KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One trickle down from Tennessee’s quarterback change this week is that the Vols’ run game figures to take a step forward.
Tennessee has arguably the best back in the SEC in John Kelly, but the Vols rank No. 11 in the SEC with 137.6 yards per game entering Saturday’s noon game with South Carolina (TV: ESPN).
Coach Butch Jones has gone with four different offensive line combinations through the first five games, but the Vols feel they’ve found a unit worth sticking with: LT Drew Richmond, LG Brett Kendrick, C Jashon Robertson, RG Trey Smith, RT Marcus Tatum.
Those linemen figure to be doing more run blocking with Guarantano under center, as Tennessee’s playbook figures to shrink with the redshirt freshman pulling the trigger and creating plays with his legs.
The quarterback move has as much to do with relying on the Vols’ most proven players, which reside on the offensive line and in the backfield.
Tennessee’s receiver corps simply failed the test the first five games, with 14 dropped passes and imprecise routes at key junctures, including a pivotal play at Florida that resulted in a fourth quarter Pick-6.
If Quinten Dormady wants to know who to blame for losing his starting job, he needs to look no further than the receivers room.
“It’s no reflection on Quintin,” Jones said Wednesday after announcing Guarantano would start. “It’s a lot of people around him.”
That said, the Vols’ coaching staff stressed to Dormady that he needed to be more assertive with teammates leading up to the season.
Dormady, known for his calm and poised demeanor, was unable to find the fire needed to get his teammates to respond to his leadership and raise their level of play the past two games.
Dormady has eight turnovers in the past four games, but two of them are the direct route of others failing to execute (imprecise route, missed blindside block), and others came with him throwing under duress.
SEC Country’s Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discuss how the Vols plan to rely more on their run game against the Gamecocks in Saturday’s high noon shootout.
Tennessee football podcast
The post Tennessee football podcast: Quinten Dormady can blame inconsistent receivers for losing starting job appeared first on SEC Country.
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