Tennessee focused on the details ahead of Florida

Florida welcomes Tennessee on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.
Omari Thomas talks with media ahead of Week Three opponent, Florida
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee has had a few quizzes in Virginia and Austin Peay, but now it’s time to turn it on and be assignment-savvy when the Vols take The Swamp Saturday night.

Vols linebacker coach Brian Jean-Mary was clear his position group needs to continue to play sound like they did through the first two games. Performances that have them first in the nation in sacks and tackles for loss.

The Gators feature the best backfield Tennessee has seen this far and have running backs with over 100 rushing yards on the year, coupled with one of the best SEC wide receivers.

Being assignment-savvy will be crucial.

”We have to do a great job stopping the run and controlling those guys, they’re two very talented running backs. That I think their offense feeds off of. We’re going to have to do a great job, you mention communication, you mention being assignment sound, we’re going to have to do a great job this week,” said Jean-Mary.

The Vols will also rely on production from senior linebacker Aaron Beasley who leads the country in TFLs.

”When you go back and watch the tape of last year, he was the most consistent linebacker that we had, whether he came off the bench or started. And I think that the confidence that he built off of last year carried over into the spring and summer and he’s playing the way we expect him to,” said Jean-Mary.

For Tennessee to be prepared when they open conference play, the Vols will look to duplicate performances that saw dominant rush defense. They’ll also look for a quicker and smoother start on offense.

As those preparations continue, the Vols’ leadership council also called a team meeting on Sunday. The intention is to make sure everyone is on the same page and a chance for the players to get their minds right.

Defensive lineman Omari Thomas said, ”We just talked about how we got to continue to approach the week, we can’t change our preparations. It’s a big game, first SEC game of the year, it’s a rivalry game. We just didn’t need to change what we did. We approach the same day like we do any day. Just come in ready to have fun and work. Really that was the main thing. Just continuing to grow together. It was a great meeting for us honestly, just because it allowed everyone to see that we’re still on the same page, flush the game that happened, and let’s go continue to work this week.”

Florida welcomes Tennessee on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.