af2: Tennessee Valley Vipers Eye 100th Win

Chris YowAnalyst IJune 18, 2009

Tennessee Valley has the opportunity to become the third team in af2 history to record 100 franchise wins on Saturday.

The Vipers are third on the all-time wins list with a franchise record of 99-53. The feat is even more impressive considering the Vipers did not participate in the 2005 af2 season.

Coming to town in an attempt to spoil the Vipers' fun are the hated Florida Firecats.

Tennessee Valley owns the series lead over Florida 8-7 and the Firecats are the fourth-winningest franchise in the af2 with 98 wins. So, with a win, Florida can not only tie the series with the Vipers, but can also tie them as the third all-time winningest team in af2 history.

Has the storyline been set well enough yet?

Coming into the contest, Florida sits in last place of the South Division at 5-6, whereas Tennessee Valley took sole control of the division with last week's 44-27 win over the South Georgia Wildcats and boast an 8-3 record on the year.

The Vipers will have to stop one of the league's most veteran offenses to obtain that 100th win. Florida sends Chris Wallace out under center for the seventh straight season, his ninth in the af2. His favorite target still seems to be Magic Benton, the af2's all-time leading scorer, and Chris McKinney.

McKinney is seventh in the af2 in receptions per game and 11th in receiving yards.

Wallace played well in the earlier loss to Tennessee Valley this season, throwing for 254 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions, however he did lose one fumble.

Tennessee Valley puts the league's second best scoring defense on the field, trailing the best defense by two-tenths of a point per game.

The Vipers are plus-six in turnover margin this year and have recorded 21 sacks to giving up just eight on the season.

Kevin Eakin will look to continue his stellar play, especially at home. Eakin has been extraordinary inside the Von Braun Center this season. Eakin has thrown for 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions at home this season.

Chris Bocage came back with a force last week after a one-week hiatus. Bocage hauled in 11 passes and two scores against the Wildcats. His 1,231 total yards leads the Vipers as well as his 676 yards receiving.

Tennessee Valley will need to continue its stingy defensive ways to extend their winning streak to three games. The Vipers have the third best red zone defense in the af2, allowing the opposing team to score just 67.7 percent of the time.

Deciding Statistic:
If the Firecats can ever stop their opponents on third down, giving up 58.8 percent first downs, then it's almost an automatic turnover, as Florida allows just 21.1 percent of fourth-down conversions.

Pit Prediction:

Florida Firecats—34
Tennessee Valley Vipers—49

Key Players:
Florida Firecats—QB Chris Wallace, WR Magic Benton, WR Chris McKinney
Tennessee Valley Vipers—QB Kevin Eakin, DL Marcus White, JLB Travis Blanchard