We answer your question about the Vols or anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing. If you have questions about anything in the mortgage process, go to BenMillerLoans.com.
“How big of a role should Josh Malone play in this offense Saturday?” – @jordanwebb2599
Daniel: In theory, it should be pretty large because he’s been UT’s best vertical threat so far this year. The Vols were only able to complete two passes to wide receivers against Floirda last year, however, so it’s hard to sit here and say he’ll have a major impact. Florida has some of the best cornerbacks in the SEC, so anything down the field will be tough to come by.
Erik: He needs to catch it as many times as we need for us to score at least one more point than Florida.
Nathanael: I’d imagine they’ll have him play the same role he’s played through the first three games of the season. It’ll be more difficult against Florida’s defense, but I imagine he’ll get six or seven targets in this game. Don’t be surprised to see Preston Williams and Jauan Jennings get more looks, though.
Stephen: Although Malone has had a big role in Tennessee’s offense thus far, I don’t think he will be used as much in this game. First off, those Florida defensive backs are legit and passing on them is going to be hard – even if the offensive line plays good. But also, it’s been proven that for this Tennessee team to win, they need to be successful running the ball, particularly with Josh Dobbs. So while I’m sure Malone might have a few catches and maybe even a touchdown, I suspect this game will hinge more on Dobbs’ involvement in the run game.
“Does Butch Jones make it another season with a loss on Saturday?” – @Curtis_Kosler_
Daniel: Yes. There will no doubt be massive frustration if UT loses this one, but I am pretty convinced that Jones survives this season in almost any kind of realistic scenario – even if the Vols tank this huge stretch coming up. If he loses this game and doesn’t go on to live up to expectations this year, there will be a huge amount of pressure on him heading into 2017 with a new AD.
Erik: Yes, Curtis.
Nathanael: Absolutely. It would take the Vols going 3-9 for him to be canned after this season. And even then, I still think he makes it through 2017. He’s not losing his job if he loses against Florida this year. Even though a lot of Vol fans will want him gone.
Stephen: His recent extension and buyout says he ain’t going anywhere. He could go 6-6 and not be fired this season. Maybe if Dave Hart were leaving before the end of the year and a new AD came in, he or she might clean house. But seeing as Hart isn’t going anywhere until next summer and firing him would be stupid expensive, Tennessee fans will have Butch Jones for a minimum of one more season.
“Guy at my golf course has beaten me 11 straight. It’s cause of what color socks the bar girl is wearing, isn’t it?” – @NeylandMafia
Daniel: It’s probably because you don’t have a consistent short game against this guy, you don’t play well down the back stretch and he’s in your head just a bit.
Erik: Drive for show, putt for dough.
Nathanael: It absolutely is. Probably has something to do with the time of day and the way certain planets are aligned every time too.
Stephen: It’s because you keep playing “Turn down to putt” before every hole. You need to go to your happy place.
“How much does our chance of winning this game improve if both Chance Hall and JRM are able to start and stay healthy?” – @thestonechisel
Daniel: I think it’d be big – especially if Hall is close to 100%. Offensive tackle is a major concern in this matchup for UT, so if, and it’s a big if, Hall is able to come in close to 100% and play well, that’s going to help UT a ton. Obviously a healthy JRM is a huge boon too from a leadership, communication, athleticism and experience standpoint.
Erik: Drastically on both sides of the ball. I anticipate both of those happening.
Nathanael: It’s a huge boost. JRM has missed six quarters of play for the Vols’ defense this year so far, and they’ve still been able to have a pretty solid showing. But having him back for a whole game and healthy would be great. Getting Chance Hall back, however, would be a massive boost in my opinion. I think Hall is the best offensive lineman the Vols have right now, and they need all the help they can get along the line. Especially at tackle where he plays. Even if he can only play on a limited amount of series, him being in would be huge.
Stephen: While Cortez McDowell isn’t JRM, he has proven capable in his playing time. However Chance Hall could be a difference maker in winning or losing this game. The drop off from JRM to McDowell is minimal compared to the amount of potential upgrade you get from putting Chance Hall at right tackle. It wouldn’t just help the right side of the line. It would help the entire line, Josh Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, and the sanity of Vol fans everywhere if Chance Hall can play.
“Kamara hasn’t been getting the ball recently because he is a weapon for Florida. This isn’t a question. It’s a statement.” – Tanner Morgan
Daniel: They fed him a lot more against Ohio, so not sure your statement is 100% accurate, but regardless, I do think UT needs big games from both him and Hurd on Saturday.
Nathanael: I’m not sure what to make of this, but yes?
Stephen: You are electric. You are electric?…Anchorman fans will get it.
“Is the goalpost going in the river if the Vols win?” – Bryan Shrader
Daniel: I have given carte blanche to UT fans to do whatever they want if UT wins as long as nobody is hurt. So, sure, go for it.
Erik: You gotta feel it…you just gotta feel it.
Nathanael: I hope so. I know buzz kills out there are saying “No, don’t rush the field, take down the goalposts, etc. because the Vols and Vol fans are better than that!” It’s been 11 years. The Vols have lost 11 straight games to their biggest division rival. If Tennessee wins, do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt someone. I want all out celebration. Just have some fun and stop worrying about what others think about your fandom.
Stephen: Rush the field. Tear down the goal posts. Throw it in the Tennessee River. Streak through Neyland if you feel so inclined. 11 Years is a long time. Have a little fun.
“Is it acceptable for a groomsman to call in sick to his best friend’s wedding because it starts at 4? Asking for a friend?” – Josh Mote
Daniel: Your “friend” has to pay the price for his best friend deciding on such an awful wedding time. But that cost is limited to the first half, in my opinion. The wedding and photos should be done by around 5. That frees him up for the second half. He can’t leave the wedding, but he has no obligation at that point to dance, speak, or do anything else from that point forward until the game is over. Make sure the phone is charged up and ready to go for some streaming.
Erik: He’s no longer your best friend.
Nathanael: I mean, if he’s truly your friend, he wouldn’t have scheduled his wedding on the Florida game. I know the bride comes first and all that, but still. Call in sick if you must. Daniel makes a good point about you probably only missing the second half, though.
Stephen: My sister got married during the Bristol game. Two years ago a friend got married the day of the Florida game. People just don’t get it. Nonetheless, you have to go. Just be sure to bring your phone fully charged and be prepared to use some data.