College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Tennessee season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Keys To The Season
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Tennessee Schedule Analysis
– Tennessee Volunteers Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
Tennessee Volunteers College Football Preview 2021: Offense
– Alright, let’s get this thing going already. Tennessee is about to attempt to go from 0-to-60 with an offense that’s finally going to give teams something to worry about.
Last year the Vols were dead last in the SEC in third down conversions, 11th in total offense averaging 346 yards per game, and 12th in scoring averaging just 22 points per outing. There were moments, but the O scored more than 19 points once in the final seven games, and that came against Vanderbilt.
Enter new head coach Josh Heupel and an attack brought over from UCF that’s going to go fast, push the ball down the field, and at the very least be far more interesting. He’s bringing over offensive coordinator Alex Golesh from UCF, and he’s adding a TON of options from the transfer portal, and now …
– Welcome to the most interesting quarterback situation in college football. Jarrett Guarantano led the Vols in passing, and now he’s a Washington State Cougar. JT Shrout got in some throws, and now he’s a Colorado Buffalo. Harrison Bailey stepped in as the star-in-waiting and completed 71% of his throws for 578 yards and four touchdowns, and if the season started right now he might be QB1, but …
Joe Milton was the starting quarterback at Michigan. He struggled and sputtered, but he’s got the size, skills and arm to grow into the job. Hendon Hooker was the star playmaker for Virginia Tech for a few seasons, and he brings the mobility, experience, and resumé no one else in the mix has.
– If you came to Tennessee as a tight end, you’re probably in the transfer portal now. It’s not that Heupel and his offense totally ignores the position, but … tight ends are better off elsewhere, and that’s why four took off. However, Austin Pope and Princeton Want are sticking around – they’re the best two, anyway.
Leading receiver Josh Palmer is done, but Velus Jones is a dynamic playmaker who should thrive in the new attack, Jalin Hyatt is a dangerous deep threat, and Cedric Tillman adds 6-3 size and matchup problems.
– For all of the fun the UCF passing game had, the running backs turned out to be stars, too. The Vols lose top backs Ty Chandler (North Carolina) and Eric Gray (Oklahoma), and now it might be up to star JUCO transfer Tiyon Evans if third-leading back Jabari Small isn’t used more.
The offensive front that struggled so much in pass protection loses Trey Smith to the NFL and tackles Wanya Morris (Oklahoma) and Jahmir Johnson (Texas A&M) to the portal. Cade Mays, though, should be one of the nation’s best blockers no matter where he plays, Darnell Wright is a future NFL Draft pick, and there’s enough in place to come up with a solid front five.