Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC) is looking to pick up its’ third win of the season Saturday when South Alabama (2-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) comes to Knoxville.
The Vols are coming off two straight losses to nationally-ranked Oregon and Florida. South Alabama does not present the same challenges Tennessee faced against the Ducks or Gators, but the Vols must do a good job of not overlooking the Jaguars.
South Alabama was a last second field goal against Southern Utah away from being undefeated so far this season, and they have picked up a win over Western Kentucky, a foe the Vols have also beaten.
This could be a trap game of sorts for the Vols, with South Alabama being the only unranked opponent out of a six game stretch that began with Oregon. If the Vols want to go to a bowl game, this is an absolutely crucial game.
A quarterback change in the Florida game failed, and Justin Worley is back to taking the snaps. Nathan Peterman started last week, but he was abysmal, throwing for only five yards and hurting his hand. Worley played better than Peterman and looked sharper than he had all season, but the Vols are definitely shaky at quarterback.
The quarterback position is not the only offensive problem that needs to be corrected. A receiver needs to step up, and now that they are relatively healthy, that may be possible. That would go a long way in helping the quarterback woes.
Another key for the Vols will be turnovers. They must limit their own, and they need to force the Jaguars into some, much like Tennessee was able to do against Western Kentucky. The Vols are third in the nation in forced turnovers with 12, a tally that is enough to lead the SEC. The Vols average 11.25 points off of turnovers per game, which is fifth in the nation.
If the Vols can get something going in the passing game and force the Jaguars into mistakes, the Vols should get back over .500 and get a little momentum going into the heart of their schedule.
Kickoff will be 12:21 Saturday in Neyland Stadium, and the game will be televised by SEC TV
Edited by Will Lomas