Can Tennessee football keep its winning streak alive?

Tennessee football takes on the Missouri Tigers in an SEC showdown on Saturday afternoon. This game marks the season home opener for the Vols at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee is 1-0 on the season after their close victory against the South Carolina Gamecocks, which increased its winning streak to seven.

Can the Vols keep their streak going this Saturday? The answer to that question is yes, and here’s why.

Jarrett Guarantano will be better

The veteran quarterback struggled last weekend with hitting his receivers and completing passes. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt talked a lot this week about getting Guarantano extra reps with his wide receivers. Tennessee’s receivers are ready to catch and run. They had a great showing against the Gamecocks when the passes were completed. The Vols have one game under their belt, so this Saturday, there will be better connections on the field and a better-looking offense. Missouri’s defensive backs better make sure to be on their toes because Guarantano has something to prove, and he will do that on Saturday.

Missouri is lacking experience

The Tigers went through a lot of changes for this current season. The team has a new head coach with Eliah Drinkwitz, who has a lot of work to make the Tigers into a competitive SEC team. Missouri comes in with a new coaching staff, quarterback and other positions. Mizzou doesn’t yet know who it will choose to be the quarterback this Saturday. It can be Shawn Robinson or Connor Bazelak leading the offense on Saturday. No matter who is chosen for the game, the Vols’ veteran defense will be just fine.

First home game of the season

Playing in Knoxville gives Tennessee the home-field advantage. Will there be a full stadium? Well, no. The usual attendance of over 100,000 screaming fans is cut down to 25,000 due to COVID-19. Even with the attendance cut down, the Vols will still feel the Rocky Top energy. The inexperienced Tigers will fold under the pressure of playing in Knoxville, especially against a heavily veteran team. It will be fun to watch and hear the Volunteers fans scream Rocky Top at the top of their lungs. I know I loved hearing it when I was there two years ago.

Vols defense is going to dominate

The Volunteers have a strong defensive line and a secondary that dominates. The veteran defensive line has a good chance of having a field day against the Tigers offense. Last weekend, the Vols’ defense was all over South Carolina quarterback Colin Hill. Darrell Taylor had 2.5 sacks and helped cause Henry To’o To’o’s pick-six against the Gamecocks. The defense disappointed on the game’s first drive but pulled together the rest of the game when they maintained the pressure. Tennessee football will have an impressive pass rush that will rattle the Tigers’ quarterback, whoever that may be.

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