Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Music City Bowl Preview
Weather: 50 ° with a 50% chance of rain.
Commentators: Sean McDonough, Matt Millen & Holly Rowe
Keys to the game:
1. T.J Yates vs. Tennessee defense: Yates was the glue that held this ravaged roster together as he finished the regular season with 3,184 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 148.78 passer efficiency was good enough for second in the conference. Tennessee will have to find a way to counter Yates. The Vols secondary actually is best unit they have on defense with the likes of Janzen Jackson and Prentiss Waggner. If the Vols can frustrate Yates it could lead to turnovers as Yates has been prone to interceptions. Who ever win this match-up will have the inside track to winning the game.
2. Tyler Bray’s Poise vs. North Carolina’s Pass Rush: North Carolina came into this year boasting a defensive line that featured two projected NFL draft picks in Mario Austin and Michael McAdoo but due to the suspensions at the beginning neither player has played a down for the Tar Heels this year. Even without those two they’ve managed 25.0 sacks. Bray has stood tall all year since he was handed the keys to the Vols offense but he is still a freshman. The Tar Heels must get pressure on him if they expect to have chance in this one.
3. Turnover battle: The team that usually wins the turnover battle wins the game and both North Carolina and Tennessee prove that theory to be true. North Carolina is +6 in that department this year and UT is +2 so neither team is terrible at this statistic. When teams are this evenly matched as they are in this one, it’s the little mistakes that lead to turnovers that so often determine the game.
Prediction: This is a game of evenly matched teams. Both have good passing games and decent running attacks. The difference in the game will be which defense can apply pressure to the opposing QB. UT will also have the crowd on their side and should use that to their advantage. I can’t go against the “home” team on this one. UT 28-24