Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton throws during an NCAA college football practice Aug. 20, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee coach Josh Heupel has named Milton, a transfer from Michigan, as his starting quarterback for the Volunteers' season opener Thursday night. (Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel via AP)

Tennessee Looks to Bounce Back Against UTSA

The Tennessee Volunteers (2-1) host the UTSA Roadrunners (1-2) inside Neyland Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Both have looked worse than expected. UTSA has won two straight C-USA titles and are currently 31-12 under Jeff Traylor. Despite this, they’ve begun the season just 1-2.

Tennessee was expected to challenge Georgia for the SEC East, but are already 0-1 in SEC play after their loss to Florida.

Rocky Top or Rocky Flop?

Saturday’s matchup against UTSA will be the first of the three straight home games for the Vols. It will also be the perfect opportunity for a get-right game to avenge last week’s loss and test themselves for their Week 5 game vs. South Carolina.

Joe Milton and the offensive line needs to get back in sync this weekend. The Gators had constant pressure towards Milton and caused his lone interception of his Volunteer career.

Milton’s first ever SEC road game was against the Gators, and he will not have to play another road game until Oct. 21 when he travels to Tuscaloosa to play the Crimson Tide. Until then, Milton plays UTSA, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel believes that, in the SEC, you can not let your guard down against anyone.

Heupel is not counting out UTSA before Saturday’s game. He gave huge props to the roadrunners and called them a “really good football team.”

Beep Beep

Regardless of the current record, UTSA has been dominant inside the C-USA.

Led by 24-year-old quarterback Frank Harris, the Roadrunners rely on Harris’ arm and legs in crucial situations. Harris was named C-USA player of the year after throwing for 4,000 yards and rushing for 600 last season.

The redshirt senior is not having the same success this season, however. Harris has thrown three interceptions, and a foot injury sidelined him last week against Army that could possibly do the same against Tennessee.

The Roadrunners’ defense struggled mightily in last week’s 37-29 loss. The Black Knights had two rushers run for over 100 yards on them.

Saturday’s Outlook

Both teams have something to prove, looking for major bounce-back games. Expect Tennessee to go back to their roots and keep it on the ground against the Roadrunners. UTSA hopes of an upset is reliant on Harris’ foot injury.

About Nick VanZandt

Nick VanZandt is a senior journalism student at the University of Florida and this is his third semester working for WRUF.

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