The Tennessee Vols came away with a victory against the UTEP Miners on Saturday, but they didn’t do much to inspire confidence that they’ll have success in their upcoming five game stretch against conference opponents.
Tennessee didn’t look their best on Saturday, despite putting up over 500 yards of total offense on their way to a 24-0 win.
The Vols should’ve scored a lot more, but a red zone turnover and some early penalties kept the gap in the score from being much bigger.
Jeremy Pruitt is now 2-1 as a head coach, but he has an extremely tough five game stretch on the way. The Vols have games against Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina on tap.
But before we get to next week, let’s take a look at what stood out in Tennessee’s win.
- The Vols looked really sloppy early. A couple of penalties turned a favorable red zone situation into a goal to go situation from the 20 yard line. Tennessee ended up having to settle for a field goal. The Volunteers had 8 penalties for 65 yards on Saturday.
- Tennessee racked up 345 rushing yards against UTEP, but they still struggled on inside handoffs. Most of their success running the ball came on toss plays or runs that were bounced to the outside.
- Jarrett Guarantano has obviously been instructed to run the ball if the play is going nowhere. JG ran the ball several times on Saturday, including a play where he picked up a first down.
- Speaking of Guarantano, the redshirt sophomore showed more leadership and emotion on Saturday than we’ve typically seen from him. That’s a positive for the Vols moving forward.
- Keller Chryst saw action on several drives, including a puzzling “two minute drill” at the end of the first half that was mostly a series of hand offs. It’s abundantly clear that this is Guarantano’s team. Barring injury, we won’t see Chryst again until the Charlotte game.
- Tim Jordan’s touchdown in the first half looked incredibly easy. We briefly saw what Tennessee is capable of when everyone does their job.
- Defensively, the Vols played pretty well. They still didn’t get a ton of pressure from their defensive line, though. The only sacks on Saturday came from linebackers Daniel Bituli and Darrin Kirkland Jr.
- Ty Chandler is clearly the best running back on the team at this point. I’m a big fan of true freshman Jeremy Banks (despite his early fumble). And Tim Jordan and Madre London are solid as well. But Chandler showed his game breaking ability on his 81 yard touchdown run.
- The Vols made a concerted effort to take more shots down the field. I imagine we’ll see a lot of those plays against Florida next week.
- I was impressed by the wide receiver blocking from the Vols on Saturday. Especially on Jauan Jennings’ touchdown. Marquez Callaway made that touchdown happen with his excellent blocking.
Featured image via EL Paso Times