Tennessee vs. Arkansas Prediction, Game Preview

    Tennessee vs. Arkansas prediction and game preview. Both the Volunteers and Razorbacks look for their first SEC win as they battle in Knoxville.

    September 28, 2015

    This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. Tennessee (2-2) was supposed to be the breakout team of the SEC East, with all the flash, talent, and upside to roll to a great start and be a true threat for the SEC championship. It still might be, but it suffered a major blow in the loss to Florida last week. Arkansas (1-3) was supposed to be the breakout team of the SEC West, with all the power, toughness and bluster to storm its way to a great year, but three straight losses have fired off panic sirens. Check out the Tennessee vs. Arkansas prediction and game preview. 

    Tennessee vs. Arkansas Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Oct. 3
    Game Time: 7:00 pm
    Venue: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN
    Network: ESPN2

    Follow, Contact @PeteFiutak 

    Why You Need To Care

    Where has it all gone wrong for the Hogs? The passing game has been better than fans and coaches could’ve asked for, the running game hasn’t been bad, and a lot of the key parts to the team have played as well or better than expected. But a missed pass against Toledo here, a missed defensive play against Texas A&M there, and all of a sudden, this has turned into a nightmare. With next week’s road game at Alabama, and with away games at Ole Miss and LSU coming up, forget about the SEC West – just getting to a bowl game now is a tall order.

    Tennessee is still fine. This week matters, but next week’s showdown against Georgia is the really big deal, especially with a trip to Alabama still to deal with. The SEC East is winnable, but the Vols have to be better in fourth quarters and have to start playing up to their lofty expectations and talent. They could just as easily be 4-0 right now instead of 2-2, but now the young team has to figure out what it’s going to be.

    Why Arkansas Will Win

    It’s not like the Tennessee defense is able to stop anyone when it truly matters. Will Grier isn’t Danny Wuerffel, but he went 5-for-5 on fourth downs for Florida last week and threw for 283 yards and two scores in the win. Baker Mayfield launched a Heisman campaign off his fourth quarter against the Vols, and Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson went off for 433 yards in the opener – but he’s doing that against everyone. Arkansas is supposed to be a running team, but Brandon Allen and the passing game have taken center stage, averaging close to ten yards per throw and hitting 70% of the throws. The Hogs will be effective through the air.

    Why Tennessee Will Win

    The Arkansas defense can’t seem to come up with a truly meaningful stop. Texas Tech and Patrick Mahomes hit 87% of their passes two weeks ago, and Texas A&M’s Kyle Allen completed 75%. Tennessee isn’t throwing the ball as well as it’s supposed to, but Joshua Dobbs turned back into Joshua Dobbs at times last week against Florida, running well and making better plays as a baller. 115th in the nation in pass efficiency defense, Arkansas is going to have problems if the Vols finally start utilizing all their receiving weapons.

    Player Who Matters

    Okay, Derek Barnett. Time to be that superstar defensive end you’re supposed to become. Tennessee’s freshman sensation has just one sack, two tackles for loss, and 22 tackles so far, but he was a monster at times against Oklahoma making 15 stops. However, the Vol defense is supposed to be a terror in the backfield, and it only has eight sacks on the season so far – Barnett needs to be more dangerous and has to close on more big plays, especially against a tough Arkansas O line.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Florida got physical on Tennessee, but it didn’t really work – the Vols held up well. The Hogs have been able to smashmouth a bit, and they’ve been able to play ball control, but they haven’t been able to win with it. Will a Tennessee team that wears down late in games be able to hold up under the pressure and pounding? Yup, and it’ll do it by running the ball itself with Jalen Hurd and the tough group of backs.

    Tennessee vs. Arkansas Prediction

    Final Score: Tennessee 27, Arkansas 20, Line: Tennessee -6.5, o/u: 56

    Must See Rating: 5: Steve Jobs – 1: Dr. Ken … 3.5

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 4

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