VRS Staff Predictions: Tennessee vs Mississippi State
Volunteer Roadshow Predictions
Bobby C. McGraw (Co-Founder of VRS): 28-17 Tennessee
I’ll keep this short and sweet. We will win. We will be victorious. We will come out on top. We will send Miss State home with a big fat L. I will be smoking a victory cigar on the post game show.
Billy Ratliff (Co-Founder of VRS and Former UT DT): 27-24 Tennessee
I believe that the Volunteers will still struggle with running the ball; Chaney will keep the offense simple for our freshman quarterback. The defense needs to step up and make some plays to create more turnovers, this is where the winning edge will be made. Tennessee will win on a field goal.
Josh Griffin (VRS Senior Writer and Co-Host of Sunday On The Hill): 38-28 Tennessee
The Vols got shut down in the third quarter of the Georgia game last Saturday, largely in part due to a lack of ability to establish a ground game. With a struggling defense, Mississippi State will not be as effective in stopping the run. This will open up some options downfield for freshman QB Brian Maurer who threw for over 250 yards against arguably the best defense in the country. Tennessee’s defense will give up some points, but their offense will win them the game. Vols by 10.
Luke Thomas (Staff Writer for VRS and Co-Host of Sunday On The Hill): 30-24 Tennessee
On my weekly show, Sunday On The Hill, alongside Josh Griffin and Brandon Martin, I said that I would not pick Tennessee to win an SEC Game until they proved me wrong. I lied. Yet again I have convinced myself that Tennessee will earn a key upset over Mississippi State and pick up their first SEC win since last season. I’m a big believer in Brian Maurer, and I think he will lead the Volunteers to a win, the final score will be the same as last year’s key upset against Auburn, 30-24.
Matt Ray (Recruiting Analyst for VRS): Tennessee 31 Miss. State 26
This could be the most pivotal game of Jeremy Pruitt’s young head coaching career. Tennessee desperately needs a win Saturday to have a realistic chance at a bowl game. Mississippi State comes in off a bye week and some of that preparation was likely lost because they were potentially expecting to see much more of Jarrett Guarantano against Georgia. Tennessee will look to improve upon an impressive start against Georgia and close out the game this time. I think this game suits Tennessee well. There is a lot at stake and after the passion that they showed against Georgia, I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt in this one.
Brandon Martin (Recruiting Analyst for VRS): 24-21 Tennessee
Tennessee showed some sparks of a passing game against Georgia with Brian Maurer at the helm. What was missing from the equation for the Vols was what has been a solid running game most of the season. A good portion of that can be credited to Georgia’s defensive line. This week’s variety of Bulldog doesn’t have the same caliber of player up front as last week’s. Expect to see Tennessee try to be more balanced against Mississippi State, utilizing Ty Chandler, Eric Gray, and perhaps Maurer, particularly in the red zone. The Mississippi State offense has struggled and has injuries at QB, and pressure from the Vols’ edge rushers will be imperative to any hope the Big Orange has for a win. Mississippi State needs this game, but Tennessee NEEDS this game. Urgency and home-field advantage help the young Vols to their first SEC win of the season 24-21, and gives hope for the rest of the season.
Dale Dowden (Recruiting Analyst for VRS): 31-24 Tennessee
Though the Vols are the underdog again at home to the bulldogs, Miss St is not UGA. No disrespect to Miss St, they are a solid team but are working on things themselves. If the crowd is electric and if Tennessee can come out of the gate with the same energy they did last week it will be a big help. Maurer at QB seems to have sparked something offensively and if they can build on that, this team will have a shot to put up some points.
BVD’s Scolding Hot Take
Keith Ricker (Columnist for the Roadshow Locker Room and Founder of “BVDTV”): 38-27 Tennessee
Mississippi State brings a powerful running attack and a fresh new look at quarterback into Neyland stadium this Saturday. However, I feel as though the Vols’ change at quarterback has lifted this team’s spirit and it showed last Saturday against Georgia despite the lopsided score. with a much-needed Southeastern conference victory on the line I think Tennessee gets it done, this Saturday, against the Bulldogs 38 to 27. Lastly, while Brian Maurer will surely get the start, I believe Jarrett Guarantano will see action himself and if Tennessee wants to get more than one SEC win this year they’re going to have to figure out a way to run the ball. Hopefully that starts at noon in Neyland stadium this Saturday.