July 22, 2024

Vols to watch for against Ohio

This Saturday, the Vols will look to stay on track as they play the Ohio Bobcats. Due to some injuries, and some second-string players hopefully getting more opportunities, several players will have the chance to make more of an impact this week.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 10, 2015 - Running back Alvin Kamara #6 of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates his touchdown catch during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria / Tennessee Athletics

The No. 15 Tennessee Volunteers will take on the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday in just the second meeting between the two programs. In a game where the spread is 28 points in the Volunteers’ favor, many of Tennessee’s second-stringers could get a chance to see the field. With that in mind, here are some Volunteers to watch for against Ohio.

Alvin Kamara, Running Back (RS Jr.)

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Volunteers have struggled to get one of their best playmakers the ball. Although he doesn’t start, Alvin Kamara’s impact is unparalleled. In 2015, Kamara racked up 989 yards of total offense. Through two games this season, the redshirt junior has only managed to earn 75 yards. If he were to continue that pace of offensive production, he would gain 450 yards of total offense in 2016. However, the poor numbers aren’t necessarily his fault. Kamara has only had 15 touches so far this season. Ensuring that Kamara gets touches will awake the three-headed monster of Josh Dobbs, Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara from its slumber. If Tennessee wants to be able to effectively use one of its captains moving forward, they’ll have to make sure he gets in rhythm against the Bobcats.

Jonathan Kongbo, Defensive End (RS Soph.)

Earlier this week, Butch Jones announced that veteran defensive end LaTroy Lewis will miss the Ohio game due to an ankle injury. This will give the opportunity for some of Tennessee’s younger defensive guys to get some playing time. Enter Jonathan Kongbo. Physically, Kongbo is a freak of nature. The 6-foot-6-inch, 270-pound redshirt sophomore has the physical attributes to dominate opposing linemen. Despite this, he has only seen a handful of snaps so far this season. He’ll almost certainly receive more significant playing time against Ohio on Saturday, and Vols fans should expect to see him put his athleticism to good use.

Tyler Byrd, Wide Receiver (Fr.)

Veteran wide receiver Josh Smith is expected to be ruled out for Saturday’s game. This could give freshman Tyler Byrd, the No. 1 athlete in the 2016 recruiting class (according to ESPN), a great opportunity to shine. Although Byrd only has one reception in the first two games, he’s shown flashes of his elite athleticism. In the Battle at Bristol, Byrd caught a pass out of bounds in the back of the end zone that Butch Jones said was worthy of making SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. Although the catch was ruled incomplete, it showcased his talent. If Tennessee gets Tyler Byrd touches on Saturday, he could have a major impact on the game.

Tennessee’s game against the Ohio Bobcats will air at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday on the SEC Network.

Edited by Adam Milliken

Featured image by Matthew S. DeMaria, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics


When Robert isn't writing stories for the greatest online news site of all time, he enjoys playing the tuba, hanging out with friends, and opening the "T" on Saturdays in Knoxville. You can follow him on Twitter-@tnytuba09