Tennessee football: 5 Vols to watch for vs. UMass Minutemen

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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

Daniel Bituli came up short against the Florida Gators in terms of being the playmaker Tennessee football fans expect him to be. He only had five tackles, and that was against a horrible offense that should have allowed for him to make a ton of plays.

This week, the personnel on Tennessee football’s opponent once again screams for Bituli to be a playmaker. And with Cortez McDowell now out for the season, the Vols need him more than ever.

Bituli showed himself against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to be a great rusher with amazing lateral quickness. He’s going to want to do both of those things on Saturday.

UMass loves to throw the ball a lot, but the way teams have gotten the best of them is by picking up sacks. They’ve given up 23 on the year already, almost six sacks a game.

Meanwhile, Bituli was recruited as an edge rusher at linebacker, similar to Curt Maggitt. And he’s shown that he has the talent to do that.

So now, this is his opportunity to break out as a sack machine against an offense with terrible pass protection.

By the way, rushing the passer is not the only thing he needs to do in this game either.

Ford’s top receiver right now is a 6’5″ tight end by the name of Adam Brenemen. One of the toughest guys to guard, Colton Jumper is likely to small to handle him.

So Butch Jones and Bob Shoop will likely want to use Bituli on him in coverage at times to make sure he doesn’t go off. And that makes him doubly-important.