Bru McCoy only caught two passes for 21 yards in Tennessee’s season-opening win against Virginia. However, it was obvious that the Vols’ receiver has many more big plays ahead of him this season.
McCoy nearly hauled in a third touchdown pass in the 49-13 win over the Cavaliers on Saturday. However, his foot was correctly ruled just out of bounds, which negated the score. Tennessee didn’t need to lean too much on its talented group of receivers as the Vols dominated Virginia up front in the running game and mostly shut the Cavs down when they had the ball.
When asked about the Vols’ play at receiver, McCoy said, “From an effort standpoint, since we ran the ball a lot, I think we did outstanding on that level. There’s a lot of good things to build off of. And with our mistakes, we immediately know how to correct it on the fly. Definitely a lot to build on.”
There is no question that McCoy is the Vols’ most physical receiver. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound wideout will be a tough matchup for any defensive back he plays this season, especially since he enjoys contact.
”I have always been told you are going to get hit regardless,” McCoy said. “You might as well catch the ball. That’s kind of my logic going into it. I’m going to take the hit either way, so I might as well get a reception.”
The Vols scored on their opening possession against Virginia but then struggled a bit midway through the first half. McCoy didn’t seem concerned.
“It’s your first game and first time going out as an offense, competing against someone else in a different jersey and not your teammates,” the senior said. “It takes time. You almost have to make those mistakes to be able to correct them. As we made mistakes, we would go to the sideline to communicate, talk, learn and kind of digest what is not clicking and why it’s not clicking.
“Throughout the game, we saw it start to come together. At the skill position for us, it’s just making the right reads and not being anxious…have to have some poise, especially when you come out and you have nerves first game. You kind of settle in, and things start to click later.”
Tennessee’s receivers may not have a huge game this week. The Vols face Austin Peay in the home opener at Neyland Stadium. It’s doubtful that the Governors can consistently cover the Vols’ receivers. However, Tennessee may not need much from their best receivers to win the game comfortably.