At 7:30 pm ET on Saturday night, Neyland Stadium will be roaring in front of a sellout crowd for the first time a few years, as the No.12 Ole Miss Rebels come to town. The environment will be hostile, offensive fireworks are expected to be on display, and someone is going to come out with a huge win for their season. The VR2 on SI staff share their predictions here.
I know Josh Heupel said you don't go into this game chasing points, and I think that stands for any game, but there will be points scored in this one, and likely a lot. It comes down to which defense gets off the field the most, and that is the tough part. I have liked Ole Miss all season long, and I still do, but I think the Vols have the momentum right now with Ole Miss coming off of two highly intense games. I will say Tennessee 52-48, but this one is a toss-up for me, and I wouldn't feel comfortable betting either team's moneyline.
No one can deny that Tennessee has loads of momentum coming into Week 7 following two big wins over Mizzou and South Carolina. They weren't just big wins, Tennessee put up 28 in the first quarter both weeks. Needless to say, Josh Heupel's offense is clicking at a high level for the first time this season. And the defense is doing its job.
However, Tennessee has not had to face an opponent like Matt Corral and Ole Miss.
While I am buying in on Tennessee's offense, especially Hendon Hooker and Tiyon Evans, I am not sold that the Vols will be able to handle the quick throws and explosiveness of the Rebels passing attack. Therefore, I have Ole Miss barely out-dueling the Vols in a sold out Neyland, but Tennessee will prove that it can hang with one of the top offenses in the SEC.
Rebels 44, Vols 38
There’s no overstating how massive this game is for Tennessee, and I think the Vols feed off that in the first half to contain Matt Corral and put up points. But in the late-going, when Corral could still be going strong, I’m not sure the Vols’ defense will be able to make the stops they need to pull out a win.
Ole Miss 42, Tennessee 35