Tennessee’s first opponent just lost one of their biggest play-makers.
Georgia Tech announced on Friday afternoon that sophomore running back Dedrick Mills has been kicked off the team for a violation of team rules.
Mills rushed for 771 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He was also the MVP of the TaxSlayer Bowl, rushing for 169 yards against Kentucky. Mills was the Yellow Jackets’ leading rusher last season and entered this season ready to build off a solid freshman campaign last year.
The university did not specify Mills’ specific violation. Mills was suspended twice during the 2016 season and missed a total of four games last year.
Behind Mills, the Yellow Jackets are thin at running back. Tech returns two players who have recorded carries in their careers. One of them is a former quarterback, Brady Swilling, who didn’t play a single snap last year.
Quaide Weimerskirch is the only other player to carry the ball for Georgia Tech. And he has one career carry.
For a Georgia Tech team already replacing starting quarterback Justin Thomas, this is a massive blow. Former Tech running back Marcus Marshall, who rushed for over 600 yards last year, transferred this offseason since Mills received a majority of the first team snaps this fall.
Tennessee still has a lot to prepare for when it comes to Georgia Tech’s tricky option offense. But Mills’ departure makes things a little easier on the Vols.