Vanderbilt came into last Saturday’s game against Alabama a little chesty, which is probably the last thing you want to be when you’re Vanderbilt and you’re playing Alabama. The end result — a 59-0 Crimson Tide poleaxing — left Commodores Coach Derek Mason calling some of his players “soft.” Vanderbilt might find more success against a Florida team that’s still reeling from an off-the-field legal scandal involving nine still-suspended players and has yet to find an answer at quarterback for what seems like the 10th year in a row. Luke Del Rio will again start after replacing Feleipe Franks in the third quarter and leading the Gators to a comeback win over Kentucky last weekend . . .
Tennessee Coach Butch Jones is probably used to the hot seat by now, but close wins over teams such as Massachusetts — as was the case last Saturday — don’t do much to change the prevailing opinion of him among certain Vols fans. Among that disgruntled group is PGA Tour pro Rick Lamb, who attended Tennessee and recently voiced his displeasure with the current state of things by stamping the words “Fire Butch Jones” onto three of his clubs.
Anyway, the Vols host Georgia knowing that Jones probably could use a marquee win or two to get everyone off his back, and Tennessee has won each of its last two games against the Bulldogs. But the Vols’ quarterback play has been subpar this season, with Quinten Dormady accounting for six turnovers (four interceptions, two lost fumbles) and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano hardly doing anything to make anyone think of a change (he completed 2 of 5 passes for minus-three yards Saturday against the Minutemen . . .
The last time Clemson and Virginia Tech met, in last season’s ACC championship game, the Hokies were all of 23 yards away from possibly derailing the Tigers’ national title hopes. But Clemson intercepted Jerod Evans on fourth and six and held on for a 42-35 victory, a loss that still sticks in Hokies Coach Justin Fuente’s craw. “We haven’t talked about it. We won’t talk about it,” he said this week, per the AP. But the Hokies have rebounded from that loss, reaching their highest AP poll ranking since 2011 and enticing ESPN’s “College Gameday” to Blacksburg for the first time in more than 10 years. Virginia Tech’s four wins this season have come against West Virginia, Delaware, East Carolina and Old Dominion, which aren’t exactly on the same level as the Tigers. Clemson has allowed more than seven points in a game just once this season, and that was against defending Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville. The Tigers still won by 26.
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