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RobVol

Vols will struggle since all playmakers are Seniors

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Something to consider..........

 

Although it’s exciting for Tennessee football to be able to turn the corner, it’s concerning for the Volunteers that all their top playmakers are seniors.

After being dead in the water at the beginning of the year, Tennessee football has bought back into Jeremy Pruitt. It only took wins over two teams who are now 3-5 to get Vols excited again, and there is a lot to praise about a 41-21 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks.

If not for two bad losses to the Georgia State Panthers and BYU Cougars to open the season, the Vols would be in contention for a top 25 spot soon enough. However, their path to getting back on track is, well, not a great sign for them going forward.

y getting back on track to potentially make a bowl game, Tennessee football may have leveraged its future under Jeremy Pruitt. There’s no denying that they have some exciting young talent that is coming along. But the top playmakers for the Vols have all been seniors.

Just look at last Saturday’s win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. It didn’t matter who played quarterback. A senior scored every touchdown. Marquez Callaway had a punt return for a touchdown and a touchdown catch, Jauan Jennings had two touchdown catches and Daniel Bituli had a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown.

Meanwhile, on defense, Bituli was the star with 15 tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass deflection. Darrell Taylor, however, was also a star player with two sacks and two pass deflections, one of which was a fourth down knock-down.

This doesn’t just apply to South Carolina either. Jennings has been the superstar for the Vols all year on offense with 42 receptions for 652 yards and seven touchdowns. Oh, and then he’s the intangible leader of the team as well.

Behind him is Callaway, who is second on the team in receiver. And Callaway is also a special teams weapon. We might also note that their leading receiver at tight end is Dominick Wood-Anderson, who has 157 yards.

Taylor has been the Vols’ leader in tackles for a loss all year with six, leader in sacks with five, their leader in pass deflections with four, and he is the only player on the team to have both a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. So he is a star on defense.

Meanwhile, we don’t need to be the ones to point out that UT’s two losses to Group of Five programs to start the program came without Bituli. A huge reason they appear to have turned a corner is because of his return, and he won’t be there next year.

Then, in the secondary, Nigel Warrior has been an unquestioned superstar. He just happens to lead the team in interceptions with three, and he also is second on the team in pass deflections with three while also picking up a tackle for a loss.

Warrior was the star of Tennessee football’s only other major win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The other star in that game just happened to be Tyler Byrd, another senior who is one more play away from burning his chance at a redshirt.

Finally, there’s Brandon Kennedy. The starting center has been the catalyst for the improvement on the Vols’ offensive line beyond anything else this year. And while he has a sixth year of eligibility, there’s a very good chance he doesn’t take it. Simply put, the Vols are using all of their senior playmakers this year to get back to where they hoped to be at the start of Jeremy Pruitt’s second season. On paper, they should be in much better shape. After all, they only have 10 guys who will be out of eligibility after this year.

 

However, the amount of involvement those guys have had has been huge. And you have to wonder if it was worth it for Pruitt to rely on them so much when there wasn’t a lot to play for this year. It’s a legitimate question.

At the beginning of the season, it made sense. Tennessee football looked like a potential nine or 10-win team with its schedule, and doing that in Pruitt’s second season would work wonders when it came to recruiting. But after an 0-2 start, maybe it didn’t make as much sense.

 

 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

 

ALLFORTENNESSEE.COM

Although it's exciting for Tennessee football to be able to turn the corner, it's concerning for the Volunteers that all their top playmakers are seniors. ...

 

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I think it's nothing less than appropriate for team seniors to be making plays. That's what seniors are supposed to do.

 

What's not being said is that it took the emergence of several true freshmen before most of those seniors quit going through the motions, and come around to stepping up and finally becoming playmakers. 

 

Forgive me for not peeing in my pants. 

 

Need I remind you how they let GaSt and BYU come into their stadium and run them off the field? Where were those playmaking seniors at then? 

 

Were it not for losing those games, at home, to inferior opponents, we would be 5-3. One win away from bowl game eligability with 4 winnable games left to improve upon that.

 

 

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Hey good points there OkFl. Agreed. It isn't like these aren't the same players who lost earlier in the year. I still think another year of Pruitt's type players will actually help.

 

BTW - Your little football sig was broke so I added another one. :cool: You can change it if you want

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5 hours ago, RobVol said:

 

 

BTW - Your little football sig was broke so I added another one. :cool: You can change it if you want

Oh yeah, I forgot about that little guy. 

(I gotta get off mobile)

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Brice Thompson. 3 pics vs UAB before halftime, ties school record for interceptions in a game.

 

Non-senior. 

 

 

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