UT-Martin was always going to be a game in which Tennessee football could insert some backups early on, and that’s exactly what they did. Hendon Hooker was pulled before the first half even ended. However, Josh Heupel was highly critical of the backups and younger players in his postgame press conference and for good reason.
Once Hooker went out, the Vols only won the rest of the game 20-17. Joe Milton III, Squirrel White and Dylan Sampson all played well, but the issues with the team as a whole really began to show. This could be a problem for them down the road, as they still aren’t stacked enough to handle a slew of injuries at certain positions.
To be fair, there were seven hurries against UT-Martin, but the Vols finished with only two sacks. Honestly, given the fact that Dresser Winn is a drop-back passer, they should’ve had more, even though UT-Martin only gave up two on the year before that hame. The Vols aren’t your average pass rush facing the Skyhawks.
Byron Young is a two-time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, and Tyler Baron is a star in his own right. Neither had a sack in this game, which was a problem. Given the way Bryce Young eluded their pressures so many times a week earlier, their stock is falling.