Rocky Top hosts a team from the Rocky Mountains Saturday as Tennessee football faces Brigham Young. Here is injury and weather news for the Volunteers.
Saturday’s game between Tennessee football and the BYU Cougars features two teams trying to recover from rough season-opening losses. The Vols’ loss was clearly worse, as they fell at home to a Sun Belt team that was 2-10 last year. On the other hand, the BYU Cougars just lost to the Utah Utes, a Pac-12 South favorite, on the road. They were expected to lose that.
What are the conditions for both teams heading into this game? That, beyond the talent and the morale, is obviously going to play a huge role in how things shake out. So we’re going to give our weekly breakdown of what we call the excuse meter: things fans blame for when their teams struggle and lose.
The two most common are the elements and injuries. And that’s what we’re doing here. This is a look at each team’s injury report, including players who are probable, questionable, out and suspended. We’ll then close with the weather forecast for the game. So let’s begin with the injury news out there on Rocky Top.
Vols injury report
Senior linebacker Daniel Bituli is recovering from a minor injury that needs to be cleaned up, but after missing last week Jeremy Pruitt said he’s close to being back and could play some snaps this week.
Tennessee football’s junior backup running back is dealing with an ankle injury, which has resulted in Aaron Beasley, who has been practicing with the defense, moving back over to running back to provide depth.
Jeremy Pruitt said Trey Smith would be on a week-to-week basis all year with the blood clots in his lungs. He played last week, though.
The senior defensive back is dealing with a spine injury and could miss the whole season, taking a redshirt to return for next year.
After suffering an injury that required ACL surgery, Emmit Gooden will miss the whole year. The senior defensive lineman will take a redshirt and be back next year.
UT’s best cornerback remains suspended indefinitely after an altercation he had that led to an arrest the week before the season started.
BYU injury report
- As BYU’s No. 2 tight end behind Matt Bushman, Moroni Laulu-Pututau had over 100 yards receiving last year along with a touchdown. He is still recovering from a torn ACL and didn’t accrue any stats last week but will probably be good to go this week.
- Last year, wide receiver Neil Pau’u had only slightly over 200 receiving yards and a touchdown. However, the junior is suspended for the year after he was arrested for a DUI back in June.
According to AccuWeather, Saturday is expected to be a beautiful day on Rocky Top. It will be sunny with a high of 86 degrees and a low of 63 degrees. At kickoff, which is 7 p.m. E.T., the weather is expected to be completely clear and 79 degrees.
It looks like BYU has the advantage on the injury front this week, as they have no unexpected absences that they didn’t prepare for ahead of the season. Meanwhile, the Vols have three players who may not go, and three more who are out. They just started preparing for the loss of half of those guys in August.
Tennessee football would seem to be more used to this hot weather. But the high in Provo Saturday is 88 degrees and sunny. So it can get hot there, and since it’s at night, the Vols won’t really have an elements advantage. That’s a complete wash. So with their injuries and last week’s loss, they’ll have to turn things around the old-fashioned way…by just being better.