6’1″ 224 pounds
Yes, two linebackers made this list. Mizzou relies on running the ball and controlling the clock, and Tennessee football’s linebackers will be the most important part of stopping that. Juwan Mitchell is on here because of his potential to come away with big plays, and that can’t be overlooked.
However, Jeremy Banks will be the one most responsible for stopping the run every play. This isn’t to discount Aaron Beasley, who will be key in both. Also, the edge rushers will need to play better than last week, and the defensive tackles need to play as well as they did last week. All of those matchups, though, will lead to Banks being the one to make plays.
Last week, Banks was underrated for an elite performance in which he had one and a half tackles for a loss, a pass deflection and seven tackles, four of which were solo. Also, as far as linebackers in coverage go, Banks had an interception when the Vols visited Mizzou last year.
True, this is a totally different Missouri offense, but it’s still one vulnerable to interceptions by linebackers. Simply put, everything is in play for Banks to have a big game once again, and he’ll be critical to the Vols making sure they get off the field.