Better Pass Rush
It’s no surprise what the No. 1 thing is we want to see from the Vols in this game. Through two games this season, Tennessee has managed just two sacks and hasn’t gotten very much pressure on the two quarterbacks they’ve faced. That’s due to several reasons, some of which are because of the style of offenses UT has faced and because West Virginia’s offensive line in particular was quite stout.
But for the most part, it hasn’t been the level of competition or because the opposing offenses have gotten the ball out quickly; Tennessee’s front seven has just failed to generate a consistent pass rush.
The Vols failed to put much or any pressure on Will Grier on 25 of his 34 drop-backs in Week 1, and Tennessee didn’t do much better in Week 2 against an out-matched ETSU squad. They have no excuses this weekend against UTEP, though.
The Miners lost their starting center and starting left tackle to injury in fall camp, and through two games they’ve allowed seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss as a team. Only 10 other programs in the FBS have given up more sacks through two weeks of play than UTEP.
If Tennessee can’t get a better pass rush against the Miners on Saturday, then the Vols could be in for a long season once SEC play starts up.