The Tennessee Volunteers dominated the Austin Peay Governors in a 45-0 win, as expected. However, there are a few things to take away from this game that future Tennessee opponents should be very worried about.
The Volunteers’ defense is not as weak as it was last year. Although against an FCS offense, last year’s defense would have let Austin Peay put up at least three or four touchdowns. Tennessee’s 2013 defense did no such thing. They shut down any hope the Governors had of scoring for the entire game.
Justin Worley showed very mature decision making in his first real game as the go-to-quarterback for the Volunteers. He was accurate and efficient, which is just what a team with the best offensive line in the country needs. Running back Rajion Neal is the real deal. He put up 141 yards, and, with the best offensive line in the country in front of him, will continue to rack up yards against even the best SEC defenses.
Tennessee showed that it may not be the pushover SEC team that many expect them to be. Although the Volunteers probably won’t win any of the big games during that ridiculously difficult stretch where they play the Oregon Ducks, Florida Gators, South Carolina Gamecocks, Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide, they might be able to cause some havoc for the potentially bowl eligible SEC teams.
The Volunteers play the Missouri Tigers, the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Auburn Tigers at the end of the season. All are teams that could potential earn a bowl bid. Tennessee is definitely capable of beating these teams down the stretch and crushing their chances at a bowl appearance.
Although Tennessee will most likely not get into a bowl game at the end of the 2013 season, the future is very bright for Butch Jones and the Volunteers. Expect to hear a lot of Rocky Top in the SEC in years to come.