Vols’ season assumes unwanted theme
By John Brice | http://VolQuest.com Senior Writer
Now, the gnashing of teeth begins in earnest only because the final whistle Saturday night at Scott Field brings another disappointing road loss into the history books for Tennessee football.
Fair or not, speculation is now the theme of this Volunteers’ season.
Can this team break its October Southeastern Conference hex, an skid of infamy stretching through nearly 1,080 days of Halloween-month darkness? Tennessee hasn’t beaten an SEC team in October, or any SEC team other than Kentucky, Ole Miss or Vanderbilt since 2009. With top-five residents Alabama and South Carolina looming, logic dictates no.
Can this team block out the distractions and at least win its four highly winnable November games? It would give Tennessee a 7-5 ledger, a victory (Missouri) it badly needs against someone other than those aforementioned SEC middling peers and allow some postseason bowl game.
Can Derek Dooley overcome hiring Sal Sunseri? Harsh, perhaps. But for all the Vols’ struggles on special teams and at inopportune moments at the quarterback position, they are mostly scoring plenty enough points to win. They are vastly improved in running the football. They now can somewhat consistently even pick up third-and-short situations on the ground.
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