Tennessee football: Five key Vols to watch for at LSU

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Facing a second straight mobile quarterback after struggling with Anthony Richardson two weeks ago may come with some similar principles for Tennessee football, which will in turn require similar players on defense to step up. At the same time, the injury on offense to Cedric Tillman once again affects who must step up on offense.

However, as we get set to break down the key Vols on Saturday when they visit the LSU Tigers, the teams are different enough that the standout performers won’t be the same if UT is going to win. Even the quarterbacks, despite their mobility, are different. Defensive schemes are going to be different as well.

This is historically a game where heroes are made. Ask Rohan Davey, Kelley Washington, Matt Mauck, Rick Clausen and Jamarcus Russell. Who has the best chance to do that for Tennessee football? Let’s break that down in the five key Vols at LSU.

Josh Heupel will need these Tennessee football Volunteers players at Death Valley in Baton Rouge, La., against Brian Kelly and Louisiana State University.

Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright (20) gator chomps to the crowd during the second half of a game between the Tennessee Vols and Florida Gators, in Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-33.
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Jaylen Wright
Running back Sophomore

5’11” 205 pounds

Last week, the Auburn Tigers found a way to break some of that press coverage LSU does on the outside. They incorporated their running backs into the passing game. Okay, it wasn’t often, but when they did, it went for big plays. Specifically, Jarquez Hunter had two catches for 70 yards, including a 61-yard gain, and six rushes for 35 yards.

As a result, the Vols could use their all-purpose backs for big plays. Jabari Small is more the power runner, and he’ll be used to keep the defense honest. However, he won’t rack up a lot of yards. Jaylen Wright and Dylan Sampson are the team’s best chances to do that.

For this game, we’re going with Wright. He was banged up in fall camp and started the season rusty, but he should be fully healthy now, which makes him Tennessee football’s most experienced all-purpose back. As a result, Josh Heupel will likely find ways to get him the ball in open space, and that could make him very effective.

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