Throughout the last four seasons, the University of Tennessee has been one of the most vexing school football forces to be reckoned with in the country. They were stacked on protection and had a possibly fascinating quarterback pair in ’05, and went 5-6. They had a completely ruling offense drove by Casey Clausen, however couldn’t stop Auburn and lost a peculiar home game to Notre Dame in ’04. Since the ’98 public title season, UT has gone 61-26 straight-up, however 2-4 in bowl games (they neglected to arrive at a bowl a year ago) and have been an appalling 4-16 against the number in home Sport Idolgames since 2003. In reality, if there’s one thing you could rely on last season, it was that Tennessee would be excessively profoundly esteemed against the spread, particularly in Knoxville.
Into this break step the Cal Golden Bears, who travel to Knoxville this end of the week to meet Tennessee as a two-point dark horse. Cal experienced horrible difficulties at quarterback last season and went a frustrating 8-4, subsequent to going in close vicinity to six focuses against USC from enlisting an undefeated standard season in 2004. On the off chance that Joe Ayoob remains on the seat, I think Cal is a vastly improved group, and from its sound, a year ago’s possible starter, Nate Longshore, who broke his leg during the Bears’ first round of ’05, should steerage the group this year. Doubtlessly who the running back is: it’s Marshawn Lynch, who’s arrived at the midpoint of 7.0 yards per convey in his initial two seasons in Berkeley. I have dreams of the Vols’ once-huge run safeguard being not able to stop Memphis’ two reinforcement rushers last season (Joseph Doss conveyed it multiple times for 77 yards; Maurice Avery conveyed it multiple times for 72 yards), so it’s not unimaginable that Lynch could get right where he left off in ’05 (for the record, where he left off was a 24-convey, 194-yard Las Vegas Bowl execution against BYU a year ago).
Cal was messy against the number last season (2-9-1), however I’m wagering that a great deal of that had to do with Ayoob, who appears to be a pleasant person, yet was excessively sporadic for Jeff Tedford’s wild-and-insane hostile strategies. Presently Ayoob’s the reinforcement once more; Longshore is your dropback fellow who won’t commit the enormous error, and I don’t know I can say the equivalent regarding UT QB Eric Ainge, who has that activity all to himself this year. Tennessee fans are completely great, and Knoxville is a unimaginably troublesome spot to play, however I figure Fulmer will figure out how to lose this game. UT is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 against non-meeting enemies, and California is 9-4-1 against the number in their last 14 as a street canine. I don’t know precisely how much business Lynch will have the option to do, on the grounds that this Tennessee guard should at present be quite acceptable against the run (that Memphis game regardless). Yet, I think the Golden Bears have the weapons important to score, and a protection sufficient to shake Ainge. I’m taking California (+2) over Tennessee in this season-opener.