There’s no denying the Vols performed admirably in Norman. They were just a handful of plays away from making that a one possession game deep into the fourth quarter – which is impressive considering they literally couldn’t block anyone. The good news is Tennessee won’t face a front-seven that dynamic the remainder of the year. Plus, Ethan Wolf, UT’s best tight end who also happens to be an underrated blocker, is back in the fold and his ability to help minimize UT’s weaknesses up front means the offensive line’s worst days should be behind them.
With 3/4 of their schedule left, where does that leave the Vols? They need four wins to get back to bowl eligibility, a tangible step forward for a program that hasn’t experienced postseason play since 2010 and hasn’t won a bowl game since 2008. Vanderbilt is a sure win – Tennessee’s scout team could probably beat the Commodores by three touchdowns.
Kentucky, though they are improved under Stoops, is also a victory especially since that game is in Neyland. The Vols will get revenge over UTC for a loss in 1958 which saw UTC fans tear down Tennessee’s goalposts. The Vols have never lost to an FCS program and that streak isn’t ending this year.
So there Tennessee is, once again, with five wins. How do they get to six (or more)? Here’s a look at UT’s three best chances to pick up another win (or wins) and go bowling. A quick note: The Vols might not be underdogs in all of these by the time the games kick off, but they were when the season started.