Tennessee might be a big underdog to the Florida Gators on Saturday, but don’t tell the players they don’t have a chance. A few of the Vols met with the media on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the upcoming game against the Gators.
The senior has been through the ringer during his time here in Knoxville, but knows his group has to attack Kyle Trask, gettin him uncomfortable.
“We’ve got to keep him in the pocket and keep pressure on him. We have to force him into making mistakes.”
Beating the Gators on Saturday is a tall task for Tennessee, but Johnson really wants to check this game off the list.
“It’s on the top of my check list. I’ve got to do that before I leave here.”
The Vols must slow down the Gators WR’s, while also keeping up with an Top-5 TE. Deandre Johnson understands how valuable Kyle Pitts is to Florida.
“He’s regarded as one of the best in the nation. He has many strengths. We know that he’s going to be out in the pass tree trying to run a lot of routes and concepts. We’ve got to do a good job of identifying him before the play starts and making sure we’re keeping our eyes on him.”
With the season starting to wind down, players will have to think about returning to their school’s next season. Deandre Johnson was asked if he had put any thought into returning next season.
“I haven’t really considered it right now. I’m going to see how the season plays out.”
On the offensive side, things might look a bit different against the Gators.
There is a chance that Josh Palmer will be catching passes from a different starting quarterback on Saturday. Palmer was asked about Harrison Bailey and his performance over the past few weeks.
“Harrison’s coming along. Obviously, he didn’t get a lot of reps because of the fall camp and not having a spring. All of the quarterbacks are rallying together. The receivers are pushing him and the coaches are pushing him. We’re excited to see how he’s going to respond. He’s responding well in practice, so that’s really exciting to see.”
The offense seemed to have a game plan to run the football against Auburn. Josh Palmer was asked about where he feels the offense has improved over the past few weeks.
“Understanding the game plan. We’ve had a lot of time to really sit down with Coach (Jim) Chaney and have him explain to us the whys: why we’re doing certain things and how we’re supposed to do them. I think with a lot of this time off, we’ve been able to understand what he wants out of us.”
We’ve seen around the country that players are starting to opt out and turning pro. Eric Gray was asked why he thinks we haven’t seen many opt outs from the Tennessee program.
“You haven’t seen a lot of the opt-outs like you have at other schools and that just shows the mindset of our team. We are in it to win it; we are all in it together, everyone is in it together. We just want to go out here and flip the script, we want to get this train back on the tracks and keep going forward. We want to make sure that we are doing everything preparing each week the right way so we can put our best foot forward.
The Vols will be back on the practice field Tuesday afternoon, as they continue their preparations for the Gators.