3. Can UT contain Dan Ellington’s mobility?
Since the pass rush is crucial, the inside linebackers are crucial, Shawn Elliott is a brilliant offensive mind and the Georgia State Panthers figure to have a great passing game, Dan Ellington is going to be a major player in this game as their quarterback. Tennessee football is going to have to contain him at all costs.
We listed Nigel Warrior as one of the key players to UT beating Georgia State because without Daniel Bituli, he’s the only experienced player when it comes to playing in the right position and taking the right angles to keep explosive players in check. The explosive player for Georgia State is going to be Ellington.
In addition to this potentially very good passing attack, Ellington adds another element with his mobility. He led the team last year and rushing and passing, meaning he brings a lot of things to the table that could make this offense hard to defend.
With brand new inside linebackers, a complete overhaul of the defensive line and a key player out in the secondary, taking away Ellington’s threat to run the ball could become a challenge. And if it is, then the Vols could end up struggling early on. They have to make sure that doesn’t happen, and doing so require shutting down Ellington’s dual-threat abilities.
If Warrior comes through, the new inside linebackers do their job, and the pass rush is where it needs to be, the Vols will be in good shape. But that’s a lot to ask for in an opening game, so Derrick Ansley needs to have his guys ready to go.