Tennessee Vols finished the 2021 season with a 7-6 overall record and were 4-4 in the SEC. Now second year head coach Josh Heupel will be looking for his squad to improve on that this season.
Tennessee Vols 2022
Things are looking up for the 2022 season as the Josh Heupel way goes into its second year of existence in Tennessee. The return of quarterback Hendon Hooker and wide receiver Cedric Tilman make a potent combination for success. The duo combined for the most successful single season passer rating in Volunteer history and third best nationally.
Hooker will be mentioned in the Heisman conversation early in the year and possibly a darkhorse to win the coveted award. Last year he tossed 31 touchdowns and rushed for five more himself while only tossing three interceptions.
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Tilman hsd 64 catches, 12 touchdowns and a total of 1.081 yards last year and will be the top tasarget this year from the offend\se and opposing defenses. Another wide reciver that wll get touches will be junior
Jalin Hyatt as he took in 21 catches for 326 yrds and had two touchdowns in 2021. Should either of thiose two go down with an injury, there is a bevy of young players that could get some chances to step in and contribute.
The running back situation is led by junior Jabari Small. He rushed for 796 yards and had nine touchdowns. There is a group of exciting freshman waiting for back up when it is needed. The tight ends include Jacon Warren and Princeton Fant.
If the offensive line can step up, this Tennessee vols wlll make a huge jump in quality of overall play. Four starters return including Darnell Wright and Jerome Carvin. They hope to ;essen the departure of right tackle Cade Mays.
The defense is expecting Byron Young and his 11.5 tackles for a loss and Tyler Baron to be the backbone of this group. Looking at the safeties we find experience in Trevon Flowers and Jaylen McCullough with sophomore Christian Charles waiting and pushing for playing time.
Cornerback spot needs to show some improvemnt and it all starts with a group including senior Warren Burrell,Brandon Turnage, Kamsl Hadden, De’Shawn Rucker, Doneiko Slaughter and Desmond Williams.
The kicking game returns many to help stabilize the Vols in 2022. Punter Paxton Brooks returns along with kicker Chase Mc Grath who was consistent last year. The Tennessee Vols will be seeking a kick returner this year.
Tennessee Vols 2022 Season Outlook
The Volunteers will open the season at home in the Neyland Stadium in front of a capacity crowd of 102,455 roaring fans as they host Ball State in the opener on September 1. From there they face a chasne to revenge a loss from last year as they head on the road against Pittsburgh on September 10. Akron comes to town the following weekend but then a tough stretch happens from Sept 25-Oct. 5 as they face Florida t home, LSU on the road and face the country’s top program in the Alabama Crimson tide. Once they get past hat point it is almost all conference battles.
Tennessee-Martin plays at Neyland Stadium the next contest and could be overlooked after the “Bama contest. Then Kentucky comes to town for a rivalry game followed by a trip to face the Georgia Bulldogs.. The Missouri Tigers come to town on November 12. Next the Volunteers hit the road for Columbia, South Carolina to face the Gamecocks.The final game of the regular season takes place on November 24 on the road at Music City USA and the Vanderbilt Commodores.
This team should be somewhere in the rankings between 15-18 to begin the year and will go up from there. Possibly in that tough stretch there may be dip in the polls but look for the Tennessee Volunteers to finish the year 8-4 with all losses coming in the conference. The SEC is really that good.
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