Vols D-Line Hopes to Shine Against Florida
Good defense starts up-front, and the Vols have enjoyed quality play from their defensive lineman so far this season.
But will it be good enough to corral the Gators on Saturday in the Swamp?
When Josh Heupel was hired, all the talk was about his up-tempo offense, but right now, it’s Tennessee’s defense making headlines.
They’re 12th in the nation against the run, allowing just 64 yards rushing a game.
Said Gators head coach Dan Mullen:”On the defensive front. Guys running to the ball. The energy they’re playing with defensively. You look at two of the games, and they held opponents under six points.”
That’s impressive, but Vols defensive line coach Rodney Garner is hard to impress, even with the shut-out against Tennessee Tech.
Said Garner:”You know I didn’t think they played with an edge. Weren’t razor sharp. I don’t want to just go through the motions.”
Reporter:”How long did it take you to realize that Rodney Garner is still a little bit different like the way he gets after people and stays after people?”
Said Vols defensive tackle Ja’Quain Blakely:”Day one. (chuckles) Day one. He sets the tone from day one.”
Garner has been rotating his defensive linemen, which is a big deal to the big fellas.
Said Blakely:”Big guys run out of gas. They run out of gas. But I mean just keeping the rotation, he always has a good rotation keeping fresh guys in and out, so we can stay and play at a high level.”
The big guys will need to be fresh against that Gators offense.
Said Blakely:”These quarterbacks are quick and elusive. They get out on the edge and perimeter very well. Keeping the contain. Keeping everything boxed inside is very, very important in this game.”
Said Garner:”On Saturday either you’re going to be a contender or a pretender. That’s what we’re going to be able to find out.”