Tennessee Vols morning report: Starting QB named, SEC cancellation policies

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Welcome to the final day of August. Football is truly in the air, and tradition is back, as the first full week of the season comes on Labor Day weekend. All Tennessee Vols fans are gearing up with excitement for their opener against the Bowling Green Falcons.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with UT’s first official game week media session of the year Monday. Key information was revealed in it, and we have interviews with the head coach, an assistant coach and three players to bring you.

Beyond the media sessions, we also have news surrounding a decision by the SEC on how to deal with COVID this year to update you on. We’ll close with an SEC award a specific individual won in another sport. Simply put, there’s plenty to cover. Let’s start with the football news.

Josh Heupel meets with media, names starting QB – Dan Harralson, VolsWire

On Monday, Tennessee Vols football head coach Josh Heupel held his first game week media session ever with the program. He named Joe Milton III as the starting quarterback for the program’s Thursday opener against BGSU without naming a backup. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“All three of them have continued to grow and compete. Joe’s had the opportunity to take a bunch of reps with the [first string] as of late. I believe in Harrison Bailey and Hendon Hooker as well. They’ve handled the meeting room and practices the right way. I’m excited about that room as a collective group.”"

Tim Banks discusses UT defense on ‘Vol Calls’ – Ryan Callahan, GoVols247

Amidst all the talk surrounding Tennessee football’s starting quarterback, the defense has been the biggest concern for the program so far. Defensive coordinator Tim Banks went on “Vol Calls” Monday to discuss that side of the ball. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“The spring was tough, but I was pleased with the development. I thought the guys got better as spring went on. But I feel like we’ve obviously taken some great steps this camp, and obviously we’ll find out exactly where we are this Thursday night.”"

Players preview BGSU – Austin Price, VolQuest

Cedric Tillman, Matthew Butler and Jerome Carvin met with the media Monday to discuss the Tennessee Vols football opener against BGSU. Butler discussed his excitement about playing on a Thursday night. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"It’s been quite awhile since we’ve had a packed stadium, which we’re going to have. It’s obviously been a little bit shorter of a time since we played, but nonetheless, (I’m) very, very excited, very eager, very ready.”"

Carvin talked about playing in Heupel’s up-tempo offense as an offensive lineman. This is how he described it.

"“I love just going to line up, and seeing the defense not putting their hands down, standing up, gasping for air. As offensive linemen, we love that. It’s like a shark smelling blood in the water. That’s how I kind of feel about it. I love just flying off the ball, seeing the defense not even set up. It’s great.”"

Tillman discussed the skills of the wide receiver group in general. Here’s what he had to say about the players at his position.

"“I’m more of a big receiver. We’ve got Jalin (Hyatt), Jimmy (Calloway) and all these other guys who are fast, Velus (Jones Jr.). We’ve got guys who can beat you deep, we’ve got guys who can go up and get it. We’ve got a really diverse receiver room.”"

SEC releases cancellation policy – SECSports

With COVID still around despite a return to fans in the stands and a full season, the Southeastern Conference has released a policy to deal with the situation. If one team can’t play due to COVID, injuries or another reason, they’ll have to forfeit while the other team is credited a win. Should both teams be unable to play, they’ll both suffer a loss.

"The Commissioner retains discretion to declare a “no contest” for any event if extraordinary circumstances warrant.Tie-breaker procedures specific to each sport will apply for determining Conference champions, division champions where applicable, and/or seeding in Conference championship events."

Volleyball senior earns SEC Setter of the Week – UTSports

Over the weekend, Tennessee Lady Vols volleyball setter Natalie Hayward was key to helping the program sweep the Tennessee Classic. She was recognized for her efforts by being named the Southeastern Conference Setter of the Week.

"The Bothell, Washington, native played a key role in UT’s success during the Tennessee Classic, running the offense with efficiency and precision passing as the Lady Vols hit .366 as a team over the three matches.Hayward totaled 108 assists over nine sets, averaging 12.00 assists per set. She currently leads the SEC in assists per set after the first weekend of the season."