Tennessee vs. BYU: Prediction, pick, odds, line, point spread, football game, preview, kickoff time,
The Volunteers and Cougars are both coming off opening-weekend losses
It has been rough for Tennessee the last few seasons, and 2019 has not gotten off to a good start in for the Volunteers as they were the victim of one of the most stunning upsets of opening weekend when UT lost to Georgia State 38-30 in front of a stunned crowd at Neyland Stadium. The Panthers actually looked like they had more talent on the field after sacking Volunteers quarterback Jarrett Guarantano four times and forcing three turnovers.
BYU did not have a great Week 1 either, losing to rival Utah in the Holy War in what was one of the most physical games in Week 1. The Cougars turned the ball over three times and rushed for just 92 yards against the Utes in the 30-12 loss that was hardly close after the first quarter.
Needless to say, desperation will fill Neyland Stadium when the Vols and Cougars square off. Who will get win No. 1 on Saturday? Let's break down the game and make a pick in a must-win game for Tennessee and badly want-to win for BYU.
Tennessee: A team improves most between the first and second games of the season, and coach Jeremy Pruitt better hope that he's done enough to not only fix the problems from the opener, but ensure that the focus of his players is squarely on the opponent and not elsewhere. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has to improve upon an up-and-down game in which he made some mistakes, but he did throw for 311 yards in the loss. The real problem for the Vols was a remarkable inability to run the football. That falls squarely on the offensive line, which was the primary question facing the offense in the offseason. Tennessee's defense struggled to get the Panthers offense off schedule, which led to sustained drives that ultimately tired out the defense. If Tennessee is going to get in the win column, it'll have to win the battle on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
BYU: The Cougars have grown adults along the defensive and offensive lines, and the big men up front have to be salivating while watching tape of a Tennessee team that got whipped up front by Georgia State. Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson was inconsistent against the Utes but showed off his arm and his legs with 208 passing yards and 43 more rushing. If the Cougars are going to spring the mild upset, Wilson and running back Ty'Son Williams will have to set the tone and then work off play-action.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 7 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Neyland Stadium -- Knoxville, Tennessee
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, picks
Things will go from bad to worse for the Volunteers when the Cougars roll into Rocky Top and hand them loss No. 2. Vols running backs Ty Chandler and Eric Gray will struggle to get things going, BYU's defense will disrupt plays behind the line of scrimmage and make this an old-school slugfest. Typically, I'd side with an SEC school in this type of game, but not this time. Wilson will lead a late touchdown drive to send the Vols further down the pit of misery. Pick: BYU (+3.5)
So what picks can you make with confidence in Week 2, and which favored top-25 team goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,500 in profit over the past four seasons.
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