3. How dominant can Vols’ interior D-Line be?
Pretty the entire battle on the line of scrimmage for UT-Martin on offense and Tennessee football on defense will determine if the Skyhawks can stay in this game. Here is where they have a huge problem. In spite of their notable passing attack, similar to the Vols, they are actually a team built on a bit more balance.
As a result, UT-Martin relies on a heavily efficient rushing attack, and indeed, they are averaging just under six and a half yards on the ground for the year. Being able to get the run game going is how their passing attack is so dominant, and it’s what they’ll need to do here.
However, the most obvious difference when teams like the Vols face FCS foes has always been the line of scrimmage, so how will UT-Martin handle Omari Thomas, LaTrell Bumphus and Kurott Garland in the middle? That’s a brutal task, and it’s probably a foregone conclusion that they’ll end up being dominated.
The real question is just how dominated they’ll be. This is where coaching comes into play, as Jason Simpson somehow has to design run plays that catch the Vols off-balance. That’s easier said than done, and if he can’t do it, this turns into a blowout quickly.