KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In a season of unknown, the 121st edition of the Tennessee Volunteers are set to take the field Labor Day night in Atlanta.

Opening day always presents its own set of challenges and unknowns, but facing Georgia Tech’s triple-option certainly complicates matters.

Second-year defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has described “the cut block” as being “a big element” of Tech’s attack and a point of emphasis that his defense has “worked a lot on” during training camp.

Senior safety Todd Kelly Jr. described the offense as “complex” and said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and his Yellow Jackets “run it (offense) to almost perfection.”

“Their coach has been running it for a lot of years now,” Kelly said. “The thing about the triple option is, they know more about what they’re doing than we know about how to defend it because it really is one of a kind.”

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Butch Jones also mentioned that his “scout teams have done a very good job of emulating and running their (Georgia Tech) plays.” The fifth-year head coach said planning for Tech is “something they have worked on for a long period of time.”

The preparation has now reached game week.

Fall training camp is now in the rear view mirror and Jones said his team needs “to be a team that doesn’t beat itself and it all starts with the small details and communication.”

“We have to continue to demand it because we’re building habits,” Jones continued. “You’re going to rely on your training when we get to Monday night playing against a very talented Georgia Tech football team.

“We have to continue to demand, our older players need to demand from the younger players and vice versa. They’ve done that, but there’s a whole level of mental intensity and mental effort that comes into preparing for game week as well.”

Projecting the depth chart

The focus is now placing the right players in the best position to lineup against Georgia Tech — and that includes on offense, too.

With game focus now on the Yellow Jackets, lets take a look at what the two-deep roster may look like on opening night in Atlanta.


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