5 Big Things against Troy

Tennessee Volunteers running back Rajion Neal (20) carries the ball against Akron at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee Volunteers running back Rajion Neal (20) carries the ball against Akron at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

1 Home Sweet Homecoming: Wins are guaranteed on homecoming unless you (A) schedule the No. 1-ranked team. UT did in 2002 and lost 26-3 to Miami. Or (B) fire the coach on the previous Monday. UT did in 2008 and lost 13-7 to Wyoming. Today should be good to go.

2 Ranking? No Thanks: For the first time since Akron on Sept. 22, Tennessee will not be across the line of scrimmage from a Top 25 opponent. The Vols have played the fifth-toughest schedule in the nation and, frankly, could use a break. The program has been stuck on win No. 797 since Akron.

3 Beware Air Troy: The Trojans are averaging 292 passing yards per game and that spells trouble no matter what conference (Sun Belt) they call home.

4 Gray Area: To address the expected air raid, look for freshman Daniel Gray to get significant snaps at cornerback. Freshman LaDarrell McNeil has started the past three games and Gray might be ready to join him.

5 Pound the Rock: After peaking against Georgia and Mississippi State the run game has waned the past two games. It's been a point of emphasis on the practice field this week. Rajion Neal or not, the Vols want to chew up some rushing yards.

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Comments » 10

CrankE writes:

The 1990 homecoming against a ranked team sure was sweet. . . .

UT treated them like a homecoming opponent or something.

voodoo101 writes:

We are bringing a horse to the game, right?

vq4nfo writes:

5th toughest schedule in the nation and we have so called fans that complain that we went 0-5 in the SEC games. Get used to it, Tennessee does not produce quality football players like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and California. It takes a lot to get guys to commit to the downtown campus of UT. Just visit the other SEC team campuses that beat UT this year.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

5th toughest schedule in the nation and we have so called fans that complain that we went 0-5 in the SEC games. Get used to it, Tennessee does not produce quality football players like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and California. It takes a lot to get guys to commit to the downtown campus of UT. Just visit the other SEC team campuses that beat UT this year.

I can think of a few coaches who could get those better commits. The one UT has now can't.

pcorange writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

5th toughest schedule in the nation and we have so called fans that complain that we went 0-5 in the SEC games. Get used to it, Tennessee does not produce quality football players like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and California. It takes a lot to get guys to commit to the downtown campus of UT. Just visit the other SEC team campuses that beat UT this year.

I've gotta wave the BS flag here. First, Tennessee does produce good football talent. Problem is, we can't keep 'em here. We're a losing football team with a losing coach, the good players from the state of Tennessee want to win, so they play at Bama, Mississippi State, and Arkansas. Second, do you think the in-state talent in Oregon (Oregon, Oregon State), Idaho (Boise State), Kansas (K-State), and Indiana (Notre Dame) is really that much better than it is here? I don't. The difference is those programs hired coaches who know how to win and do win, and the 5* players want to play for them.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

Nobody listens but Tennessee needs to leave the SEC along with Kentucky and Vanderbilt and join the new Big East and then they would go back to 9 and 10 wins a year with close rivals in Memphis, Louisville and Cincinnati along with a step up in basketball. It would be a lot easier path to a major bowl and a shot at a national champion game. As long as Tennessee stays in the SEC they are going to be the 6-10 best team no matter who they hire. 1989-2002 is long gone probably never to return but nobody believes this

pcorange writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

Nobody listens but Tennessee needs to leave the SEC along with Kentucky and Vanderbilt and join the new Big East and then they would go back to 9 and 10 wins a year with close rivals in Memphis, Louisville and Cincinnati along with a step up in basketball. It would be a lot easier path to a major bowl and a shot at a national champion game. As long as Tennessee stays in the SEC they are going to be the 6-10 best team no matter who they hire. 1989-2002 is long gone probably never to return but nobody believes this

Whatever, S for brains. Periods of dominance are cyclical. The same thing could've been said about Florida in the 70s and 80s, Alabama for the few years before Saban, and LSU the few years before Saban. Your statement is proof that you know little or nothing about Tennessee. This BS about in-state talent is just that. Winning coaches recruit winning players, no matter where they are.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

5th toughest schedule in the nation and we have so called fans that complain that we went 0-5 in the SEC games. Get used to it, Tennessee does not produce quality football players like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and California. It takes a lot to get guys to commit to the downtown campus of UT. Just visit the other SEC team campuses that beat UT this year.

I doubt seriously that the primary reason a player signs is the attractiveness of the campus. A player signs because of high quality coaching, the opportunity to develop as a player, fan support, etc.

TooDlems writes:

in response to pcorange:

Whatever, S for brains. Periods of dominance are cyclical. The same thing could've been said about Florida in the 70s and 80s, Alabama for the few years before Saban, and LSU the few years before Saban. Your statement is proof that you know little or nothing about Tennessee. This BS about in-state talent is just that. Winning coaches recruit winning players, no matter where they are.

LSU before Saban? You didn't do your homework on that one. Saban made LSU, they would have a good season every now and then, but for the most part they were average at best after Charlie Mac retired. The difference between LSU fans and you guys, when things don't go well the Corndogs still show up for their games but leave at halftime to go eat Jambalaya. But you are right the state of Tennessee doesn't produce enough SEC talent every year to complete a top notch roster.

pcorange writes:

in response to TooDlems:

LSU before Saban? You didn't do your homework on that one. Saban made LSU, they would have a good season every now and then, but for the most part they were average at best after Charlie Mac retired. The difference between LSU fans and you guys, when things don't go well the Corndogs still show up for their games but leave at halftime to go eat Jambalaya. But you are right the state of Tennessee doesn't produce enough SEC talent every year to complete a top notch roster.

The point I was trying to make is that LSU was on a down cycle before Saban showed up. Tennessee is on a down cycle right now, but we will eventually be back up. We belong in the SEC, and the poster I was responding to said that we didn't.

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