9. Yards after catch for Vols
Although they have lots of big receivers and can provide mismatches all over the field, Tennessee football could struggle on Saturday in yards after catch. How well they handle that issue will dictate whether or not they can control this game.
For all their issues, the BYU Cougars can limit your passing. Sure, the Utah Utes went 13-of-16 against them. But they only went for 106 yards, so Kalani Sitake’s defense kept everything in front of it through the air.
The Vols, meanwhile, use their size to win jump-balls against people. But yards after catch was a problem Saturday on some notable moments. One was a quick out Jarrett Guarantano threw to Austin Pope, and he was stopped immediately. Another time, Dominick Wood-Anderson seemed destined for a touchdown running down the sideline but lost his balance and went out of bounds.
Simply put, the Vols need to be better at making plays when they make catches. BYU is great at shutting that stuff down, so while they won’t be superb at it on Saturday, they need to do just enough to get their offense on a roll.
If that doesn’t happen, then the Cougars could begin to dictate the flow of the game. That’s especially true if the Vols are forced into obvious passing plays, which could happen if they fall behind. And that could become disastrous for Rocky Top, so they need to make sure they are making plays in the passing game after catching the ball.