One big topic of conversation over the summer was the Tennessee receivers. Josh Malone bolted early to the NFL, leaving the Vols with an inexperienced group of pass catchers to go along with a new quarterback. Jauan Jennings was set to be the lead dog, but went down early against Georgia Tech with a wrist injury.
That opened the door for Marquez Callaway, who wasn’t even listed as a starter on the initial depth chart. We all know what Callaway went on to do. He was the difference in the game, making three gigantic plays that put Tennessee in position to at least contend after being down for the entire night.
After that 4-115-2 performance, Callaway has been used sparingly. He has registered just four catches since that night in the following three games. He didn’t have a catch against UMass — a game where the Tennessee offense managed just 17 points against a bottom-feeder FBS team.
I know the passing game has been a work in progress this year. Quinten Dormady has been inconsistent, but it just seems like good things happen when he’s targeted Callaway. It begs the question, why isn’t Callaway a featured piece of the Tennessee offensive puzzle?
He’s a guy that can take a curl route to the house. He can win 50-50 balls with the best of them. It just doesn’t make much sense to keep him on the sidelines. I know it’s hard to have much confidence in the quarterback situation right now, but if Tennessee has any chance of getting things done against Georgia, I think they’ll have to make a point to get Callaway involved in the offense.
Georgia knows what’s coming. They know they’ll get a steady dosage of John Kelly all afternoon long. If you can get those safeties up into the box and get Callaway into some one on one situations, Tennessee might just be able to steal a couple of big plays.