The Tennessee Volunteers and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face off on Saturday in Knoxville in a college football battle of two week one winners.
The Tennessee Volunteers opened the Butch Jones era with a win on Saturday but while it was the 800th win for Tennessee, it was hardly that much to get excited about as they played against a greatly overmatched opponent in FCS Austin Peay. With the Vols up 42-0 at the half most of the starters were pulled as Tennessee called off the dogs. QB Justin Worley played just the first half but he completed 11 of 13 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns. Rajeon Neal ran for 142 yards and a touchdown and Marlon Lane ran for two touchdowns. Alton Howard caught three passes including a touchdown, Marquez North had three catches, and Jonathan Johnson caught two passes. The UT defense allowed just 211 yards, 99 in the first half, and was dominant. Byron Moore had five tackles, Marlon Walls has three tackles including a sack, and Malik Foreman had three tackles and an interception. While a win is a win, we learned very little about Tennessee in week one.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Bobby Petrino era as they knocked off Kentucky in week one. QB Brandon Doughty was simply outstanding going 27 for 34 despite several outright drops and throwing for 271 yards and a touchdown. The WKU running game was outstanding with Antonio Andrews rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown, Leon Allen rushing for 92 yards and a touchdown, and Keshawn Simpson rushing for two touchdowns. Mitchell Henry and Willie McNeal had six catches each and Taywan Taylor had four catches as Doughty spread the ball around. Overall Western Kentucky’s defense allowed 419 yards and 26 points so there is plenty to work on but Xavius Boyd had 10 tackles including two sacks and Andrew Jackson and Jonathan Dowling had eight tackles each. WKU has a tougher test this week in a tougher environment and we will get a lot better idea as to just how good this football team may be.
Tennessee is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games against the Sun Belt, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, and 2-9-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Western Kentucky is 5-0 against the spread against the SEC, 11-3 against the spread following a win, and 6-2 against the spread against a team with a winning record.
I expect to see some offense in this one and for them to get the best of it as this one goes over the total and that is my free pick. I also have a strong play on who will cover the spread and I will post that strong pick in the Premium Area.