Although the defensive tackles did their jobs, Tennessee football’s defensive ends were silent. Byron Young and Tyler Baron were needed to get pressure on Stetson Bennett, particularly so the linebackers could use a spy on him in case he decided to take off. Neither was relevant in this game, and that proved costly.
A sack here or there could have killed a couple of their drives. Lack of pressure is also what forced Tim Banks to draw up that blitz on Bennett’s first touchdown run. It wasn’t likely that the ends would have a big day, but they were completely silent, something that wasn’t expected.
Honestly, the offensive line wasn’t horrible at most positions. However, we gave the unit an F in our report card, and it comes down to left tackle. Gerald Mincey had a pre-snap penalty, but Jeremiah Crawford struggled the most. He had numerous penalties all day, then there is what happened when the ball was snapped.
UT allowed six sacks on the day, and they often came from the left side. Now, Jalen Carter blew up the middle at times too, but it all started with failures at left tackle. This is the one position that didn’t have a returning starter from last year, but it was fine until Saturday. Now there is a real concern, as both players struggled.