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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

It’s no surprise that Adam Breneman would be on this list. Once a notable Penn State player who helped the program through the Jerry Sandusky scandal, he transferred to the UMass Minutemen last year and became an All-American tight end with 70 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns.

This year, he’s picking up right where he left off even if the team isn’t doing so.

A 6’5″ 255-pound senior, injuries are still haunting Brenman, but he’s dominating for UMass to complement Andy Isabella on the outside. The guy already has 24 receptions for 369 yards.

And Mark Whipple is not going to stop looking his way. This is actually a bigger mismatch for the Vols than you might think.

Consider all their injuries at linebacker for a second. Colton Jumper doesn’t have the size to guard Breneman, and Daniel Bituli is more of an edge-rusher than a coverage guy. So if he or Quart’e Sapp can’t be consistent in coverage, Breneman could have a field day.

And that could make UMass much more dangerous in this game than they otherwise would be.

In fact, the Minutemen could do more than just give Tennessee football a scare if they start to get Breneman the ball in the right spots.

Butch Jones and Bob Shoop could have serious trouble covering him, keeping them in the game until the fourth quarter. This is a future NFL tight end on a terrible football team.

So expect him to give the Vols serious trouble Saturday. How they respond is going to be crucial.