KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee’s offensive line has arguably been hit the hardest by the injury bug this season, and even with the lack of depth, they hold a next-man-up mentality.
The Vols’ bye week came at a great time for the team, and especially the offensive line, to rest and recover. They’ve struggled to get a run game going in their last game against Alabama. Quarterback Hendon Hooker was also sacked three times behind a makeshift o-line.
However, coach Josh Heupel said there’s been a lot of positives from that group, which continues to learn from battling through the adversity.
“We’ve had a bunch of different rotations up front, from Coop (Mays) being gone, Jerome sliding, to Cade (Mays) being gone and multiple guys playing at guard. Kingston (Harris) was in there early and then him being banged up; with all of those things, the next guy up has kind of been the mantra inside of our building,” Heupel said.
“I’ve said it before, the strength of one position group can never be one guy. Everybody’s got to continue to fight and prepare themselves. There have been a lot of positives, some things that they’ve had to continue to grow in.”
Heupel said they will continue to improve the rest of the season.