Tennessee will face Florida in a night game in The Swamp on Saturday. Here are some key players the Gators will be up against.
Joe Milton III, QB – RS-SENIOR (SIXTH YEAR)
Last week, Joe Milton III completed 21 of 33 passes for 228 yards and tallied three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in the 2023 home opener against Austin Peay. He fired 11 consecutive completions over the course of two scoring drives in the second quarter against the Governors, which is the ninth-longest completion streak in UT history.
Milton accounted for four total touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) and 234 yards of total offense in the season opener against Virginia, earning him SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 201 yards to nine different receivers in the season opener while adding 33 rushing yards on nine carries.
In the win against UVA, Milton became the first Vol with at least two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game against a Power 5 opponent since Joshua Dobbs accomplished the feat against Missouri on November 19, 2016.
Jaylen Wright, RB – JUNIOR
Wright made his first career start in the season opener against Virginia on September 2. He did not disappoint, rushing for 115 yards on 12 carries and averaging 9.6 yards per carry. He followed that up with 118 yards on 13 carries in the home opener against Austin Peay. After two games, he has gained 233 yards and averaged 9.3 yards per attempt.
After leading the Vols in rushing last season, Wright has played in 23 career games with one start. He has accumulated 1,399 rushing yards on 243 carries, averaging 5.8 yards per attempt. In addition, he has totaled 14 rushing touchdowns, and 833 of his rushing yards have come after contact.
Tyler Baron, DL – Senior
Tyler Baron made three solo tackles, including a sack, in a win over Austin Peay. He was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after an impressive performance in the season-opening victory against Virginia. He set a new career-high with two sacks while also recording 2.5 tackles for loss and three total tackles.
Baron is a talented and imposing edge rusher who is poised for a promising 2023 season after a strong finish to his junior year. Last season, Baron logged 22 total tackles and ranked third on the team in tackles for loss with 6.5. Additionally, he added 2.5 sacks for a loss of 19 yards and ranked second among UT defensive linemen in pass breakups with six.
Throughout his career, Baron has totaled 79 tackles, 20.0 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, two passes defended, and one forced fumble.
Aaron Beasley, LB – Senior
Linebacker Aaron Beasley was a dominant force in the win over Austin Peay. He led the team with nine tackles (eight solo), and set a career-high with five tackles for loss (TFLs) while also tying his career-high with two sacks. His five TFLs in the game were the most by a Vol since Jesse Mahelona had five against Notre Dame on Nov. 6, 2004 (19 years ago). Beasley also played well in the season-opening win over Virginia, making three tackles, one TFL, and a career-high two pass breakups (PBUs) in 43 snaps at linebacker.
Beasley is a veteran and a dependable starting middle linebacker elected to return for his final year of eligibility in 2023. He is physical, instinctive, and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. As the Vols’ leading returning tackler, he recorded 76 tackles last year. He finished the 2022 campaign on a high note in the Orange Bowl, where he was named the game’s defensive MVP. He has played in 45 games, making 23 starts, and tallied 181 career tackles – 87 solo – with 27 for a loss of 99 yards and 6.5 sacks for a loss of 51 yards. He forced one fumble, owns three fumble recoveries, and has 15 quarterback hurries and five PBUs.