Tennessee football: Five Vols to watch for against Aggies

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Dec 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Bryce Thompson (0) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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Bryce Thompson
Defensive back Junior

5’11” 190 pounds; Hometown: Irmo, S.C.

Widely regarded as UT’s best cover corner, it was disheartening to see Bryce Thompson biting on fakes and prematurely jumping routes in Tennessee football’s Week 14 loss to the Florida Gators. But after recording two solo tackles and returning his second interception of the season for a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores, how could we not slip Thompson onto this list?

Looking ahead to his presumed matchup on Saturday, the Aggies’ leading true wideout, Chase Lane, has 344 yards and two touchdowns on the year but has struggled recently. He’s caught just three passes for 33 yards over his last two games. When Thompson is lined up on the outside, he’ll need to do everything in his power to keep Kellen Mond’s eyes to the inside of the field.

The strength of Texas A&M’s passing game comes from unlikely position groups. That means Thompson will need to erase his wide receiver from the picture entirely so the Tennessee football coaching staff can work to neutralize the middle of the field.

When Thomspon’s receiver is targeted, look for him to take a shot at the ball. Since it’s uncertain what the future holds for the Vols’ bowl game chances, this may be his last opportunity to match the three-interception per season mark he’s followed in both his freshman and sophomore years.

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