He is right to be scared. All those southern boys against those skinny PNW boys. Won't even be fair. Yeah, right.
If you listen to Oregon head football coach Mark Helfrich, it’s #2 Oregon that should be worried about a Saturday matchup with Tennessee, not the Volunteers. The Ducks are one of the fastest teams in the country. But Helfrich feels UT’s size is a reason for concern:
“(The offensive line) is huge. They are athletic, they are well coached, and have a great scheme. It’s a challenge. Our defensive line had a tough challenge last week (in a 59-10 win over Virginia) and it gets tougher this week…
They have a great skillset right now — big guys, fast guys — so it’s an unbelievable challenge. When you look at their special teams units, it’s where that (speed and athleticism) jumps out the most as being different from the first two opponents we’ve seen.”
The first-year head coach has obviously mastered the art of coachspeak. He must’ve majored in “Holtzing” in college.
And about that span in which Western Kentucky turned the ball over five times in six plays against Tennessee last week? “There was one of them that was kind of a lucky, drop thing, but all the rest of them they either forced or were earned. We preach ball security and hammer home great decision-making by our quarterbacks, and it’s going to be tested this week.”
Oregon opened as a 20-point favorite and the current line at most casinos in Las Vegas is 27.5.
On the bright side — pun intended — for fans expecting a blowout (despite Helfrich’s comments), Tennessee’s flashy orange is expected to be matched by Oregon’s lightning yellow unis on Saturday. If only the Vols could dress in head-to-toe orange, it would like a battle between 22 six-foot Hi-Liter pens.