Tennessee’s gameplan offensively was pretty simple against LSU. If the Tigers didn’t drop into coverage, the Vols were going to make LSU pay. That’s exactly what happened.
Although balanced with the run, Tennessee’s passing attack was still explosive against the Tigers, racking up 239 efficient yards. Receiver Jalin Hyatt caught four passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns.
“We wanted to see if they were going to be a drop eight team or they’re going to come out there in man and say, ‘Their guys are better than our guys,’” Hyatt said. “In the receiver room, we take that as disrespectful especially in this offense.”
Statistics haven’t disrespected the Vols. Tennessee ranks second in the SEC with 340 yards passing per game , just behind Mississippi State, which averages 355 yards per game through the air. Keep in mind that the Vols are doing all of this without their most experienced and most accomplished receiver, Cedric Tillman, on the bench sidelined with an ankle sprain.
Tillman’s status for the Alabama game on Saturday is still uncertain and likely will be until the Vols actually take the field against the Crimson Tide. No one is going to declare that Tillman will play or not before it’s absolutely necessary. Still, Tillman is never further than a Tweet away.
Tennessee’s players like to refer to second-year UT head coach Josh Heupel as “Coach Heup” even though he’s living up to every bit of the preseason hype associated with the Vols – and more.
“We bought in, just in the off season,” Hyatt said. “We we took the coaching from Coach Heup…We believe we can go in and beat anybody on our schedule and we have a real chance of that this year. So we just have to continue to grow and continue to execute.”
The next team is the latest rendition of one of the most dominant programs team sports history and its pretty good. No. 1 Alabama will be in Knoxville to take on the Vols, who have gone from up-and-coming to arrived.
“Obviously, there’s some things we always need to clean up,” Hyatt said. “We have a big test next week. And, you know, we’re ready for it. We’re ready for what we have to do. And I’m confident in our guys, I’m confident in our coaches. And we just have to execute and do what we do.”