Now that I know we aren’t going to go 0-12, I feel a little better. Tennessee (1-2) did what they are supposed to do when faced with an inferior opponent; they beat them in every phase of the game. It isn’t a cause to celebrate. It isn’t an indicator that this team will now go 10-2. But it is a win, and at least we know there is still some fight in our Vols and some progress being made, as well.
I was pleased to see so many of the new faces out on the field, some likely for the only time this season. I thought that Chaney and the rest of the offensive staff put together a nice, vanilla, taking-care-of-business game-plan, and thought Ansley’s defensive looked like a whole different squad mentally with Bituli out there. But there are other writers on our team that are going to give you a breakdown of the game. I want to hit a couple of talking points that I have already been hearing heading into Florida week!
I heard tale at some point last week that Jeremy Pruitt made the remark that Jeremy Banks could be the best Linebacker he has ever coached. Well, I have seen the Linebackers Mr. Pruitt has coached (Telvin Smith, Reuben Foster, Rashaan Evans among many more talented others) and I believe he may be telling a fib on this one. However, I did like what I saw out of Banks this weekend. He had two interceptions and assisted on three tackles, but what I liked the most was that it looked like he knew what he was doing. He has great speed for a linebacker. He likes contact, and plays with an edge. He also has quick feet and, while in coverage on Saturday, showed that he had fluid hips and the ability to adjust to a ball in coverage.
While I don’t believe that Jeremy Banks is the next first round draft pick at linebacker under Jeremy Pruitt’s tutelage, I do believe he can be an asset to this team at that position, and he is just one of those guys you like to watch play football. I hope this little parking ticket or whatever it was isn’t going to derail him too bad.
Exit Felipe Franks/Enter Kyle Trask
All prayers and thoughts go out to Felipe Franks for a complete and quick recovery. He suffered a gruesome injury, which means we will most likely be going up against his number two this weekend (AND WE ALL KNOW HOW GATOR BACKUP QUARTERBACKS TREAT THE VOLS), Kyle Trask. Lets talk a little about the man who will probably exit this weekend as the leader in the Heisman race:
- Kyle Trask- 6’5”, 239 lbs. RS Junior from Manvel, Texas
- 2019 (3 appearances)- 13-18, 166 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions
- 2018 (4 appearances)- 14-22, 162 yards, 1TD, 0 interceptions
- A very unimpressive senior high school quarterback stat-line while at Manvel High School (11-3 record): 47-64, 759 yards, 10 TDs, 0 interceptions
So the bad news: He is a quarterback from Texas. I just automatically sigh when I see that. Also, we don’t have much tape on him (a total of 40 throws), so we really don’t know what we will be seeing (we saw how that went with Georgia State).
The good news: in the limited action I have seen him in, ol’ dude looks like he has stone feet. I say this now, and he probably rushes for 115 and 2 touchdowns against us next week. Tennessee’s Achilles heel with Florida has been quarterbacks with ANY type of mobility. This guy doesn’t seem to have that. I still am not willing to say we will win, but I will say our chances are better than they were a week ago.
A (brief) Different Look
Now for our quarterbacks. Jarrett Guarantano had numbers you would expect a starting SEC QB to have against a small school opponent. He threw late on 3 of his 8 total passes, but his stats looked good, as I said they probably would last week and dilute the true picture, but he led us to our first win of the season with three TDs in the first half. As for the backups, J.T. Shrout got to throw the ball around some and didn’t look completely lost. Brian Maurer missed both of his throws, but I did crack pretty big smile seeing him trot into the checkerboards. For me, it was still good to see all three quarterbacks play. It meant that the team was doing their job.
Could It Be?
Finally, I think our O-Line may be showing signs of improvement. It is very tough to tell when comparing them to the defense of a team with players that would have a hard time walking on at any Power 5 school, but I didn’t see much that just made me shake my head. All the quarterbacks had ample time to throw the ball, and there were a number of big holes the running backs took advantage of. I am cautiously excited about seeing them against Florida this weekend.
Yes, I am aware of Erik Ainge’s tweet/message to Guarantano. I don’t think I have it in me to chase anything down that rabbit hole. Ol’ Aingey may have finally truly cracked.
Anyway, be sure to check out some of the more in-depth reviews and previews from my colleagues at More Important Issues. There is a ton of great information from a group of writers who all bleed orange. Until next time, may God Bless you, may God bless America, and may God bless Rocky Top! GO VOLS!
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