The Tennessee Vols were absolutely horrible in 2017, winning only four games for the first time in program history.
But in 2018, Jeremy Pruitt’s first season as UT’s head coach, the Vols showed some signs of improvement. Tennessee won five games and they had quality wins against Auburn (on the road) and Kentucky.
Fans, however, are hoping to see the Vols take a major step forward in 2019. Winning seven or eight games isn’t out of the question for UT (winning six games and reaching a bowl should be the floor for Tennessee in Pruitt’s second season at the helm).
For the fans expecting the Volunteers to look like a new team next season, there’s some good news. Renowned college football expert Phil Steele, who is known for his extensive college football preview magazine, believes Tennessee is set to dramatically improve offensively in 2019.
Steele is expecting the Vols to average over 30 points per game next season, saying “With 10 starters back there is no doubt this unit is improved and my computer is calling for 30.6 points per game”.
Tennessee averaged 22.8 points per game last season (they ranked 109 out of 130 teams). They haven’t averaged over 30 points a game since the 2016 season, when they averaged 36.4 points per game.
Steele also thinks the Vols will be better defensively, mentioning that UT should have their best defense since the 2015 season (when they allowed only 20 points per game).
If Steele’s predictions come true, I could easily see Tennessee winning seven or eight games in 2019. The last time the Vols won nine games in a season (2016) they outscored their opponents by an average of 36 to 28. If they can get that same kind of differential next season, they’ll be in good shape.
Things are certainly looking up for the Vols in the Pruitt era.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports