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The Midseason Review

Power T-1Houston Kress:

Most pleasant surprise: It was easily the win over Georgia for me. Especially once the team went down 24-3, it was very tough to see them pulling out of such a deep hole with all that has already happened this season. But, to their credit, the team and coaches really rallied around each other after the early breaks went against them and pulled out a much-needed win. That game now puts them in the hunt for the SEC East , which didn’t seem possible after the loss to Arkansas.

Biggest disappointment: I’ll say the lack of trust between the coaches and players through the first five games…especially in crunch-time. Tennessee’s players were good enough to get big leads against Oklahoma, Florida and Oklahoma, but the staff didn’t seem like they trusted them to win the game at times in each contest. Timid play-calling, questionable personnel choices and a lack of “feel” for the game were very, very disappointing. Hopefully, some of those problems were fixed against Georgia.

How I was right about this team: I predicted this team to be 5-1 at this point of the season, and I absolutely think they could/should be (at worst). The talent is there and the depth isn’t as bad at some spots as some tried to say it was. I said it in the preseason and I still feel like Tennessee is, from top-to-bottom, the most talented team in the SEC East.

How I was wrong about this team: Two-parter, here. I thought that the receivers and secondary would be MUCH better than they have been to this point in the season. I understand that injuries have really hurt both groups, but I was sorely mistaken with what I thought their overall impact would be.

Second-half of the season expectations: I expect the coaching staff to let it all hang out the rest of the way. They aren’t expected to beat Alabama and they will have a huge talent advantage in every game following their matchup with the Tide. I don’t mean that they need to coach carelessly, but they have no need to be timid the rest of the way.

One bold prediction for the rest of the year: Because it needs to be BOLD, I’ll say that Tennessee pulls the shocker in Tuscaloosa next weekend.

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