Five Things We Want to See from the Vols Against UTEP

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    No Negative Plays

    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    While the Vols have only allowed three sacks to start the year, they’ve given up a whopping 19 tackles for loss to West Virginia and ETSU. The Mountaineers’ defense figures to be better this year than they were last year, but they still don’t compare to most SEC defenses. And ETSU is an FCS school, and not a high-achieving one at that.

    Only 10 FBS programs have given up more tackles for loss on the season than Tennessee to start the year. And that’s unacceptable for an offensive line that’s supposed to be focusing more on a power running game this season.

    The good news is that UTEP hasn’t been proficient at racking up sacks or tackles for loss on defense, much like Tennessee. Just like the Vols, they’ve managed only three sacks on the year and only have 10 tackles for loss in their first two games. Tennessee should be able to find plenty of room to run against the Miners’ defense, as UTEP is allowing 260.5 yards per game on the ground to start the year. That’s 119th in the FBS.

    Tennessee’s offensive line should be able to open up holes and provide good running lanes against the Miners’ front seven. And Jarrett Guarantano and Keller Chryst both should be able to have enough time to find open receivers.

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    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.