The hype is through the roof for the Tennessee Volunteers, but it can all go horribly wrong against an Appalachian State team that could be the best in the Sun Belt. Check out the Tennessee vs. Appalachian State fearless prediction and preview.
Tennessee vs. Appalachian State Game Preview
Date: Thursday, September 1st
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN
Network: SEC Network
Why Appalachian State Will Win
This is the last type of sure-thing-win type of team you want to play to start the season. Of course the Vols are better, more talented, and should win by a ton – on paper.
This is a very experienced, very savvy Appalachian State team with absolutely nothing to lose. It’s got a veteran quarterback in Taylor Lamb who knows what he’s doing, it might have the best running back in the game in Marcus Cox, and it’s got the type of O line that might just be good enough to keep the improved Tennessee defensive front in check.
Nine starters are back on an ASU defense that finished 11th in the nation last year, and now should have one of the Sun Belt’s best linebacking corps with John Law the type of playmaker who can come out of this thing with 16 tackles.
Again, Tennessee is obviously better, but it can’t just show up and think the Mountaineers will roll over.
Why Tennessee Will Win
Okay, Appalachian State is good, but Tennessee could come out and end this thing right away with a few good early scoring drives.
The Mountaineer receiving corps shouldn’t be able to do much of anything against the Volunteer secondary, and while Marcus Cox might be a terrific back, Tennessee has had a whole offseason to focus on stopping him. Hold the ASU ground game to next to nothing, and the offense won’t work. Get up 14-0, and Tennessee can coast.
Being hyped up as the IT team can swing both ways. While it jacks up the opponent and cranks up the expectations, there’s also a reason why the Vols are supposed to be in for a good season. It’s a Thursday night game on the opening weekend with everyone paying attention – it might really be football time in Tennessee if all the parts come out working.
What’s Going To Happen?
Appalachian State is really, really good – and it’s about to run into a buzzsaw. Tennessee will look the part from the opening kickoff with a sharp, focused effort that puts this away after the first quarter. The Mountaineers will convert points off a few second half takeaways, but it won’t be nearly enough.
Tennessee vs. Appalachian State Prediction
Final Score: Tennessee 44, Appalachian State 17
Line: Tennessee -20.5, o/u: 57.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 2.5
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2