2. What damage could UT-Martin do to a depleted Vols’ secondary?
Assuming UT-Martin can somehow lessen Tennessee football’s dominance on the defensive line, this becomes where they build the advantage. It’s the standout strength of them and the standout weakness of the Vols, which is the one reason this could be a bit interesting early on.
UT-Martin has a dominant passing attack. With Dresser Winn at quarterback, they are averaging over 293 yards a game and nearly eight and a half yards an attempt. They also are great at not throwing picks, as Winn has two on the year. A high-powered passing attack is why they are in the top 20 of FCS play and looking to repeat as Ohio Valley Conference Champions.
On the other side, the Vols have been awful in the secondary. Bryce Young was the third straight quarterback to throw for over 300 yards on them and the second in three games to go for over 450. A lot of that was Young making plays, but the secondary has clear issues.
Part of this is how limited the Vols are in the secondary. Warren Burrell is out for the year, Kamal Hadden missed last game, and Jaylen McCollough was dealing with an off-field issue, so he was out as well. Yes, the weakest unit for UT was down three starters. They’ll be down at least one this week in Burrell, maybe two with Hadden. If the Skyhawks can exploit that, watch out.