3. The Vols are embracing the next-man-in mentality
Four years in, Butch Jones has built the depth to a point where the Vols aren’t crushed when key players go down. The Vols are also embracing that “next-man-in” mentality that is easy to say, but tough to actually pull off. The Vols were without, arguably, three of their most important defenders for much of the game against the Gators. Cam Sutton and Darrin Kirkland Jr. sat the entire game, while Jalen Reeves-Maybin was extremely limited. Nobody really envisioned a linebacker rotation of Colton Jumper, Cortez McDowell, Dillon Bates, Kenny Bynum, Daniel Bituli and Gavin Bryant before the season, but those guys came in and played well. Baylen Buchanan, Emmanuel Moseley and others stepped in well at cornerback after a shaky start for the position early.