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Week 5 - What is Tennessee's Deal?

By Martin Magers

Clemson and Louisville deliver a classic.

It’s a shame that either team had to lose. Both teams looked good, and both QBs showed why they have Heisman hype. While Lamar Jackson probably walked away with more Heisman votes than Deshaun Watson, Deshaun Watson delivered what matters most: the win. Clemson still has a regular season matchup with Florida State looming, but FSU suddenly looks very beatable and Clemson looks poised to win the ACC.

Michigan’s defense is really good.

Before the season started, Wolverine fans had circled road games against Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State as the true litmus tests for this team, but then Wisconsin burst onto the scene and Michigan’s first big challenge of the season came much more quickly. On Saturday, Michigan’s defense was able to overcome atrocious special teams play (3 missed field goals and idiotic pre-play penalties) to keep Michigan undefeated, absolutely terrorizing Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook (9/25, 88 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT) and holding the Badgers to 71 total rushing yards.

Michigan’s offense wasn’t remarkably better, but they did leave 9 points on the field with (very make-able) missed field goals, and Wilton Speight came through with a huge fourth quarter TD. The highlight of the game? Jourdan Lewis’ insane fourth quarter interception. Yes, Lewis probably should have just knocked the ball down, but can you blame him for getting himself a Top Ten highlight?

Washington is a contender.

Everyone is expecting this year’s national champion to come out of the PAC 12, right? Especially if that team isn’t Stanford? Obviously not, but after Friday night’s shellacking of Stanford by undefeated Washington, it looks possible. Washington’s defense is really good, their offense is moving the ball well, and they just beat their best regular season opponent. If they keep playing like this, they should be one of the four teams in the playoff.

What is Tennessee’s deal?

Alright, let’s run through Tennessee’s year so far:

  • Week 1: Started the season ranked #9 with a Heisman hopeful QB and needed overtime to put away an FCS school
  • Week 2: Take care of business against unranked Virginia Tech after falling down 14-0 to start the game
  • Week 3: Beat the vaunted (sarcasm) Ohio Bobcats by merely 9 points
  • Week 4: Fell down 21 to 0 to Florida before a wild second half comeback (by the way, Florida nearly lost to Vanderbilt on Saturday…)
  • Week 5: Were losing by 17 points to Georgia before they decided to come back again, this time needing a Hail Mary with time expiring

It’s tough to confidently say if Tennessee is lucky or good, but the next two weeks will help clarify things. They may be able to overcome a slow start this week against #8 Texas A&M, but something tells me a slow start against #1 Alabama in two weeks won’t work in their favor.