We answer your questions 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.
“When will our slow starts finally cost us a game?” – Robert Karma
Daniel: Everybody tried to write the “Vols must get off to a fast start against Florida/Georgia” pieces and they weren’t really true, so I think it’s difficult to say when, or if, it will. I do think Texas A&M and Alabama are the two most talented teams on UT’s schedule, so you certainly don’t want to spot them points. But I think going down might be the equivalent of a few drinks for Butch Jones and Mike DeBord. It isn’t inherently healthy, but sometimes it helps loosen them up to get the job done.
Erik: The next two weeks. We may get away with it against A&M, but we won’t against Bama.
Nathanael: One would realistically think this weekend, but who knows at this point? I do honestly think the can’t afford to get down 17-0 or 21-0 against A&M, though. Being on the road against Georgia in Athens is one thing. Being on the road at College Station is another. Tennessee overall had more talent than Georgia, but I think Texas A&M has as much if not more talent than the Vols. They truly can’t afford to get behind by three scores against the Aggies.
“Does Jauan Jennings get credit for a 63 effort since the Hail Mary only took 4 seconds of actual game time?” – Doug Brooks
Daniel: Doug, these are the types of questions that keep Butch Jones up in the offseason as he re-evaluates his slogans on a year-to-year basis.
Erik: Jauan Jennings gets credit for anything we want to give him credit for.
Nathanael: That play took longer than four seconds. Four seconds of game time ran off, but it took like six or seven seconds for it to be completed.
“It is Tuesday & I’m still watching the #DobbnailBoot on repeat. At what point to I admit I have a problem?” – Carter Lawrence
Daniel: Call your doctor if you watch it for more than four straight hours, but outside of that, I’d say you’re very normal.
Erik: The year 2025.
Nathanael: I’m still laughing at Daniel’s answer as I write this. Watch it as much as you want, my friend. Don’t let anybody tell you to stop.
“Everyone knows that this 4 game stretch is most important, but of the 5 games left, which has the biggest upset potential?” – Shawn Waite
Daniel: Based on what we’ve seen so far this year, it would not surprise me at all to see one or two of those final five games come down to the wire. I’m going to go with Vanderbilt for now. The Commodores have looked atrocious at times, but they had a great shot to beat Florida at home this past week. They generally play stingy defense, and running back Ralph Webb will be one of the best players UT sees down the stretch. Vandy might be playing for bowl eligibility in that one, and they would love nothing more than to get that and possibly knock UT out of Atlanta in that game.
Erik: I’m gonna say Missouri. The way they throw the football, they can put points up. Don’t take them lightly.
Nathanael: I think South Carolina is the worst team in the SEC, so not them. I think Missouri’s offense is overblown because they’ve scored 140 of their 185 points against Eastern Michigan and Delaware State. So not them. Kentucky’s defense won’t be able to stop anything Tennessee does, so not them either. That leaves Vanderbilt, so I suppose them. They do have a really good defense and strong run game, so that does pose a bit of a problem. But they did last year too, and Tennessee dropped 50 points on them.
“What are the best spots or things to do in Austin/College Station?” – Blake Richmond
Daniel: This will be my first trip to College Station, but my good friend Drew is an A&M grad, so I turned to him for advice on what to do there this weekend. He said:
1. Go to Layne’s – it’s in a College Station classic. It’s basically the original Raising Cane’s.
2. Go to the Midnight Yell. Show up at Kyle Field on Friday night for an Aggies version of a pep rally. It really does start at midnight.
3. Watch the corps of cadets and the Fighting Texas Aggies Band matching into the stadium about an hour and a half before kickoff.
Also, I’m supposed to pass on a warning not to walk on the grass by the Memorial Student Center (the big building across from the stadium), and to take off your hat if you go inside.
“Jennings/2032 . Too soon?” – @NeylandMafia
Daniel: If he keeps up his current pace, at least governor is a foregone conclusion.
Nathanael: I already tweeted “Jauan Jennings for President” after he made that Hail Mary catch, so I’m obviously on board here.