Brandon Kennedy may be a bit of a shock to people. He joins Marquez Callaway as one of the only four safe starters on the Tennessee football offense heading into the game according to the depth chart. The other two are Brandon Johnson, who again is filling the slot by default, and Trey Smith, who has move to left tackle.
However, Kennedy is going to be more important than Smith in this game. Yes, the graduate transfer for the Alabama Crimson Tide just took on one of the biggest roles, and there are numerous reasons he’s crucial.
Kennedy is playing center. That alone is a crucial position, but it’s more crucial this week because we’re not sure who’s going to play the most between Keller Chryst and Jarrett Guarantano. Meanwhile, the personnel of the Mountaineers makes Kennedy a crucial player in this game for another reason.
As we already mentioned, WVU has a terrible rush defense. With their talent and breaking in a new quarterback combined with the concerns in the secondary, the Vols will want to exploit that by running the ball and controlling the clock. That makes Kennedy a crucial interior blocker as well as being a center in this game.
By the way, the center is also important for pass protection, even if the left tackle is more important. So when the Vols go for big plays on the deep ball, Jeremy Pruitt and Tyson Helton will need Kennedy to step up again.
Simply put, Kennedy is a huge deal in this game for so many reasons. We’ll go as far as to say he’s the most important offensive player. It doesn’t matter who the Vols start at quarterback or running back. With Kennedy manning the interior, it’ll all go through him. So he has a huge role in his first game with the Vols.