8. Which one gives: BYU’s horrible pass rush or Tennessee’s horrible protection?
Well, after all the talk of the offensive line improving in the offseason, not much changed on the field for Tennessee football Saturday. The Vols had a horrendous time protecting Jarrett Guarantano, and the play of the game was when, down by five, Guarantano was hit and fumbled the ball on a corner blitz. He was also sacked four times overall.
Part of this was Jim Chaney’s plays being too slow developing and him relying far too much on Eric Gray, a freshman running back, in picking up the blitzes, but the other part was just bad blocking on the outside. When you’re running multiple true freshmen out there on the line, it makes sense that this could happen.
Still, the Vols were surprisingly atrocious. Lucky for them, they are facing a unit that has a horrible rush to begin with. Against the Utah Utes, BYU got no sacks and no hurries. Now, again, they were playing a Power Five opponent that does have a good line, but that still is an atrocious outing for a season-opening game.
So between the two, something’s got to give. Will the Vols keep Guarantano upright, which they have failed to do ever since Jeremy Pruitt arrived on campus? Or will BYU generate a pass rush that it didn’t come close to generating in the opener? Whichever one gives will help dictate the flow of the game, and it will be huge in determining who wins.