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

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Andrew Ford
COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Andrew Ford /
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Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /

It was really hard for us to choose between Jessie Britt and Sadiq Palmer for this fifth spot. Palmer has been the more productive receiver so far for UMass with 239 yards on 17 receptions.

However, Britt is clearly better in open space with seven receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. And as a running back who can pass-catch and make plays, he’s more dangerous overall. The guy is just a freshman with a ton of potential.

Mark Whipple is likely looking to involve Britt more in the offense, and that could come at the expense of Tennessee football. If Butch Jones and the Vols aren’t careful, Britt could make a play or two that keeps UMass close in this game.

After all, he’s a running back who is utilized heavily in the passing game and also returns punts. So he can beat you in many ways.

By the way, he’s getting better as well. Last week against the Temple Owls, Britt had three receptions for 57 yards and his first offensive touchdown. Two weeks before that, he had three receptions for 45 yards against Coastal Carolina.

Now yes, these are bad teams, and UMass is losing them. But that does not mean that Britt isn’t a player who can make a few plays that cost the Vols.

Whipple is making a huge mistake not using him more. With an 0-4 record and no reason not to throw in all the freshmen, that could change Saturday at Neyland. And Britt could be the beneficiary of it.