From Javontez Spraggins high fiving fans to Gerald Mincey signing shoes and giving a pointed message to his former Florida teammates, Tennessee’s offensive linemen are enjoying Volunteer touchdowns this season.
There’s been a lot to celebrate. Through four games, Tennessee’s offense has been one of the nation’s best, tallying 26 touchdowns.
With Tennessee finding the checkerboards more-and-more often, why are its offensive linemen celebrating touchdowns more this season?
“Playing in this offense is fun and scoring touchdowns is hard,” Tennessee guard Jerome Carvin said. “Those guys are good (who are) trying to stop us. Anytime you have a chance to get your guys in the end zone it’s great. Our coaches have emphasized ‘go celebrate with your guys and enjoy.’ This is a hard game. It’s a battle of highs and lows so whenever you get the chance to go score, it’s still a game.”
There’s little time to celebrate in Tennessee’s offense unless the Vols find the end zone. Josh Heupel’s offense runs at an accelerated pace, snapping the ball more frequently than any other team in the country.
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But when the Vols find the end zone, they’re making sure to enjoy it and that goes beyond the offensive linemen. Jaylen Wright Gator chomped followed by a throat slash when he scored to give Tennessee a three-possession lead in the fourth quarter against the Gators.
Hendon Hooker skipped into the end zone in celebration when he juked out star Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller.
On top of the challenge that it is to score a touchdown, Tennessee’s lineman are celebrating the success of Wright, Hooker and the rest of their teammates.
“Go have fun, go celebrate with our guys and I think that’s what we enjoy doing,” Carvin said. “We love those guys too. Just seeing them score is amazing.”
Tennessee is looking for plenty of opportunities to celebrate Saturday when they face No. 25 LSU and the SEC’s fifth best scoring defense.
There will be opportunities, however, as LSU’s pass defense has been prone to give up big plays.
Tennessee and LSU kick off from Tiger Stadium at noon ET Saturday. Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Kris Budden are on the call for ESPN.