How does Tennessee Football rebound from an awful second half in a 34-20 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide on the road last week? Who needs to step up for another tough road environment on the horizon ? These are the five Vols who will be key when UT visits the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday night.
5. Chas Nimrod
In each of their two losses, Kentucky has let the other team’s primary wideout go off. Right now, without Bru McCoy, the Vols don’t have a primary wideout. They gave Kaleb Webb a look last week and Chas Nimrod a look the week before. Honestly, Nimrod was better, so Josh Heupel should turn to him.
4. Cooper Mays
Last week, UT got wrecked on the interior against Alabama, which prevented their ability to run the ball. Kentucky has one of the best rush defenses in the nation due to their interior defensive line, so the center and guard will be tested again for the Vols. Cooper Mays has to win this battle for Rocky Top to have a chance.
3. Omari Thomas
Kentucky is third in the nation in yards per rush and has arguably the best running back in the country in Ray Davis. It all starts up front with them, so Tennessee Football has to win the battles with their defensive tackles. Omari Thomas is the most important player of that group. They faded in the second half last week. That can’t happen again.
2. Aaron Beasley
Another huge part of stopping the run will come down to the linebacker player, and Aaron Beasley is who the Vols need to count on. Against Jalen Milroe, Elijah Herring was more important because of the need to contain. Now, it’s about pushing through the gaps and making plays in the backfield. That’s right up Beasley’s alley.
1. Joe Milton III
Finally, Joe Milton III put his full abilities on display at Alabama. He used his legs, and that opened up the deep shots. Tennessee Football needs Milton to do that the rest of the year, and it makes him the most important player in any game, which is what the quarterback should be. That starts this week at Kentucky.