What’s Tennessee going to do this season? What’s going to happen in each game and how will the 2016 Volunteers’ football schedule play out?
2016 Tennessee Volunteers Schedule Breakdown
The pressure is on Tennessee to finally take the big step forward and be the star of the SEC East – is the schedule going to work out well enough to make it happen? Check out the preseason predictions for every game.
Sept. 3 vs. Appalachian State
The Volunteers will be jacked up to kick off what’s supposed to be a big huge season, but they’re going to be in for a fight against a veteran Appalachian State team good enough to win the Sun Belt title. They’ll get the win, but it’ll take a quarter to open it up and chill out the Vol fans.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 41, Appalachian State 10
Sept. 10 vs. Virginia Tech (in Bristol)
Hokie head coach Justin Fuente will be looking to make a giant early statement, and he’ll have the offense working, but the Vols will win the firefight in the speedway environment. Both teams will play up to the setting.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 37, Virginia Tech 31
Sept. 17 vs. Ohio
A rock-solid MAC team, Ohio should be deep in the hunt for the conference title game, but it’ll be run over by a Volunteer steamroller. Tennessee will look ahead to the showdown coming up, but it’ll still hit the putt – even if it’s not the prettiest of efforts.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 31, Ohio 17
Sept. 24 vs. Florida
It’s the moment Tennessee needs to have. After a heartbreaking loss last year when they just couldn’t get a fourth down stop when absolutely needed, the Vols will finally break the long, long 11-game losing streak to their SEC rival. It’ll be party time – this is when the SEC East title dream really looks possible, and then solidified by …
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 27, Florida 16
Oct. 1 at Georgia
If the Florida game set the tone for the Tennessee season, the Georgia win on the road will take the division by the horns and all but end the fight. The Vols won’t be smooth, and they won’t be able to come up with the most even of performances, but the Georgia O will sputter in the fourth just when it’s needed the most.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 24, Georgia 20
Oct. 8 at Texas A&M
Just when it seems like Tennessee is unstoppable with a 5-0 start and all but locking up the SEC East title, pffffffffft. The air will come out of the balloon with a flat game against a Texas A&M team back at home for the first time in three weeks. The Aggie offense will be terrific in one of its best performances of the year.
Preseason Prediction: Texas A&M 35, Tennessee 23
Oct. 15 vs. Alabama
The world will write off Tennessee after a clunker in College Station against the unbeaten Crimson Tide, and then everything will bounce right back. Coming off a road game at Arkansas, Alabama won’t have a big pep in its step, and it’ll show as the Vols get off to a huge start – and hang on for dear life. Bama will fight back, but the passing game won’t come through in the clutch. By the way, this is the last game of the regular season against a team that went bowling last year.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 26, Alabama 20
Oct. 22 OPEN DATE
Oct. 29 at South Carolina
The week off will come at just the right time for a Tennessee team coming in off the high of the Alabama win. South Carolina will be relatively fresh after a bye week and a layup against UMass, but it won’t be enough. It’ll be tight for a little while, and then the Vols will drop a hammer and dominate in the second half with two big scoring drives.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 38, South Carolina 17
Nov. 5 vs. Tennessee Tech
Want to know what Tennessee’s season and schedule shapes up well? It’s able to ease into the finishing kick with a light scrimmage. It’s a depth game getting the backups in after coming out hot in the first half. The team will be ready to roll for the last few games.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 52, Tennessee Tech 10
Nov. 12 vs. Kentucky
Kentucky will be coming in after dealing with defensive fights against Missouri and Georgia – at least the Wildcats will have to face the tough Ds. Tennessee will be rolling in what’ll be a walk in the park against the cashed Cats. The Vols will own the game from the kickoff.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 45, Kentucky 17
Nov. 19 vs. Missouri
It’s the final home game of the year, and Vol fans will be ready to take the SEC East title and sew it all up, but everyone will have to bite their nails as Missouri makes this a four quarter fight. Late in the game, Tennessee will rise up and take their title with one long, sustained drive to put it away.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 27, Missouri 17
Nov. 26 at Vanderbilt
Tennessee will be off to the SEC title game the next week, but it’ll still have to care to stay in the playoff hunt. Vanderbilt will throw everything at the Vols on both sides of the ball, but the drama will stop after a few Commodore turnovers in the second half.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 23, Vanderbilt 13