Joe Milton III looked comfortable at quarterback as Tennessee Football beat South Carolina. He found Squirrel White for a 50-yard reception that highlighted the night.
Milton only took one sack while he completed 21-of-32 passing. Despite his two interceptions, tight end Jacob Warren saw the same comfort from Milton on Saturday.
“They had some pressures and kind of flushed them here and there,” Warren said on The Vol Report. “But for the most part, Joe was able to kind of sit back there and, like you said, be comfortable and just feel like he had some time to to deliver the ball, to make these plays. And also just him being him, right. Just making plays and just being having that swagger, that charisma about him kind of shows whenever he really feels comfortable back there.”
The offense is more than just Milton as Warren put it. The unit is all 11 taking a step forward.
From Week 1 to the performance on Saturday night, it feels like those performances have grown. The group that had to replace Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman finally looked like the up-tempo attack you would expect from Josh Heupel’s team.
A lot of the adjustments from down-to-down, which Warren highlighted, start with Milton.
“Fully capable, he’s been able to make all the checks we’ve needed,” Warren said. “He’s been able to make a lot of really cool throws and escaping the pocket and doing some really cool things. I think it’s kind of just knowing your players and knowing kind of how you want to attack the defense based on kind of what you’re getting.”
Warren mentioned the comfort level of the team as the season has gone on. Tennessee Football took what the Gamecocks gave them — the underneath game for most of the night. That led to 239 yards through the air.
The middle of the field, and the intermediate as a whole, has not been a successful place for Milton to attack in the first four weeks. That looked different against the Gamecocks, and it could be an indication of what to expect moving forward from the Tennessee offense.
The offense will have to continue to improve for Tennessee Football to chase its goal: a trip to Atlanta. That isn’t out of the question yet.
“We all we all know all those things are still out there for us,” Warren said. “It’s just a matter of reaching
the full potential. It’s a matter of going out there and showing every single week that, regardless of what happened in Gainesville, right, it’s over. But that wasn’t this team and that wasn’t our best ball. And we can continue to grow and continue to move forward. And at the end of it, if we do what we’re supposed to do, what we want to do, then you know that won’t really matter.”