In their Week 1 contest, the Tennessee Volunteers blew through Bowling Green. While the Vols didn’t cover a gaudy spread, they still rolled to a double-digit victory. We didn’t learn a ton about them, as they did exactly what was asked of them. Now we might learn a thing or two. The Vols’ Week 2 matchup sees them facing the ACC’s Pittsburgh Panthers.
Amazingly enough, this marks the first time since 1983 that Pitt and Tennessee have faced each other in football.
How to watch Pitt vs. Tennessee
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: ESPN App
(from DraftKings Sportsbook)
Spread: Pitt -3.5 | Tennessee +3.5
Moneyline: Pitt -170 | Tennessee +150
Just like Tennessee, Pitt’s first game didn’t tell us a whole lot. They took on UMass at Heinz Field, and the Minutemen tried and failed to play catch up all day. The Panthers, like the Vols, will be out for plenty more against Tennessee here in Week 2.
Tennessee might be overmatched in this game. Joe Milton, the Michigan Wolverines transfer, looked skittish against Bowling Green. Milton completed less than 50 percent of his passes (11-for-23) and will be facing an even tougher defense this go-around. The Panther defense was one of the best in the country in last year’s abbreviated season. Although they lost plenty, the unit still figures to be ferocious. They overwhelmed UMass last week, especially so on the ground. Given Tennessee’s reliance on the running game in the Bowling Green game, it could spell trouble in Knoxville.
Any chance of a Tennessee upset involves stopping the Pitt passing attack. Kenny Pickett and the dossier of receivers he has all set the tone a week ago. The Vols will almost certainly have their hands full with them on each possession. All of them will matter, and it’s hard to really see a scenario where UT isn’t overmatched and overwhelmed.
Much with anything, plenty of scenarios exist. In this case, I think Pitt out-coaches and out-talents Tennessee. There’s no shame in that if you’re Tennessee, given where they are as a program now. But Pitt is flat-out better, and I expect them to prove it.