Tennessee’s annual spring game ended with a whimper this year thanks to inclement weather, but the half of football that was played during the Orange and White Game provided some interesting insights to the 2017 Vols.
From progress on position battles to standouts on the depth chart, there were a number of things that stood out from the Orange and White Game. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the 2017 Orange and White Game.
The sun may not have shone throughout the spring game, but one of Tennessee’s quarterbacks definitely did. Junior quarterback Quinten Dormady was a perfect 10-for-10 in his one half of play, throwing for 120 yards and two scores. Dormady also impressed during the quarterback skills competition, tossing the ball in a trash can on his final throw (he was the only quarterback to do so) and hitting the Jauan Jennings cut out on the Hail Mary throw. Dormady won the overall skills competition.
Jarrett Guarantano didn’t have a bad day either, completing four of his five pass attempts for 41 yards and won the first part of the quarterback skills competition. But Dormady’s performance stood out above the rest.
Another Poor Season for the Secondary?
Tennessee’s receivers were consistently open during the one half of play that the Vols got in during the spring game. Ethan Wolf, Jauan Jennings, Latrell Williams, and Eli Wolf all made some impressive grabs during the game.
But the downside to a spring game is that when one unit stands out, it raises concerns for another. And that’s the case for Tennessee’s secondary.
Was Tennessee’s impressive day through the air more because of the receivers making plays, or will 2017 be another long year for the secondary? Only time will tell, but early returns may not bode well for the defensive backfield.
A Solid Backup in the Making
The Vols’ starting running back position is solidly locked up by John Kelly. His main backup, however, has yet to be be determined. But Carlin Fils-Aime had a solid day in the Orange and White Game ahead of the arrival of Ty Chandler in the fall.
The sophomore running back didn’t light up the stat sheet, carrying the ball seven times for 32 yards and catching one pass for six yards. But Fils-Aime had some stout runs and pushed the line on a few occasions, showing off his toughness.
Competition for the No. 2 spot behind Kelly will ramp up in the fall when freshman Ty Chandler arrives on campus. But for now, Fils-Aime gave himself an edge.
We Still Know Very Little
Thanks to injuries, there are still far more question marks than answers for this Vols’ roster right now.
The Vols only had one scholarship running back participate in the Orange and White Game, and 25 overall players were out for the game. Even though Tennessee played only one half of the spring game, several walk-ons were already seeing action, and several projected starters were limited or didn’t play at all.
Still Not a Full Game
Many of the complaints about last year’s Tennessee team was that they couldn’t put together a full four quarters of play against any opponent they played. And on Saturday, the Vols continued that trend and couldn’t complete a full Orange and White Game.
This time, however, it wasn’t Tennessee’s fault. It was Mother Nature’s.
Incoming inclement weather caused the 2017 Orange and White Game to be cut a half short, and after barely an hour of action, the game was called.