On Saturday night in San Francisco, it was Tennessee legend versus Tennessee legend, as Jauan Jennings and the 49ers hosted Trey Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs. Both Smith and Jennings played in the opening drive for their respective teams and saw a good amount of action in the game. Trey Smith was in the Chiefs’ starting lineup during their opening snap.
The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 19-16 in week one preseason action. However, both Jauan Jennings and Trey Smith did have their moments to shine.
Trey Smith, No. 65, was the starting right guard for the Chiefs on Saturday night. And, it wasn’t a starting lineup that was short on regular-season starters, either. Instead, Smith played alongside Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and the rest of the Chiefs’ starters. Smith’s first career NFL scoring drive came with about three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Smith, who lined up to the immediate right of the center, helped provide a wide-open lane of sight for quarterback Chad Henne to throw it over his shoulder and into the endzone.
First TD of the year, courtesy of Byron Pringle!
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 15, 2021
Smith’s starting job as the Chiefs’ right guard isn’t a surprise after his dominant training camp. The sixth-round selection from Tennessee has impressed both his coaches and the media since his arrival. But even then, calling his play impressive may be an understatement. Smith has been the talk of Chiefs camp due to his aggressive playstyle and high intelligence.
Solidifying speculation of his role on the starting line come regular-season play, Trey Smith was taken out of the game after the first quarter. Smith got in his reps with Mahomes and the Chiefs’ starters, and then his night was done.
Jauan Jennings was not on the field for the 49ers’ opening snap of the game, but he did find the field shortly after. Jennings saw his first NFL action of the 2021 season during the Niners opening drive. The former Tennessee wideout was on and off the field throughout the first quarter. However, he found his first catch of the season to begin the second quarter.
Jennings’ first catch was a screen pass from quarterback Trey Lance six yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jennings then turned his shoulders, ran down the field, knocked over a few defenders, and picked up 11 yards, 17 in total after the catch, and the first down. Later in the second quarter, Jennings caught his second pass of the day.
With just over a minute until halftime, Jennings caught another screen from Lance on his own seven-yard line. This time, Jennings was about five yards behind the original line of scrimmage. Once again, Jennings followed his blockers and picked up a first down with a gain of 12 yards. But, although his first two plays were catches, they were listed as rush attempts instead of receptions.
Jennings’ final catch, but first official reception of the night, came in the third quarter. With about five minutes remaining, Jennings caught a ball from quarterback Josh Rosen over the middle of the field. Jennings caught the ball 15 yards from the line of scrimmage and added 11 more after the catch.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) August 15, 2021
In total, former Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings finished the night as the Niners’ third-leading receiver. He had one reception for 26 yards and two rushes for 23 yards.
While they didn’t actually go head-to-head as players on the field, former Tennessee greats Jauan Jennings and Trey Smith did get to match up in their first preseason game of the 2021 NFL season. And judging by their play on Saturday, it seems pretty safe to bet that Jennings and Smith are ready for solid, productive NFL seasons in 2021.
In other Tennessee and NFL crossover action from Saturday night, former Tennessee CB Bryce Thompson recorded his first career interception in his NFL debut.