Adam Spencer | 2 hours ago
Tennessee fans were excited for the start of the Josh Heupel era on Rocky Top on Thursday night against Bowling Green.
Bowling Green was one of the worst teams on both offense and defense in the entire country in 2020, so fans were expecting the offense to light up the scoreboard. However, that didn’t exactly happen, as the Vols needed a late deep TD pass from QB Joe Milton III to go up 38-6.
The defense was arguably the better unit for the Vols on Thursday night, as Milton was a bit inconsistent. Late in the fourth quarter, he was 11-for-23 for 140 yards and 1 touchdown. But, before the aforementioned long pass to Cedric Tillman, Milton only had 100 passing yards and 0 touchdowns.
That led to many fans wondering the same thing — why not give backups Hendon Hooker and Harrison Bailey some playing time?
(Note: Hooker came into the game with 2:33 left, but the Vols were in clock-killing mode by that point. And, late in the drive, he fumbled the ball.)
Why is Tennessee not playing more QBs in this game? Joe Milton 10-21 for 100 yards against one of the absolute worst teams in FBS…
— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) September 3, 2021
Let’s see some Harrison Bailey or Hendon Hooker. #Vols
— Newfound Clippers & Sixers fan (@VolsAndDraft) September 3, 2021
Yes. Hendon Hooker starts by mid season https://t.co/ZXsHTtsTns
— Chris McBride (@ChrisMcBride_12) September 3, 2021
Ready for the Hendon Hooker era
— pdxVol ̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿ (@Pdx_Vol) September 3, 2021
Get Joe Milton’s yankee ass out of the game. I want to see Hendon Hooker or Harrison Bailey
— Mark 🧡🐶 (@CentrismIsCool) September 3, 2021
Hendon Hooker right now…🤣 pic.twitter.com/a2sLJfC7Dh
— Hootie McCavman_2 (@mccavman_2) September 3, 2021
Because Josh Heupel is somehow convinced a player who fits his system to a tee(Harrison Bailey) isn’t better than Milton. Harrison fits that system and showed more poise vs better teams a year ago. https://t.co/gNNGvxUapR
— AXtreme Dawg Fan (@AxReloaded) September 3, 2021
You really mean to tell me Harrison Bailey didn’t beat this guy out? Not buying it
— Cameron Gonzalez (@CamGonzalez97) September 3, 2021
— Chris Davis (@tnchris1) September 3, 2021
Where is Harrison Bailey and how did he lose the QB competition
— . (@Sports_Fan___) September 3, 2021
Milton added great value as a rusher, running for 44 yards and 2 scores. But, with the game in hand in the fourth quarter, it was a bit strange to not give Hooker and Bailey some reps.
The important thing is that the Vols are 1-0 and, even if they didn’t cover the 37-point spread, they did some good things on both sides of the ball. We’ll see how they fare in Week 2 against Pitt.