Tennessee football opens the Jeremy Pruitt era against the West Virginia Mountaineers in Charlotte. Here are five Volunteers to watch for in the game.
The 2018 season is set to begin, and Tennessee football has a brutal first test to begin Jeremy Pruitt’s tenure with a neutral site game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Facing the No. 17 ranked team in Charlotte, the Vols have a heck of a lot to gain and little to lose in their opener as 10-point underdogs.
With the change to a pro-style offense under Tyson Helton and Pruitt installing a 3-4 defense, this game produces numerous match-up issues for the Vols. They are facing an air raid offense led by Dana Holgorsen, and this year it’s led by Will Grier, who returns to health after a season-ending injury late last year and who torched the Vols in 2015 with the Florida Gators.
No doubt, Tennessee football will need to do whatever it can to stop that air raid. But what can the Vols do? Who can they rely on? With so many questions on the depth chart this year, it’s impossible to know which players are going to step up.
However, with another key opening game, there are certainly some weapons on Rocky Top. While we don’t know who the starters will be in many areas, one quick glance at the depth chart shows there are players all over the field.
Proper coaching and motivation could make this a dangerous team. West Virginia may be a match-up issue, but there are certain players who can offset that. As we look at the key Vols in this game, guys who can make up for WVU’s advantages over UT are a huge part of this game. The other part are guys who can exploit glaring weaknesses on the Mountaineers, and they exist.
So let’s go ahead and begin our preview of the first game of the year, starting as always with a look at the Vols. These are the five key Tennessee football players to watch for in their opener against the West Virginia Mountaineers.