Tennessee football enters Week 2 facing an evaluation game against in-state foe Austin Peay.

Barring an otherworldly collapse the Vols will finish Saturday 2-0 heading into Florida week, the Vols’ first SEC bout of the season. ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) agrees: the metric gives Tennessee a 99% chance of downing the Govs Saturday evening.

It’s a well-needed buffer game following the announcement Wednesday morning that middle linebacker Keenan Pili will miss “a few weeks” with an injury. Head coach Josh Heupel noted that the injury should not be season-ending, but that he will obviously be unavailable for Week 2.

As far as timing goes, now is as good a time as any to miss a few weeks ahead of the SEC slate. Expect a lot of reserves to see action against Austin Peay, including backup linebackers Arion Carter and Elijah Herring.

And Nico Iamaleava, too. Joe Milton will obviously get the start in this one, but it seems likely that Tennessee will be up enough in the 3rd/4th quarter to let the Vols’ 5-star freshman get some run, similar to last week.

The Vols face off against the Govs at 5 p.m. ET this Saturday. The game is only aired on ESPN+ and SEC Network +