Joey Halzle, Tennessee’s offensive coordinator, was asked Tuesday afternoon if he believes any part of the offense would run better with 5-star freshman Nico Iamaleava under center.

It’s a question that was coming his way eventually. Tennessee’s offense has struggled so far this season, and Milton, despite not being the catalyst for these problems, has his share of blame in a so-far disappointing start to the year.

Halzle knows that. His answer to the above question?

Whether you agree or disagree with Halzle here is your opinion. But it’s pretty plain to see Tennessee’s problems do not start and end with Joe Milton being under center as opposed to a freshman who has seen the college field just once in garbage time against Virginia.

No, Tennessee’s problems run deeper than that. The Vols have issues along the offensive line in protection, receivers have been slower to start the season than fans anticipated and defensively, Tennessee is all sorts of lost with a lack of a pass rush and less-than-ideal play from the secondary.  And on top of all that, Tennessee is currently the 2nd most-penalized team in the SEC.

That’s not a winning formula no matter who is at QB. Head coach Josh Heupel agrees, insisting Monday that Milton is continually “in the right place” with his decision-making and motions.

However you spin it, Halzle and the Vols’ offense still has plenty of time to right the ship. It starts this Saturday as the Vols return home to take on UTSA, with kick scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on SEC Network.