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Tennessee football leaving troubles behind, ‘We expect to win the East’

SystemSystem Posts: 10,737 admin
edited July 2023 in Article commenting
imageTennessee football leaving troubles behind, ‘We expect to win the East’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Coach Josh Heupel couldn’t help but take a moment to reflect on everything he has accomplished the past two years bringing glory back to Tennessee football.

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    navydawgnavydawg Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yep I Expect a dump truck load of gold delivered to my house !! Got my fingers crossed !! 🙄

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    We are going to embarrass them this year in their own stadium.

    This may be the best team we have ever had. I predict the defense will be the best by the end of the year we have ever had. The offense by end of year will be the highest scoring offense Georgia has ever fielded.

    Georgia by 24 before Kirby calls off the Dawgs in the 4th.

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    BrooksieBrooksie Posts: 529 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2023

    So I just took a peek at the Tenn schedule. They have:

    Austin Peay

    UTSA

    UCON

    Mizzu

    Vandy.

    yes the last 2 are SEC. BUT two of the teams that have a desire to grow ( ok I’ll say it. The weaker SEC teams)

    In their defense they do have UGA and Bama. They could loose to SC and Bama. And easily one more unexpected loss. So if you are counting unexpected losses. Uga would be 11-1 and Tenn 10-2.

    if you are going the route of expected losses UGA 12-0 /Tenn 10-2 either way the Dawgs win the East

    I predict they will be 9-3.

    2022 was their LSU year, but without Burrow and had to face a much better Georgia squad. They fall back to “wait till next year”

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I think this is exactly my prediction (9-3). I just don't see them coming into our game with less than 2 losses. I suppose it is possible. I think they will struggle because of the line play and you don't lose 2 wrs like that and not lose a little bit of production. Love their qb but I think he will make more mistakes than Hooker. They have a really good team but the schedule doesn't set up well.

    Texas A&M, @Alabama and @Kentucky 3 weeks in a row is a gauntlet. Then @Missouri before our game. Missouri should have a really good defense this year and an improved offense. I see 2 losses in those 4 games but best case they win all but Bama.

    Tennessee is rebuilding this year and we are at full strength imo. Next year is our rebuilding year when we lose 8 starting linemen and everyone's best chance to get us. Not this year though. Not this year. We are beating everyone...badly.

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    DawggolferDawggolfer Posts: 49 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Yes, and you expected to be ranked #1 last year for more than 5 days.

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    ChiefChief Posts: 62 ✭✭✭ Junior

    To Heupel I'd have to say, like Daddy always did...spit in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first! He and the quarterback cried and made excuses for last years loss...I doubt this year Wil be any different.

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    CDDawgsCDDawgs Posts: 61 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Oh.... Hahahaha ha. Keep dreaming Mike.

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    NorthHallDawgNorthHallDawg Posts: 90 ✭✭✭ Junior

    It's always good to have a goal and dream big... ;-)

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2023

    I re-watched the G Day game a few nights ago. It sure seemed like the O passed up and down the field against the D. CKS's comments before the half showed that he was not happy with the D's effort. All 3 QB's played well and had their moments.

    We all know that there is no Jalen Carter type game wrecker on the DL(but good depth) . We hope that Mykel Williams (and maybe MJ Jr) elevates his game into a top pass rusher.

    But what really concerned me was the CB play. S is solid. There's good depth at S. TSmith looked like an AA. But the CB's did not look good. Lassiter struggled w/coverage last year and is better known for his tackling. NGreen still looks like he hasn't figured it out yet (after 2 full yrs in the program). AJ Harris is a freshman with a long way to go. I was finally coming around on SBouie being a contributor. Now he is gone.

    So what is evident is that DEverette and JHumphrey have to make major strides for this D to approach the UGA D standard established the last 2 years. IF you have only 2-3 CB's that are decent there is no margin for injury.

    The front 7 and S's can help to cover up some deficiencies at CB but the top 4 CB's need to play better and stay healthy. There will be no crowd noise to help them this year in Knoxville.

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I don't know how much I agree with your take here. First of all you are talking about a Joe Moore Offensive Line here. In my opinion, and Phil Steele's, the best OL in the country.

    Next of all you have some very accurate passers in our QB room. Stet was great but not nearly as accurate as the guys we have now imo. Plus we have better wrs as a group. Do not under estimate what having Bowers and McKonkey back for a 3rd year will mean for our offense. Plus Lovett, geesh.

    We do have 3 or 4 guys I think will be wreckers. Stack, Brinson, Williams, Smith, and Hall. Hall is going to be a better Carter. So get ready for it. Not concerned, when Kirby got on them at half the defense shut the offense down in G day.

    You are wrong about AJ and Everette. AJ played very well for a freshman with 3 months in college playing against NFL receivers. He is going to be a future 1st or 2nd rounder. Everette is a stud and will be fine.

    I really don't know if we watched the same game but when you play against yourself someone always loses.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    That is an optimistic take. Especially about all the DL being "wreckers". You failed to mention CMiller who may have the size AND athleticism to become a guy that is VERY difficult to block. Just probably not this season. The rest of the guys are solid but not spectacular.

    Hall and AJ are freshmen. No doubt they'll be good. Just not sure they'll be SEC starting good in 5 months (11/18). There is a lot of strength and bulk for freshmen players to make up in their 1st season.

    "the defense will be the best by the end of the year we have ever had". Hat's off for a bold and extremely optimistic fan take. My point was the wr's were running wide open all over the field on G Day. The CB's were not close in coverage. Maybe the coaches had the D back off to give the QB's an easier path that day? But based on CKS's comments he wasn't expecting the O to pass it so easily down the field. Big chunk plays because the CB's weren't close.

    Right now there is no shutdown corner. Everette is probably the closest to that. Lassiter got exposed by OSU. But he is a good in run support and a good CB. Green has been here 2 years and has yet to show much. Humphrey 1 yr and ditto. The top 4 AND Harris have to all take a step up from what I saw on G Day for the '23 D to be close to the '21 or '22 D.

    Yup the O looked good. OL, very good. QB's good. TE's good. WR's good. But 8 completions of at least 17 yards plus a big PI on Harris does not say "ready for TN's O" yet for me.

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I am a fan. The word on the street is Jordan is ready now. I don't mean like just ready to play. I mean ready to cause havoc and be a train wrecker. You heard it here first.

    Now as far as AJ goes he will start next year and be a dependable backup this year. His hands are great for a corner and he has all the other intangibles as well. You are so wrong on Harris but good grief if you want to tell me a guy with 2 weeks of spring ball practice defines a true freshman then have at it.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I am just not as willing to anoint freshman as starters and/or major contributors on playoff contending teams. History, under CKS, , has shown that UGA typically has 1 or 2 freshman that play more than a spot player role. Last year it was Starks and ?? Trying to remember another freshman that was a major contributor on O or D in '22. Even Starks had his growing pains. I remember a couple balls getting over his head for TD's (FU and TN?).

    Both Harris and Hall should be excellent players for UGA. In time. IF Harris plays a major role at CB this year it will mean that Green, Everette and Humphrey are failing to develop and live up to their rankings. Or multiple guys got hurt. Or Harris is significantly better than the guys already experienced in the program. Just not likely. Even the #1 overall recruit in '22 CB Travis Hunter struggled against that level of competition. That's despite playing in the top HS classification in GA, being coached by Deion Sanders, getting all the practice reps, being higher ranked than Harris and generally considered a better player/athlete.. Yet you expect AJ Harris to come in and be a major contributor for UGA in yr 1 in the SEC and playoff games. It could happen but the odds are against it.

    I feel even less confident that Hall will be more than a spot player. He will be going against guys 3-4-5 years older that will outweigh him by 20-30 lbs and have been in a CFB (SEC) strength program for multiple years. He will be getting hit from all angles as a DT on plays designed to move him away from the play. On top of that, CKS generally plays his upper classmen over freshman. CKS wants to showcase the guys that stuck around and worked and he knows that freshman will have yr 2 and yr 3 to shine.

    The bright side is, unless UGA struggles at QB, UGA will not be really challenged until the TN game. So everybody should get ample game reps to develop in live game situations.

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I think Kirby finds a way to get guys in the game. Mykel and Starks are both good examples. Bear later in the season, but then had a good impact.

    This year it will be Raylen, Hall, AJ, Aguero, Luckie, Williams and maybe Bowles. Not saying any of those guys starts because I don't think that is the case.

    As for 2nd year guys looking great and will be impact players that weren't last year I'm looking for Daris Smith, Greene, Fairlane, and Everette.

    To say we are loaded is a gross understatement. We are 3 deep in many cases.

    I'm going to come back to Hall though. He is day 1 in the rotation potential co-starter by end of year.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2023

    Hard to disagree that multiple freshmen play. CKS does play a lot of freshmen. But my original statement was that CB looks like the the questionable position on the D based on the spring game. Guys were, surprisingly, running free and QB's were playing pitch and catch w/wr's.

    The DL rotation will contain 13, 52,78, 90, 93, 94, 96, 97 ...... you get the picture. 44 and 55 will find their way into the rotation. Does 44 become the lead Dawg by the end of the season? Possible but not probable. If he does he will be doing something that JCarter and Travon Walker were unable to do as freshmen.

    CB is a different animal. CB's are on an island with nothing but 6 pts behind them. The UGA D is complex and takes a while to master. Until AJ Harris is well versed in the nuances of the D he is unlikely to take game reps from the top 3-4 CB's.

    I would expect a lot of guys to get better from fall camp to the playoffs. Not just freshmen. Freshmen just usually take longer to develop because they have to develop their physicality before they can compete at the SEC level. There are exceptions. Remember Jalen Carter pushing Shaeffer (?) off the field in the 1 on 1 drill? Are Hall and Harris exceptions? We will see. But while CKS plays a lot of freshmen he seems less likely to throw freshmen into a big role unless they are more ready than the more experienced players ahead of them. Especially at an unforgiving position like CB.

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Well we are just going to have to agree to disagree. I believe we have a top 5 CB room in the country if not higher than that. This to me is not a case of which guy to play because they are not good. It is a case of they are all great and which one of the 4 should play the most (not counting Lassiter because he is penned in). So Everette, Greene (maybe he moves to safety more), Humphries, and AJ.

    Now, Raylen will get playing time due to Smael's injury. So look for Raylen early and often until Smael returns.

    Hall will be in the rotation day1. Look for him to come in on obvious passing downs and then get worked in later on for running downs as well.

    Lastly, as I mentioned sometimes spring games are misleading when you have 3 future NFL, maybe more playing wide receiver and tight end for our team. AJ has been enrolled since January I think with a whopping 14 practices (some not in pads) in college being thrown against future draft picks in the 1st to 5th round. So that is a lot to ask a guy in college for 3 months but I thought he did well and flashed a bit. I really like his aggressive hands.

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