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2015 Tennessee Football Season Predictions

Oklahoma Tennessee

 September 12th vs. Oklahoma

Daniel: This is a big game for momentum and national perception of the Vols. To win, UT has to do several things it hasn’t been able to do in a long time – beat a talented non-conference opponent, win in a game where there’s some added pressure (they’ve struggled recently in games like Checker Neyland or alternate uniforms) and beat a team that has a fair amount of talent in the defensive front. I think the 34-10 score in Norman was a bit misleading last year with the late pick-six that swung the game 14 points. I think this is a one-possession game, but I’m going with the Sooners for now. UT needs to prove that it can step up and win this type of game on a consistent basis before I can pick the Vols with confidence. Winner: OU

Houston: Oklahoma is still good. They still have Sterling Shepard. They still have Eric Striker. They still have Samaje Perine. They still have talent along both lines of scrimmage. They are still a very talented football team. But what they don’t have this year is the luxury of playing a young Tennessee team at home. The Sooners have to travel to Neyland for a home-opener – at night – in front of a fan base that is foaming at the mouth for their program to be good again. To prove that Tennessee Football is “back” the Vols need to get a win vs. the Sooners in this game. The Vols should be as close to full strength as they will be all season when the ball kicks off in this game, and their strengths on both sides of the ball play into Oklahoma’s weaknesses. This game will be a slugfest, but I’m calling for Neyland to get some of its magic back. Big plays in the passing game and a key late interception by the defense will be the difference. Winner: Volunteers

Reed: Oklahoma and Tennessee, when evaluating the last four years of recruiting, are nearly equally talented. The Sooners have a slight overall edge while the Vols have the edge at the QB position and certainly have the defense to slow a Sooner offense that sputtered down the stretch. But can a young Tennessee team rise to the occasion and win a huge home game against an equally matched team? This should be a one possession game, but I don’t know that the Vol OL will be able to slow the potent OU pass rush enough to pull off the big win. The young Vols simply have to prove it before I’ll buy it. Winner: Sooners

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