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Insider Mailing: Rebel Black Bear Edition

Georgia Game-15

Dear RTI, Listening in on the app all the way from Vienna, Austria. I listen everyday and have been able to watch all the games. Do you all see us gaining any confidence off last week after two tough losses. Can we turn in another “moral victory” and have a good game against Bama at home? -Thanks Guys and Go Vols, Nate Large

John: Okay, first, Nate Large, you are the man! Simply outstanding that you’re rocking the RTI app in Vienna. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Can’t tell you how much we appreciate that. Next, I’ve seen the defense gain confidence all year, but I’ve also seen the offense lose a bit of its moxie of late. And I don’t think it’s that they’re getting worse. I just think there’s more film and the word’s kinda out. So opponents have been better able to exploit UT’s weaknesses.

That said, and not to look past Ole Miss, I do think a good showing against Bama might qualify as (yet another) moral victory, but only in light of the step back the Vols have seemingly made on the offensive side of the ball. While I’m not in the “UT has a real shot of beating Bama” camp, I’d also be the first to point out that anything can happen, especially when you have a D as nasty as Tennessee’s is proving to be. Thanks again, Nate Large. You are the man.

Daniel: Obviously getting back in the win column, regardless of opponent, does a little bit to boost morale. I think the starting defense can draw even more confidence from shutting down another team. I am curious to see how the offense responds after what was not a great performance overall against an FCS-level opponent. Going forward, and I know Tennessee fans are growing tired of hearing about it, but I think the Vols could gain some momentum with a good performance at Oxford, even without a win. Alabama obviously lost to Ole Miss and had a nail-biter against Arkansas last week. If they were to be shaky or lose against A&M this week and Tennessee keeps it within a score or two at Oxford, I would think that the Vols return to Knoxville feeling like they have a shot against the Tide the following week. We’ll see.

And as John mentioned, thank you so much for finding, reading and listening to RTI!

Houston: Nate, thank you so much for the kind words. Glad you can listen and keep up with the Vols via RTI.

I think that Tennessee will be ready for Alabama regardless of what happens this weekend in Oxford. That being said, this seems like the kind of game that may set up for a slight letdown from the Rebels. They are coming off of two huge games (both wins) against Alabama and Texas A&M and have another divisional game against rival LSU in Baton Rouge next weekend, so this game against Tennessee certainly has all of the ingredients of a ‘trap game’ for the Rebels.

I’m not saying that Ole Miss will play bad enough to allow Tennessee to win, but I think that the Vols could be in this game for two or three quarters before the Rebels pull away late.

What are they putting in the water in Mississippi? – @SamuelChaffin

Reed: Roids, coach enhancers and cowbells.

Daniel: Quarterbacks and talented front-seven players, apparently.

John: Theories vary, but my guess? Straight cash homey.

Houston: There are no rules in Mississippi. None. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Don’t believe me? I’ve got two words for you:

Ed. Orgeron.

That said, Mullen and Freeze are excellent coaches, truly.

Guys, I’m heading to the Grove this weekend for the first time ever. What should I expect to see? I’ve heard amazing things, but wanted to know if any of you guys had any advice. – Craig from Loudon

Reed: This will be my first trip to Oxford, too, so I’m not exactly sure what to expect. I do expect bourbon in abundance and hopefully some delicious grub. If you’re single, I hear you can expect some fantastic scenery.

John: Craig, I’m a happily married man, so let the record show that anything I write beyond this point is the “old JCO” not my current self. But the Grove changed my damn life.

Nectar-ville, Hottie Haven, the Land of Milk and Honey, call it what you will. Just make sure you call it. Because there’s just something about a Mississippi girl. (Oh stop, honey. They’re all trolls compared to you.)

The agonizing part of the whole deal though is this: all the leggy tone, tan blonds in their cowboy boots and frilly skirts are accompanied by these scrawny-ass, little pimply boy-child dates. It’s like you wanna go up to them and say “Hey, I’m fired up that you’re going steady with the Secretary of the KA pledge class over there, but seriously girl, you’re probably ready for the next level.”

Only problem then is you’d probably hear her talk and realize she’s just a little girl, too. But my goodness are they packing heat in Oxford.

In all seriousness, though, they do it right and it’s an incredible tailgating experience.

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