The Tennessee Vols have looked like a completely different team over the last few weeks.
Instead of looking like the team that couldn’t stop Georgia State, the Vols have looked like a team that’s capable of creating some ruckus in the SEC East.
Tennessee’s win against Mississippi State included a dominant defensive performance. The loss against Alabama was a game that was closer than the final score indicated.
And the win against South Carolina?
The Vols owned the Gamecocks in every facet of the game.
It’s safe to say that Tennessee is rolling right now. They’ve come together as a team and I truly believe their best football is ahead of them this season (as long as they can get healthy).
On paper, the Vols should get to six wins and play in a bowl game for the first time since 2016.
But games, of course, aren’t played on paper.
And that’s something Tennessee better remember as they head into their next matchup.
Sandwiched in between the Vols’ matchups against South Carolina and Kentucky (after a bye week) is a tilt with UAB.
If you’re looking for the definition of a “trap game”, it’s Tennessee’s upcoming matchup with UAB.
Right now, the Vols are feeling good. They’re playing with confidence. Tennessee, in fact, is likely as confident as anyone that they’ll get to six wins.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) October 27, 2019
But the path to six wins is largely dependent on beating UAB.
The Blazers aren’t a team that UT can overlook. If they think for a second that they’ll waltz through the game against UAB and leave Neyland with a win on Saturday night, they’re wrong.
UAB is a good football team who has only lost one game this season (a loss to Western Kentucky earlier this year). They also have the No. 11 scoring defense in the nation.
Tennessee is certainly capable of blowing out UAB and cruising to their fourth win of the season. But if they don’t come into the matchup 100 percent focused on the Blazers, it’s very possible they could head into the bye week with six losses.
After the season opening loss to Georgia State, a game where the Vols didn’t look prepared at all, I don’t think Jeremy Pruitt will fail to prepare his team for UAB.
But the game still has to be played. And it’s important that Tennessee plays with the same intensity against UAB that they did against South Carolina.
This isn’t a team the Vols can afford to overlook.
I’m guessing Pruitt will make that quite clear this week.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports