The Vols might be without two starting offensive linemen on Saturday against Missouri. It sounds like they will be without a starting safety.
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones listed center Dylan Wiesman and tackle Chance Hall as questionable for Saturday, while safety Todd Kelly Jr. was listed as doubtful for the important SEC East matchup against the Tigers.
The Vols played without Hall against Kentucky last Saturday, while Wiesman went down during the game. If those two can’t go, expect the offensive line to be (left to right) Drew Richmond, Jashon Robertson, Coleman Thomas, Jack Jones and Brett Kendrick. If Hall can go, but Wiesman can’t, he’d likely slide into the right tackle spot and flip Kendrick over to the left side. If Wiesman gives it a go, he’d start at center and Thomas could play either guard or tackle, or perhaps be the team’s sixth lineman.
With Evan Berry (knee) already out for the year at safety, Tennessee’s option are limited at that spot. Micah Abernathy should get the start at one safety spot, while the other would likely be either Stephen Griffin or Nigel Warrior.
Not paying attention to ranking: Tennessee was shut out of both the AP and Coaches’ Poll this past week, but did debut in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, checking in at No. 19 overall.
“No,” Jones said when asked if there is any significance to that. “Actually I just found out when we were walking in here. Again, we’re responsible for what we create. I don’t really look into any of those things. All our focus is on preparing for our next opponent, and that’s Missouri.”
Senior Day: Jones confirmed earlier in the week that 11 scholarship seniors will be honored on Saturday for Senior Day against Missouri. He was asked about that group’s legacy on Wednesday afternoon.
“Resolve, resiliency – been through a lot, very high-character individuals, college graduates,” Jones said. “You look at what they’ve been able to do and accomplish. And so much of it is leaving with rings. And these individuals right now have a couple bowl championships. And those things are very, very important – the experiences they’ve had. And they’ve made a last impact on Tennessee football.”