OKLAHOMA AT TENNESSEE
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Line: Tennessee +1.5; O/U 62.5
Tennessee last hosted a Top 25 opponent as a Top 25 team in 2012. It, uh, didn’t go well.
That Tennessee team, in Derek Dooley’s final season, had no business being ranked. Florida made that abundantly clear. Butch Jones has a far superior Volunteer squad this time around, but can it proves its hype is warranted this time around?
The Vols have been dreadful in marquee games, going 1-27 against ranked opponents their last 28 times out. However, the sole win came under Jones against South Carolina in 2013. Tennessee’s also been close the last few outings against Georgia.
I don’t expect Tennessee to roll over as it did against ranked opponents in the end of Phil Fulmer’s run, under Lane Kiffin or under Dooley, but the Vols having surrendered over 400 yards to Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson is a cause for concern.
Injuries mounted in the Tennessee secondary during the summer, and it showed last week. Paired against new Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s spread attack, I like risk-taker Baker Mayfield to deliver plenty of big plays.
Speaking of big plays, the first collision between Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker and Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd should elicit a collective “oooh” from the Neyland Stadium audience.
— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) September 10, 2015
Tennessee’s a good team, but the upswing it ended last season on might have the Vols slightly overrated. Conversely, Oklahoma’s less-than-favorable conclusion to 2014 has made the Sooners uncharacteristically underrated.