Rocky Top stops fretting about the running backs, turns its attention to Florida, and counts its Indiana State blessings. This and more in today’s Vols link roundup.
Who’s no longer anxious about the running backs?
One of the concerns about the Vols heading into the season was the depth of the running back position. You had John Kelly, then a guy best known for causing a fumble that probably cost the team the South Carolina game last year, and then a handful of new guys we knew next to nothing about.
Well, never mind.
Kelly is, so far, everything we believed he would be. Carlin Fils-aime began re-writing his history Saturday, as he had 41 yards and two touchdowns on only three carries against Indiana State. Ty Chandler exploded onto the stage by taking the game’s opening kickoff all the way to the end zone, and the other newcomers got a chance to shine a little bit as well. Kelly’s the man, but there are two solid options behind him in Fils-aime and Chandler, and the unit has some extra added depth if needed, too.
Vols turn their focus to Florida
The Vols are now #23 in both the AP and Coaches polls, just ahead of Florida. And yet, Florida opened as 8.5 point favorites over Tennessee.
The early storylines are pretty much all the same reheating of last year’s leftovers: The Vols haven’t won in The Swamp since 2003. If that bothers you, just remember that this time last year the story was that the Vols hadn’t beaten the Gators at all in over a decade.
History also shows that Florida looked terrible against Michigan. The Gators played two quarterbacks against Michigan two weeks ago. One went 5-of-9 for 75 yards, and the other went 9-of-17 for 106 yards. Their running game gained 11 yards on 27 carries, and their offensive line gave up six sacks. Tennessee may have some issues, but so do the Gators.
The decision-makers are waiting until Hurricane Irma moves on before announcing whether the game will still be played in Gainesville this Saturday, but either way, the guys have turned their attention and focus to the Gators and sound like they’re going to be ready.
- Indiana State provided the Vols an opportunity to get a lot of new guys onto the field. A total of 15 true freshmen played Saturday, and 10 made their collegiate debuts. Wide receiver Josh Palmer and running back Ty Chandler got their first starts.
- Some additional great news for Team 121: defensive tackle Shy Tuttle was back in the game Saturday after a serious knee injury sidelined him again late last season.
- Among the things we learned about the Vols on Saturday is that while Jarrett Guarantano is talented and will be good for the Vols, Quinten Dormady is, without controversy, the team’s first string quarterback right now.
- Hidden away in Jimmy Hyams’ post-game blog is this sweet nugget about receiver Marquez Callaway: He has three touchdowns on only five receptions.
- Mike Griffith chose a good time to catch up with Casey Clausen, the last UT quarterback to beat Florida in The Swamp. Clausen was an awesome 15-1 on the road during his career as a Vol, with four of those wins coming at Alabama and Florida.
- Yesterday, VFL Jason Witten passed Michael Irvin and put his name first on the list for most receiving yards in Dallas Cowboy’s history.
- The Times Free Press has a nice feature on Paul Bain of Champs and his exceedingly strong will.