Joe Milton III lowered his shoulder on Saturday, picking up extra yards while bulldozing an Alabama defender. He did the same thing several times on Saturday.
A week ago against Texas A&M, it seemed like the 6-foot-5 and 235-pound quarterback was dodging contact. There was no dodging of contact in Tuscaloosa.
“It changes things in the game, man,” tight end Jacob Warren said on The Vol Report. “That was something that Hendon did really well last year, was extend plays with his legs and add a whole element to the offense of hey, you also probably need to cover that guy, make sure he doesn’t escape the pocket because he can do a lot of damage.”
Milton did a lot of damage on the ground on Saturday. He led the Vols on the ground with 59 yards on 15 attempts. If you take out sack yardage, his yard total is closer to 92.
Milton using his legs is something that the Vols will need to utilize more going forward. When the offense gets into lulls like the second half on Saturday, it needs any spark it can get.
And, when Milton lowers his shoulder, it ignites the Vols’ sideline.
“He loves it and thinks that it brings him juice,” Warren said. “It brings everybody else juice. And
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him scrambling around and making plays with his feet and also just doing the, you know, the design runs and all those things that we can kind of wrinkle in the offense to give us just a new element and just be able to attack the box a different way.”
Milton and the Vols travel to Lexington on Saturday for their next test. It is another test on the road.
Tennessee has failed on both of its road tests this year, in Gainesville and then this past Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Milton had a good first half through the air and on the ground. If he can maintain that level of play for four quarters in Lexington, the Vols shouldn’t struggle.
Warren, like many fans, is excited to see Milton incorporate his legs more into the offense.
“Obviously people will have to worry about it,” Warren said. “I wouldn’t want to tackle him. So I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.”