Expectations are there for Darrell Taylor to burst onto the scene as the top pass rusher in the SEC this year. After all, he led all returning SEC players this year in sacks last year and was tied for third among them in tackles for a loss, and that was despite being the secondary edge rusher for half the season and still getting acclimated to Jeremy Pruitt’s new 3-4 scheme.
This year, Taylor figures to be Tennessee football’s major stats machine. After all, he racked up his stats in pretty much three games last year. He wants to spread that out this year, and the Georgia State Panthers are the perfect team for him to begin his quest to build on his eight sacks and 11 tackles for a loss from last year.
GSU isn’t horrible at allowing sacks. They were just below average, allowing 25 last year. With more experience, that will likely improve. However, Dan Ellington is a mobile quarterback who likes to roll out of the pocket. That’s where Taylor comes in.
Giving up over two sacks a game, even if barely, is still not good anyway. So if Taylor is to make a leap, he should cash in on what’s not good with the other team when he can. The Vols will need his rushing skills to help contain Ellington, and if Trevon Flowers does his job with the secondary, Taylor could thrive.