In addition to the starting quarterback Joe milton iii, Tennessee will be without a few starters and other key contributors for Saturday’s game against Tennessee Tech (noon, SEC Network + / ESPN +). The Vols have released their official list of players unavailable for the game against the Golden Eagles, and it includes Milton, running back Jabari Small, center Cooper Mays, defensive linemen LaTrell Bumpus, Da’Jon Terry and Bryson Reason and linebacker Juwan mitchell. On the positive side, run back Tiyon Evans and wide receiver Jalin Hyatt go through warm-ups and should play.
The Flights will be deprived of a starting quarterback, starting cross, leading running back, three substitute defensive linemen and a starting linebacker against the Golden Eagles of the Football Championships Subdivision, although a few players Keys will be back with Evans and Hyatt and a newcomer will make their long-awaited debut.
Hendon hooker should start at quarterback with Milton injured.
Evans, who dazzled on his Tennessee debut with 120 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, but was out last week in the loss to Pittsburgh. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound junior college transfer was ruled out in the pre-game, but the reason was not officially specified and he was notably not on the sidelines like other injured Tennessee players. However, he is set to return and is expected to start with Small absent.
Small did not play in the second half against Pittsburgh after injuring his shoulder late in the first half. Officially he could have come back, but didn’t and a freshman Jaylen wright walked the distance in the second half with Tennessee at their top two running backs. Small had 18 yards on eight carries with one touchdown before leaving the game.
Hyatt was injured in Tennessee’s second offensive series when, while trying to make a long pass, his head kicked back and the back of his helmet hit the grass hard as he landed. The sophomore lay on the floor for a few moments before walking away on his own, albeit in a stunning manner. He did not return to the game, but was on the pitch warming up early after the Flights arrived at the stadium on Saturday morning.
Mays will miss his second game in a row with the ankle injury he sustained in Game 1 against Bowling Green, and Tennessee will start Jerome Carvin in the center and Kingston harris, who played most of the Pittsburgh game off the bench, left guard alongside the usual starters on the left tackle (Darnell wright), right guard (Javontez Spraggins) and right tackle (Cade Mays).
Bumphus also missed last week’s game against Pittsburgh, but Terry and Eason are new on the defensive line, as is Mitchell, the transfer from Texas, to linebacker. Terry was shaken up in the second half against Pittsburgh, but the reasons for Eason and Mitchell’s absences were not made clear. Aaron Beasley should start alongside Jérémy Banks in Mitchell’s absence.
Defensive end / linebacker Byron Young, the junior college transfer that missed the first two games while awaiting an NCAA decision on his eligibility after impressing throughout spring practice and preschool, will make his much-anticipated debut on Saturday.