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Vols Must Take UAB Game Seriously at All Costs

by | Nov 1, 2019

It feels like it was eons ago when the Volunteers fell to Georgia State in a stunning upset for the history books. Vol fans awoke the morning of August 31st ecstatic to see their Vols roll in what everyone expected to be a lop-sided victory for Tennessee, but in a matter of hours, the tone on Rocky Top shifted from positively optimistic to irate. Georgia State, the clearly inferior team, bullied the Vols all day long. The upset was nowhere near a fluke, Georgia State dominated Tennessee with their run game all day long. The question still remains just why Tennessee fell to the Panthers, but the most popular theory is a simple one; Tennessee didn’t take Georgia State as a serious opponent and they expected to roll the Panthers based only on the talent gap

Now, the Volunteers are meeting up with another Non-Power-5 team in less than 24 hours, and it is self-evident that Tennessee can’t make the same mistake of underestimating their opponent again. UAB (6-1) travels to Knoxville in hopes of spoiling Tennessee’s ambitions of reaching their first Bowl Game since 2016, and while Vegas has favored Tennessee to win the match-up by 12 points, many of the Tennessee faithful are not taking the Blazers seriously after UT’s 41-21 blowout of South Carolina last week.

It is worth mentioning that I do not believe that Tennessee will underestimate the Blazers as they are miles ahead of where Georgia State was thought to be when the Volunteers played them at the beginning of the season. However, by all means, if Tennessee sleepwalks against UAB, they have a huge chance of falling to another non-conference team, and if that happens you can likely kiss their chances at a Bowl Game goodbye.

The Blazers pass-rush is expected to be extremely aggressive, as they have gone after the quarterback all season. When UAB sends the heat, which is almost certain, Tennessee’s offensive line has to protect Brian Maurer, who will likely be the starter for the Volunteers, as he has suffered from two head injuries in a 2 week time period. You can also expect Jim Chaney to dial up some screen passes to make UAB pay for being aggressive on defense.

Regardless of what the result of tomorrow’s game is, underestimating your opponent is always a dangerous thing to do, and if UT does it tomorrow it may cost them a victory and imminently a Bowl appearance. Tennessee and UAB will go at it on the gridiron at 7:00ET on ESPNU, our team will have immediate reaction pieces to the game that you will only see on Volunteer Roadshow following the conclusion of the game, so be sure to tune in.

Luke A. Thomas

Luke A. Thomas

Senior Writer

Luke was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and grew up with a passion for SEC Football.

His career in journalism started in 2016 when he covered his hometown MTSU Blue Raiders. He would later go on to cover the local Vanderbilt Commodores before he would begin covering the Volunteers. He wrote for SBNation, covering UT Athletics before joining Volunteer Roadshow in May of 2019. At Volunteer Roadshow he covers all things Tennessee, with a focus on UT Football and Basketball.

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