There is no denying that the SEC is the best conference in college football. At the same time, there is no denying those numbers are not AS GREAT when you take away the games played in the friendly confines of southern weather and fans. For example, Tennessee has only lost two season openers in the last 16 years and both of those times were games on the West Coast against Pac 10 schools. To take it even a step further, the mighty Volunteers are 3-9-1 when traveling to the West Coast to play football. Right now the line for this one has Tennessee sitting at a 7-point favorite as they make another West Coast trip and try to keep the SEC flavor alive after the "southern boys" handed out beatdowns on Thursday Night Football.On and off paper, I do not see how Tennessee does not blow the Bruins out? On paper, UCLA is not returning a ton of starters and also is trying to work in the new QB against an SEC powerhouse. Off paper, a friend close to the UCLA program said their interior line looks bad; REALLY bad. He went as far as saying he does not see how Tennessee does not DESTROY the Bruins this weekend. Obviously, we know how stuff like that (rumors and second hand information) goes, a coin flip at best when it is all said and done.For all you SEC and Pac 10 gurus, how do you think this game will play out? Will history hold true for the Vols when traveling away from home territory or will the current state of affairs lead to the Bruins getting rolled in front of the West Coast faithful? I guess that is why they call it gambling.....
gambling rule #1: too good to be true......well, you know the rest.
STACK, The thing cutcliffe brought was disclipline. New OC Clawson is a big improvement in play-calling as Tenn was so predictable. Tenn will run the "spread" and play fast with a no-huddle. The players .love Clawson, think he is an offensive genius. Still unknown as to how quickly they grasp the system, reports have been positive. Don't think cutcliffe will be missed, he ran basically the same O as in Majors' days. UCLA is also starting anew, but with less talent.
Tenn. has a lot of weapons back on offense. The offensive line has everyone back. they are looking for a fullback and have a new quarterback ( Jon Crompton) and offensive co. |( Dave Clawson) Arian Foster is back at tailback. The offense should be able to score some. Getting Brandon Warren cleared to play was hugh. He was a big time frreshman at Fla. St. a couple yrs. ago. All three recievers are back from last yr. Crompton has had a problem in the spring and the scrimmages this fall throwing into coverage. If he plays within himself and they don't turn the ball over they should be ok. the defense returns two ok tackles but are hurting for depth. The same for the defensive ends. Ben Martin is the best pass rushing end but has trouble with the running game. The linebackers are faster than last year, but inexperienced with the excption of Elix Wilson in the middle and Rico McCoy on the outside. The secondary is loaded. The two safties may be as good as any in the country. If ulca can run then the vols might be in trouble. I just don't see ulca being able to throw the ball. Tenn should cover but the under might be worth a look.
All signs point to Tenn, but the lost of Cutliff (look what Duke did against JMU) worries me. Tenn offense was much improved during Cutliff second go around. UCLA has Norm Chow calling the plays but does not have Leinert or Rivers throwing the ball. They have 3rd Craft. I my mind is telling me Tenn easy, but I still am concerned.
Jeff Bonds PICK?
JD, The info I have is Tenn. defense is improved, better speed on outside, should be tougher vs the run, and great secondary. Crompton expected to play well (Junior QB rated top 5 recruit, big strong mobile guy), has very good OL to work behind. Tennessee's speed is the difference here, and the Vols are clearly the more experienced team. UCLA QB Craft has thrown more pics than td's in practice, I don't see a transformation in 1 week, especially with AA Eric Berry at Safety for Tenn. Tennessee added frosh AA tight end (FSU) to an already veteran receiving corp, and with Foster at RB the Vols have too many weapons. Tennessee has to lay an egg not to cover this one, and Foster being a Cal. native wants to show big for the locals. Lastly, JC-AA lb Gerald Williams, 6-3 245, was cleared to play last week by the sec and after waiting 3 years to play for the Vols, is looking to terrorize. Williams has been the tackling leader in practice. Only ? on the D is depth at DT. Probably only ? on entire team.
Man. Might have to go with UCLA in this one. Seems EVERYONE thinks Tennessee in a route. With the SEC smoking people early, is this game too good to be true?
Tenn wins by double digits...
That's bet with your HEAD!
If yall REALLY BELIEVE ---Plunk it down!! Bet with your though----not with your heart OR with hate.
Tennessee will get up by 3 Td's early. They'll cover easily but let up to not show Florida anything.
I REALLY THINK VOLS ARE SO MUCH MORE COMPLETE AS TEAM -
ALSO, STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT UCLA IS NOT NEARLY AS POOR AS FOLKS HAVE PROJECTED.....AND LOSING MANY PLAYERS FOR RICK N., AND CHOW'S HAND-PICKED QB, CRAFT - HAS REPORTEDLY HAD A TERRIFIC CAMP, AND IS GOOD SYSTEM GUY - FAST LEARNER.
TENN -7, IS MY 1/2 UNIT PLAY FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.
EVEN IN GOOD YEAR - UCLA CAN'T HANG W/VOLS FROM PERSONNEL STANDPOINT - TENN WEARS DOWN BRUINS....PLAY INTO BRUINS WEAKNESSES - DB'S AND D-LINE, TENN IS NASTY DB'S - BIG PHYSICAL, AND TENN WEAPONS ON OFFENSE, WR / RB AREAS ARE VERY GOOD - AND THEY MIGHT HAVE FINEST O-LINE IN SEC!
tough one.....good game to pass on and just watch........
Going to be a great game. Down to the wire and I go with UCLA b/c I think this one comes down to a field goal at the end