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Even with Tyler Bray and multiple standout receivers on the offense last season, Tennessee could only muster five wins, with only one of them coming in SEC play. That was against Kentucky in the final game of the season. Now, with their fourth different head coach since 2008 in Butch Jones, the Volunteers will just be hoping they can reach five or six wins again. While they will be extra fresh in the passing game, the Vols will look to lean on their running game for most of their offense this season. The backfield duo of Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane will be back as well as most of their offensive line that was already a top asset last season. However, when big SEC defenses feast on their rushing attack, will a quarterback step up and lead the way? Junior Justin Worley will likely get the first shot under center at the beginning of the season.
After getting demolished in almost every game last year, their defense can only go up (one would think). They allowed a ridiculous 40 points per game last year in the SEC which isn't going to win you many games. Sure, they have talent, but that doesn't mean anything unless you can put it together. Butch Jones has a lot on his plate on both sides of the ball.
Oddsmakers would seem to agree. They give the Vols very little chance of being in the big picture. Their current odds to win the BCS Title are 650 to 1 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and 1000 to 1 at sportsbook.ag.
2013 Tennessee Vols Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Austin Peay
Sept. 7 vs. Western Kentucky
Sept. 14 at Oregon
Sept. 21 at Florida
Sept. 28 vs. South Alabama
Oct. 5 vs. Georgia
Oct. 19 vs. South Carolina
Oct. 26 at Alabama
Nov. 1 at Missouri
Nov. 9 vs. Auburn
Nov. 23 vs. Vanderbilt
Nov. 30 at Kentucky
Once again, Tennessee is going to have a very difficult schedule. In addition to the stacked SEC, they also get to travel to Oregon which could turn into a bloodbath. That's one of the highest scoring offenses in the nation in just the third week of the season for a defense that hasn't shown much lately. The only difference in their SEC schedule is that Auburn will be replacing Mississippi State which doesn't change a whole lot.
After Oregon, they get to travel to Florida. Just two weeks after that, they will probably be facing three straight games against Top 10 opponents in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Luckily, the Vols will get somewhat of a break from the powerhouses toward the end of the season which is where they can go for some wins. Missouri, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Kentucky are all beatable, but it probably isn't realistic thinking they can win all four of them.
Tennessee fans will have to sit through another disappointing season unless they can get a quarterback and some new wide receivers that can put up points like last season. Even then, their defense probably won't be enough. All Butch Jones will be looking for is improvement which means six wins.
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