PFF Grades: Tennessee Tech at Tennessee

    by -

    Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee improved to 2-1 with a 56-0 win over Tennessee Tech Saturday.

    Hendon Hooker started at quarterback and the Vols’ offense was good but not great while Tennessee’s defense was dominant in the win.

    If you need a reminder on how Pro Football Focus works, read the opening of the Bowling Green grades.

    Let’s see how the Vols graded out.

    Elite grade = 90-100, All-Conference = 85-89, Starter = 70-84, Backup = 60-69, Replaceable = 60 >

    Offensive Grades (minimum of 24 plays — 30% of offensive plays)

    OT Cade Mays — 74.6 (36 plays)

    QB Hendon Hooker — 72.6 (61 plays)

    WR JaVonta Payton — 70.7 (40 plays)

    RB Jaylen Wright — 68.0 (26 plays)

    OG Ollie Lane — 67.5 (40 plays)

    WR Walker Merrill —64.2 (40 plays)

    OG Jackson Lampley — 63.3 (30 plays)

    OG Javontez Spraggins — 60.3 (53 plays)

    C Jerome Carvin — 60.1 (53 plays)

    RB Tiyon Evans — 59.9 (35 plays)

    OT Darnell Wright — 59.7 (53 plays)

    OT Dayne Davis — 56.9 (43 plays)

    C Parker Ball — 51.5 (30 plays)

    OG Kingston Harris — 51.5 (39 plays)

    WR Ramel Keyton — 51.0 (46 plays)

    WR Cedric Tillman — 50.7 (33 plays)

    TE Princeton Fant — 46.9 (44 plays)

    There were a handful of noteworthy Vols that just missed the cut for 30% of offensive plays. Velus Jones Jr. graded out with a 70.5 in 23 plays. Harrison Bailey graded out with a 69.7 on 21 plays. Tight end Jacob Warren graded out with a 60.7 on 22 snaps.

    Cade Mays continued his strong season riding out as the Vols best offensive player before going down with an injury in the second quarter. The rest of Tennessee’s offensive line continued to struggle with eight of Tennessee’s 11 worst graded offensive players were offensive linemen.

    Defensive Grades (minimum of 19 plays — 30% of offensive snaps)

    CB Alontae Taylor — 84.9 (39 plays)

    SS Jaylen McCollough — 78.5 (42 plays)

    FS Christian Charles — 76.5 (23 plays)

    DT Omari Thomas — 74.7 (27 plays)

    STAR Theo Jackson — 73.7 (49 plays)

    DT Elijah Simmons — 72.3 (19 plays)

    CB Warren Burrell — 71.9 (39 plays)

    DT Kurott Garland — 71.3 (25 plays)

    CB Kenneth George Jr. — 70.8 (21 plays)

    FS Tamarion McDonald — 70.4 (22 plays)

    DE Tyler Baron — 67.9 (27 plays)

    SS Trevon Flowers — 67.8 (41 plays)

    DE Ja’Quain Blakely — 66.7 (19 plays)

    LB Jeremy Banks — 65.7 (33 plays)

    LB Aaron Beasley — 61.4 (29 plays)

    DT Matthew Butler — 58.3 (25 plays)

    DT Dominic Bailey — 57.4 (21 plays)

    STAR Doneiko Slaughter — 52.1 (27 plays)

    Solon Page III graded out as Tennessee’s best defensive player, earning a 97.1 grade on 14 plays. Making his 2021 debut Aubrey Solomon graded out as a 89.6 on 11 plays.  Making his Tennessee debut, Byron Young earned a 78.1 grade on 17 plays. Caleb Tremblay earned a 76.4 grade on 17 plays.

    Tennessee got strong play from its safeties as Jaylen McCollough intercepted a pass and freshman Christian Charles shined in his first major defensive snaps. Charles developing into a reliable defender would be massive for Tennessee down the stretch.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.