Watching Jeremy Pruitt’s Alabama defense bully and embarrass the nation’s top-ranked team had to excite Tennessee fans, as Alabama cruised to a 24-6 Sugar Bowl win over Clemson.

So much so, that it’s time to start feeling bold about the 2018 season.

Here are three bold predictions for Team 122.

No. 1: The Vols will field a top-5 SEC defense

Tennessee’s defense has yielded horrendous results over the past two seasons. The kind of results that force you to hide your kids and hide your wife. Last season, the Vols finished 9th in total defense among the 14 SEC squads.

In Year 1 under Pruitt, Tennessee will sew up its defensive holes and place in the top 5 in the conference.

It’s an added bonus that star defensive pieces Darrin Kirkland Jr. and Todd Kelly Jr. are set to return from injury, but as a whole, discipline and tenacity are traits Tennessee’s defense will exemplify on a week-to-week basis.

No. 2: Jarrett Guarantano will score at least 30 total touchdowns

The focus on Pruitt revolves around his defensive mastery, but how he handles the offensive side of the ball is arguably the most crucial piece to Tennessee’s puzzle.

Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano struggled for the majority of his redshirt freshman season, largely with indecisiveness in the pocket, which led to countless sacks.

Under Pruitt’s new staff, Guarantano will make quicker decisions and score at least 30 total touchdowns. The New Jersey product doesn’t lack bravado. Now, he has a head coach with the same level of confidence.

No. 3: Tennessee will defeat Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt by double digits

This shouldn’t be a bold prediction, but here we are. Tennessee was 0-3 against Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt in 2017, losing to the latter two by a combined 51 points. This is unacceptable no matter the circumstances given the enormous gap in talent the Vols have over those three teams.

In 2018, Pruitt won’t allow Tennessee to experience the same embarrassment. He’ll lead the Vols to double-digit victories over each one of those teams.

Fan Bold Predictions: 

We asked Tennessee fans on our Facebook Page and on Twitter to make their bold predictions for the Vols in 2018:

Happy New Year.

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  1. I believe with coach Pruitt and discipline which we have lacked our boys will do what they potentially can with upsets unbelievable I’m not just speaking from fan perspective I’m speaking from coaching and playing perspective. If our receivers connect with the quarterback I foresee unbelievable touchdowns Our boys have that potential. Defense..if they can get resting time the other teams are in trouble.

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