I am looking at the University of Tennessee’s last stretch of football games as a completely new season, therefore I am not going to delve too deeply into the most recent rendition of the Third Saturday in October, but if you would like a breakdown, be sure to check out fellow MoreImportantIssues contributor Dylan Scott’s recent article by clicking here. A brief look at my takeaways, however, are:
- I believe in Pruitt, and believe he is making strides with this team. Especially where the defense is concerned.
- JG is officially considered “disgraced” by the VAST majority our fanbase.
- We all live in the real world. Collusion, nepotism, and favoritism are all real things that exist. I believe we saw all three in action in some sort of dynamic between ESPN, the SEC, and the University of Alabama. (Like, I really believe this- but I also believe in extra-terrestrials, the continued existence of the Illuminati, and some aspects of fringe-science, so take this however you please.).
- I was very wrong about Tim Jordan in the past; he has made a fan out of me.
- Most of the country has never been coached effectively, as made evident by many getting “big-mad” at a slight tug of a facemask.
So with the Third Saturday in October officially behind us- let us look forward to our next opponent; the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
Most Important Game?
Since the 2019 schedule was released, I have believed this weekend’s match-up would be one of if not the most important games on the docket. While I didn’t see the Vols being 2-5 heading into the South Carolina game, I did see it as a must-win after we exited the ever-familiar gauntlet we face every season that includes Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. For me, South Carolina has been the most difficult team in the SEC to get a read on. They lose to Missouri, get beat by a mediocre North Carolina squad, but then hold off UGA between the hedges with a back up quarterback for most of the game, and a third-stringer in overtime. Nothing about them really makes sense.
The Gamecocks have some serious talent at the skill positions on offense, namely Rico Dowdle, Tavien Feaster, and Bryan Edwards. I am not sold on Quarterback Ryan Hilinski, though, and believe that if our defense shows up as it has in these last two games, we will be able to contain their offense. Aside from their game against Charleston Southern, they are yet to put up more than 24 points. Is this the year the Vols break the Muschamp curse?
We all remember Halloween night in 2009 when the Vols wore the Layla Kiffin-made black jerseys and former Vols like Eric Berry, Jonathan Crompton, Denarius Moore and Janzen Jackson DEMOLISHED a 6-2 Gamecocks team. Will the Vols be able to conjure up some late October magic again? Following a tweet from the official Tennessee Football Twitter account, rumors are circulating that there will be some alternate uniforms in play this weekend in Knoxville. Say what you want about jerseys and performance, but as someone who was at that game in ’09, the black and orange clad Vols played with a different energy about them compared to the rest of that season.
Combine the (presumed) alternate look, a team with the fanbase now firmly behind them, and what appears to be a complete buy-in between the coaches and most players, I for one am feeling very confident heading into the game. HOWEVER, I do hope that if there are indeed alternate uniforms, they look a little more… presentable than the Doctor Frankenstein-esque conglomerations we saw a decade ago.
MVP: Maurer’s Helmet?
Brian Maurer is back at practice, and per a couple of tweets I saw, looking pretty sharp after suffering his second concussion in as many weeks. Sometimes, guys are held out as a precaution, and there is no actual concussion- but either way, the fact remains that Maurer has taken two significant blows to the head within a short time-frame. I’m no doctor (I will be in around 6 months, though. Yes, an actual doctor), but I have heard the brain is a pretty vital organ.
I want number 18 on the field as much as the rest of Vol-Nation, but not at the cost of his
long-term health. It will be interesting to see how Coach Jeremy Pruitt approaches this matter. I believe that if Maurer can stay upright, doesn’t take unnecessary risks, and doesn’t take another lick to the old noggin’, we have a real chance at seeing not only a victory over the Gamecocks, but finishing the 2019 campaign on a 5-0 win streak.
I’m Outta Here
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and be sure to check out the rest of the MoreImportantIssues crew’s work. If you get a chance, listen to the podcast via iTunes here or watch Landon and Caleb talk shop on the Twitter live-feeds @More_Issues. Until next time, and hopefully with our beloved Vols having added another tally to the left side of the win-loss record, this is me signing out. GO VOLS!
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