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Three Quick Takeaways From The 2024 Orange and White Game

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee football worked inside Neyland Stadium on Saturday afternoon for its 2024 Orange and White game. It was a short 90 minute scrimmage while a number of Vols were inactive.

Here’s three quick takeaways from Tennessee’s 2024 Orange and White game.

More From RTI: Live Updates From The 2024 Orange and White Game

Absences A Key Storyline, Especially On Offense

It was hard to get a real feel for much, particularly with the first team offense on Saturday because of the number of absences. There were real and some meaningful absences on the defensive side of the ball to but there were far more offensively.

Tennessee’s top four interior offensive linemen— Javontez Spraggins, Cooper Mays, Jackson Lampley and Andrej Karic— were all out and made life difficult when Nico Iamaleava was in the game.

The Vols were also down their top two running backs. Cam Seldon was expected to miss the scrimmage after suffering a shoulder injury earlier in spring practice but starter Dylan Sampson has been active all spring and was dressed out for the game.

As Tennessee’s starting offense ran into struggles against its starting defense, it was hard not to point to the injuries as a reason.

Check out the list of inactive Vols here.

A Second Quarter Offensive Explosion

It was an extremely quiet first quarter for Tennessee’s offense with four drives producing zero points and the Vols’ first team offense going three-and-out twice.

But then the offenses came alive with four drives producing four touchdowns.

Backup quarterback Gaston Moore led two of the touchdown drives. The first one was methodical with the Vols going 60 yards in nine plays while slowing moving the change. His second touchdown drive produced the most impressive play of the game.

At its own 37-yard line with 20 seconds to play, early enrollee receiver Mike Matthews got behind Jordan Matthews for a 63-yard touchdown on what ended up being the final play of the half.

Third string quarterback Jake Merklinger showed off his wheels totaling a 16-yard scramble and then a 26-yard touchdown scramble in a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.

Nico Iamaleava led the other touchdown drive of the second quarter. He completed an 11-yard pass to Chris Brazzell II, a 14-yard pass to Miles Kitselman and a 28-yard touchdown to Chas Nimrod.

Young Vol Defenders Make Some Play

Tennessee has recruited well defensively in recent years which has given them a myriad of young talent on the defensive side of the ball. Some of those young defenders showed out in the spring game.

Early enrollee freshman safety Boo Carter recorded a tackle for loss to go along with three total tackles.

Fellow early enrollee freshman linebacker Edwin Spillman was constantly around the ball and totaled sicks tackles and a sack. Sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Telander also recorded two sacks to go along with four tackles. The Vols underclassmen linebackers got an abundance of action thanks to some injuries at that spot.

Sophomore edge rusher Caleb Herring also had some success rushing the passer where he totaled a sack.

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