6’4″ 320 pounds
Everybody talks about UT-Martin’s passing attack, but similar to Tennessee football, they actually have a decent bit of balance on the team, and they average nearly six and a half yards rushing on the ground. However, they run a pro-style offense, so it doesn’t really have anything to do with the quarterback contributing to the run game.
Given the fact that they have great pass protection in the pro-style, having only allowed two sacks all year, the key is to take away that balance, meaning the Vols have to stop the run. Stopping it in this game is actually pretty standard. They need their defensive tackles to step up.
Omari Thomas has emerged as a huge star for the Vols’ defense this year, and while he has made some mistakes here and there, particularly last week, he is a key weapon for them. Against UT-Martin, he’ll need to be the guy to stuff the run game up front before it gets going.
This isn’t to say guys like Jeremy Banks and Aaron Beasley won’t be crucial, but gap integrity isn’t as important in this game given UT-Martin’s system. That should allow for the Vols’ defensive tackles, particularly Thomas, to make a ton of big plays throughout the day. If he does that, the defense can put this game out of reach early.