No. 3 Tennessee's schedule takes an odd twist Saturday. After a classic college football game last weekend at Neyland Stadium that saw the Volunteers upset Alabama, they will host UT Martin in Week 8 in what could shape up to some as a letdown spot to a team in this position.
The Vols are still riding high after their last-second win over the Crimson Tide. The good news for Tennessee is that it can probably go into this game still reeking of cigar smoke and come away with a comfortable victory regardless. All due respect to UT Martin, but the Volunteers should be able to glue their starters to the bench shortly after halftime. The biggest key for Tennessee will be shaking off any kind of lingering hangover before Kentucky comes to town next week.
UT Martin is in the midst of a strong season in the FCS ranks. The Skyhawks are 4-2 and have won their last three games by lopsided scores. UT Martin is a gargantuan underdog in this game, but it is possible the team catches Tennessee sleeping early and hangs around for a while. Still, the Vols simply have way too much firepower.
Find out how to watch this nonconference matchup between in-state opponents below.
How to watch Tennessee vs. UT-Martin live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 22 | Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Location: Neyland Stadium -- Knoxville, TN
TV: SEC Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Three players to watch
Jaylen Wright, Tennessee RB: I think it's fair to assume Tennessee will want to run the ball effectively and let the clock tick on what should be a blowout win. If that is the case, expect to see a heavy dose of Wright, who has emerged as an effective and bruising back. Wright is coming off an impressive performance against Alabama in which he carried the ball 12 times for 71 yards. On many of those rushes, Wright kept driving his feet to pick up some extra yardage after a Crimson Tide defender made contact. He could have a big day against the Skyhawks.
Jeremy Banks, Tennessee LB: The Vols defense hasn't been nearly as impressive as the offense, but it has the chance to work out some issues this weekend. One of the more consistent defenders for Tennessee this season has been Banks, who makes plays all over the field. The former running back is second on the team in tackles with 20, and he has been good at getting into the backfield and pressuring the opposing quarterback. Banks is a fun player to watch when the Vols' explosive offense is on the sideline.
Dresser Winn, UT Martin QB: The Skyhawks are averaging 43.6 points per game against FCS opponents, and Winn is leading the way. Winn is 10th in the FCS ranks with 1,759 passing yards, and it's possible that he is able to hit some big plays against a banged up and underwhelming Tennessee secondary. If he can, UT Martin might be able to make the Vols at least a little bit nervous in the early going.
Tennessee vs UT Martin prediction
How quickly Tennessee shakes off its Alabama hangover will determine just how ugly this gets. If the Volunteers come out flat, UT-Martin might actually be able to get in a punch or two in the first half. If Tennessee is locked in right from the opening kick, it could jump out to another big lead and bury the Skyhawks before the first half ends. I think the former scenario more is more likely, so the Vols will let their in-state foe hang around early before separating themselves just before halftime. Prediction: Tennessee 56, UT-Martin 17