The BYU Cougars (0-1) travel to Knoxville in Week 2 for a showdown with the Tennessee Volunteers (0-1). Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 7th at Neyland Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, Tennessee opened as a 3-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has yet to move at all after early betting, as the Vols are currently listed at -3. The total for the game is sitting at 51 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Tennessee vs BYU
BYU couldn’t find a way to emerge victorious in the “Holy War” against Utah in Week 1 despite trailing by just a field goal at halftime. The Utes came out firing in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Cougars QB Zach Wilson struggled to find any consistency against a tough Utah secondary, throwing for just 208 yards and getting picked off twice – one of which was returned for a touchdown. RB Ty’Son Williams proved BYU with a bit of a spark on the ground, rushing for 45 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries. WR Matt Bushman also chipped in with a solid effort, hauling in six receptions for 62 yards. Overall, the offense couldn’t find any sustained success and managed to score only 12 points on 300 total yards.
The Cougars did a great job defensively in the first half against Utah, holding the offense to just three points. However, they started to give a bit down the stretch, as Utes RB Zach Moss put on a show en route to a massive 187 yard, one touchdown performance.
Tennessee also fell to 0-1 on the season overall last weekend, losing a shocker to Georgia State despite being favored by 26 points. The Vols jumped out to an early 14-7 lead in the first quarter but it was all downhill after that, as the Panthers rallied to re-gain the lead heading into the 4th quarter before closing out the win. Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano had a pretty decent game, going 26/40 for 311 passing yards and two touchdowns. He had a ton of help from WR Jauan Jennings, who torched the Georgia State secondary for 108 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, the Tennessee offense certainly looked to do their part aside from three costly turnovers, racking up almost 400 total yards and scoring three touchdowns.
The biggest reason why Georgia State was able to pull off such a massive upset in Week 1 was the Volunteers horrific play on defense. Tennessee gave up 350 total yards, which while seemingly not appearing to be overly significant, still led to five Panthers touchdowns. The Vols struggled immensely on the ground, allowing three separate Georgia State rushers to find the end zone.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Tennessee -3
I certainly don’t have a lot of confidence in either of these schools heading into Week 2, as both started their 2019 seasons with underwhelming efforts in bad losses. While BYU now has not beaten state-rival Utah in the Holy War since 2009, I still think that the Vols loss against Georgia State was more embarrassing. Any time a team gets beaten by over a touchdown in a home opener against a 25+ point road underdog, alarm bells should start going off. Still, I’m banking on the Tennessee defense to come out angry and fully prepared to shut down a below average Cougars offense.
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While both defenses got torched for 30+ points in Week 1, the Tennessee offense actually looked fairly solid moving the ball up and down the field. Of course, they will need to avoid a repeat of their three-turnover performance against the Panthers in Week 1. If the Vols offense can find a way to hold on to the ball, I think they should outpace a BYU offense that doesn’t appear to have any game-breakers. I certainly have more confidence in the Guarantano- led passing offense than I do in Zach Wilson’s, especially after Jauan Jennings showed how much damage he can do on the outside once he finds a little bit of open space last Saturday against Georgia State. I’ll take Tennessee to rebound here in Week 2 – give me the Volunteers at home!