By Jordan Mayton, VFL Insider
Vols Game Preview
Tennessee Volunteers (4-6, 0-6 SEC) vs Louisiana State Tigers (7-3, 4-2 SEC)
Saturday, November 4th, 7:00 PM (ET) on ESPN
Neyland Stadium – Knoxville, Tennessee
What to watch for:
The long awaited day finally came to fruition for Tennessee fans last Sunday.
Butch Jones is gone.
The Vols have taken a step in the right direction, at least for the future. But for the rest of the season, who the hell knows what’s going to happen.
Defensive line coach Brady Hoke was named the Vols interim head coach on Sunday with more questions than answers. What is Tennessee’s offense going to look like? Who’s going to be doing the play calling? Who will start under-center for the Vols?
Tennessee hopes to get back offensive linemen Drew Richmond and Brett Kendrick. It’s likely that sophomore receiver Marquez Callaway will fold back into the mix too. And while three players does not a team make, it could certainly bolster the Vols offense against a stout Tiger defense.
With freshman Will McBride garnering the start against Missouri last week, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be the starting signal caller for the Vols. Jarrett Guarantano took reps last week but didn’t see any game action. Coach Hoke has seemingly dodged the question all week, not letting on who will be Tennessee’s starting quarterback for Saturday.
On the other side, the Tigers’ defense leads the SEC in sacks. They are only giving up a measly 317 yards per game, which is 16th in the country. LSU is surrendering a mere 19.4 points per game, tied for 20th in FBS football. The unit ranks right up with Georgia and Alabama, who held the Vols to seven points combined.
This is a tall test for Tennessee to get back to bowl-eligibility. It’s a test that will likely put an end to Team 121’s postseason play.