Tennessee Vols: What We Liked And Didn’t Like About UT’s Win


The Tennessee Vols are now 2-0 as they head into a pivotal week three matchup with the Florida Gators.

The Tennessee Vols did what they needed to do on Saturday — they won in convincing fashion while playing both quarterbacks.

Tennessee is 2-0 heading into their matchup with Florida, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding the team.

Here’s what we liked, and didn’t like, about the Vols’ win against Indiana State on Saturday.

What we liked:

Obviously what running back John Kelly continues to do for the Vols is great. He’s a tough runner, and he’s going to be a big part of the success that Tennessee has this season.

I thought Carlin Fils-Aime proved to be a tough runner as well. I wouldn’t discount his potential contribution to this team in any way. He’s a quality player. Depth is important and he’s a nice piece to have.

Brandon Johnson and Josh Palmer proved they can be reliable options in the passing game. It’s important to remember that most of the Vols’ offensive skill position players are still finding their groove. But I actually like their talent, and potential, at the wide receiver position more than I have any year since 2012.

I’m glad Butch Jones was able to get Jarrett Guarantano into the game early. We got to see what he is all about. He still needs some more reps — I don’t think he’s quite ready to be a starting quarterback in the SEC. But he has a lot of potential and his time will come.

Also worth noting: Tennessee converted three of their four red zone opportunities. Their only failure came on an interception in the end zone off the arm of Dormady.

What we didn’t like:

Marquez Callaway doesn’t need to be returning punts!

I know Jones puts a premium on special teams play, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Good field position is basically “hidden yards”. Starting on your own 40 yard line instead of your own 15 takes a lot of pressure off your offense. But I don’t think it’s worth risking your most dynamic player on offense to get that field position.

And speaking of Callaway, he has to get the ball more on offense. He’s a threat to score every time he catches the ball. I know Tennessee was playing Indiana State, so it’s not like he was needed all that much, but moving forward he has to be more involved for the Vols to be successful.

Tennessee’s tackle play could be better on the offensive line — specifically at left tackle. Drew Richmond looked a bit lazy at times. He has the talent to be a solid player, but he has to be more consistent.

The Vols need to play Kyle Phillips and Deandre Johnson more on the defensive line. I know they love them some Jonathan Kongbo, but I think Phillips and Johnson could be better options. I’m not saying Kongbo shouldn’t play, obviously he should, but he should be rotated more. Statistically, Johnson was the Volunteers’ best defensive lineman on Saturday, with one sack and two tackles for loss.

One other thing I didn’t like about this game was that Tennessee had six penalties and they didn’t force any turnovers. Tennessee won’t win SEC games unless they’re forcing turnovers.