Tn.

No, he didn't lose the way he did at Tennessee! His Bowling Green team actually had an offense and able to put points on the scoreboard. Neither BG or Idaho had a defense so it was just a case of who had the ball last with at least 40 seconds left on the clock.

To this day, I think Clawson was hamstrung by Fulmer and the fact that our boys just weren't very cerebral to grasp the complexities of the schemes with the limited time they had to do it.

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just for the record, a "hokie" (correct spelling is 'hoki") isn't a gobbler (turkey)nor was ever meant to be. It was in original a nonsense word as part of a fight song.
http://www.vt.edu/about/hokie.html

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