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

There aren’t many defensive guys to praise so far this year for the UMass Minutemen, but Da’Sean Downey is one major exception. A senior defensive end for this team, Downey could be deadly this weekend.

The guy already has 18 tackles on the year, and he leads the team in sacks with three and tackles for a loss overall with four and a half. That’s a pretty impressive resume through three games.

After picking up six sacks last year and forcing four fumbles, Downey knows how to blow up plays. And Tennessee football will have to account for him this weekend.

Imagine, for a second, if he gets into the backfield and forces just one turnover early on in the game. UMass could set the tempo and make it close for a while, which is exactly what Butch Jones does not want.

And given the way they throw it around, the Minutemen could take some serious momentum as well.

So the Vols have to keep an eye on Downey as much as possible. Fortunately for them, Drew Richmond has done a heck of a job as the blindside tackle so far. And Brett Kendrick remains reliable.

So the tackles are doing their part. But they had better keep doing it, or Tennessee football could suffer a scare on Saturday.

Yes, overall the Vols are far too talented, especially at offensive line, to let guys like Downey wreak havoc. But it only takes a couple of big plays to change a game.

And Downey is more than capable of making those.