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FEARLESS PREDICTION: Will Tennessee struggle with Charlotte?

Jeremy Pruitt

Tennessee’s goal of becoming bowl eligible took a major hit last weekend with its 27-24 loss at South Carolina. Regular readers of the ‘Fearless Prediction’ know that I picked the Vols to lose that game by a score of 26-24. I apologize for being so far off.

With a new week comes a fresh chance for perfection. Let’s give it a go.

It’s Homecoming Weekend at Tennessee… a chance for parents to drag their children around the UT campus while regaling them with stories about exciting term papers they wrote. There will also be a football game played when the Vols host Charlotte.

The visiting 49ers aren’t going to give Alabama a run for their money anytime soon, but they aren’t too bad this year. Charlotte is currently 4-4, and sitting in fourth place in Conference USA’s Eastern Division. Last week they edged Southern Miss 20-17. Like the Vols, they are fighting for bowl eligibility.

The 49ers defense features Juwan Foggie who is leading the nation in interceptions with six. Charlotte’s offense could be without the services of leading receiver Victor Tucker, who left the Southern Miss game due to injury.

Tennessee couldn’t stop the run against South Carolina and will have to contend with 49ers running back Benny LeMay. He’s averaging 93-yards on the ground per game this season.

As for the Vols offense, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has started every game this season, despite continuing to be knocked around by opposing defenses at an alarming rate. He’ll start on Saturday and will try to keep getting the football to Marquez Callaway who caught nine passes for 86 yards at South Carolina.

Early weather forecasts paint a picture of perfect Fall afternoon at Neyland Stadium – sunny and 59 degrees. Oh, and at last look you could get a ticket for six bucks on StubHub.

But don’t worry. If you can’t get to the game I’ll let you know what’s going to happen.

Fearless Prediction time…

Tennessee 38-Charlotte 14.

(Mark’s Fearless Prediction Record in 2018: 6-2)

(Mark Nagi is the author of “Decade of Dysfunction: The Road to Tennessee’s Crazy Coaching Search,” which takes an in-depth look at the ten years of frustration that led to a revolt by Vols fans after UT attempted to hire Greg Schiano as its head coach in 2017.)

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