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Pregamin’ Tennessee

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BUTCH’S BOYS ARE COMIN’ AND HOOO BOY THEY COMIN’ FOR A WHOOPIN’

Truman is coming to give Butch a not-so-merciful ending
Josh Matejka

Gameday Schedule:

Another Week, Another Dope Hype Video (Senior Edition):

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean:

Mizzou is rolling out a stars-and-bars helmet which looks cool on the video. I’ll wait until the game to judge though.

What the experts are saying:

1. We've been asking the same question for 3 weeks now, and everyone always has the answer of "let's see what they can do against an SEC team." And while Florida merely resembled an SEC team last week, they've still got SEC-caliber players. So let's address it again: do you believe in this team and this turnaround now?

jaeger - Every game they improve, I believe a little more. But Florida was also ostensibly the best team left on the schedule. Tennessee is in ruins, Vandy is bad, and Arkansas almost lost to Coastal Carolina last week. I believe that Drew Lock is figuring things out. I believe that, while there are still issues, the defense doesn't look completely lost on every play anymore. And I believe that Corey Fatony is the boss he always has been. I will be disappointed if Mizzou doesn't get to a bowl at this point.

dcrockett17 - I believe that what the staff is trying to do is sustainable, and that it's capable of getting the players to pull it off. What was notable about the Florida game is that Mizzou wasn't outclassed athletically, specifically at the line of scrimmage. That tends to be a good indicator of whether what you're doing is sustainable.

Josh Matejka - Yep. I’m in, baby. I’ve been on Odom’s side since the “turnaround” speech, and it feels good to have some justification. This team has some confidence now, and it’s about to face 3 teams that don’t. I’m not saying they will win out, but I’ll be upset if they’re not bowling.

AlaTiger - I believe they can win the last three games on the schedule. Whether they will or not is an open question, but it’s certainly possible. No one was saying that at the end of September.

Mitch Hill - Yes.They are the team Mizzou Fans thought they were getting at the beginning of the season, it just took 6 games. They didn’t quit and that makes me believe.

2. There are Butch Jones jokes to spare this season, but the one that gets closest to reality is that Mizzou could end his employment this weekend. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most likely), how likely is this to happen?

jaeger - I want this to happen so badly that I'm pretty afraid Mizzou will lose in some incredibly bizarre fashion, because COTG saw how much I wanted it. I am beyond the ability to evaluate the likelihood in any quantitative fashion. What's important is that we find a way to get all the coaches we play through the end of the year fired.

dcrockett17 - It's pretty low. I see little to be gained from running Jones now, when we all know that Tennessee is about as good of a job as will come open this offseason. Why manage a behind-the-scenes search and an dealing with an interim?

Josh Matejka - 2. I think Butch is gone no matter which way you slice it, but I think they’ll give him a shot to at least earn a bowl game. Once that’s out of the picture, he’s gone.

AlaTiger - Why fire him with two weeks left in the season? You might as well stick it out at this point. But I will give it a 3 due to Voluntears.

Mitch Hill - 7/10 if I had to guess. The administration has been reluctant to talk about it, so that is why I don’t have it as a 10/10.

3. Mizzou has been building on strengths and weaknesses in this 3-game streak, and if they want to win out, stopping would be a bad idea. Give us one strength and one weakness you could see impacting the rest of this season.

jaeger - At this point, I think the offense is a sufficient strength that it, as a whole, will have a big impact on the rest of the season. I still see some shortcomings on the defensive side of the ball, and I worry a little that one or more of these bad teams the next three weeks will use our mediocre secondary or questionable depth at DE to get their offense rolling. But I doubt it.

dcrockett17 - Strength: Line of scrimmage play. This hasn't been a high sack group but they've done good work against the run and get enough consistent pressure to affect the QB. On offense, this group is able to run or pass.

Weakness: Coverage. We are seeing fewer blown assignments and a much more reasonable tackling effort recently. Still, even during the streak WRs have been running free in this secondary. Hell, we haven't seen much of teams isolating Garrett to throw to RBs in space. I wouldn't be surprised to see UT go to that more than we've seen recently.

Josh Matejka - If the OL keeps playing like it has, I don’t know that anything is going to stop Mizzou. Drew Lock looks better than he’s ever looked, and when he’s being given this much time, he’s deadly. But I am still a little suspect on the defense. They’ve played good, solid football, but something is keeping me in check. Call it paranoia, if you will.

AlaTiger - The OL has become a true strength. The secondary is playing better but has a long way to go still.

Mitch Hill - The weakness would still be the edge rushing to me. I am waiting for one of the ends to have a breakout game and get something like 3-4. The strength is running the ball and the deep ball. Both of those work well with each other and again, I would like to see a deep pass to open the game. Maybe to J’Mon Moore this time because it is Senior Day after all.

4. PICK ‘EM

jaeger - No reason to get off the optimism train now. Tennessee is crumbling, it's time for a Mortal Kombat fatality on Butch Jones' career as the Vols head coach: Mizzou 52, Tennessee 20 after a garbage time Vols TD.

Josh Matejka - For some reason, this game makes me nervous. I know Tennessee isn’t as talented as Florida, but they’re also not as much of a mess. I think Mizzou wins - let’s say 38 - 31 - but I think it’s going to be a close game into the 4th.

AlaTiger - Let’s go with 38-21 Mizzou.

Mitch Hill - If you pay attention to the line, it’s at 12.5. I think Mizzou wins, but covers the original line of 10. Mizzou 35 Tennessee 24.