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Week 9 X-Factor: Ty Chandler

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Tennessee’s best offensive player will be the key to Saturday night’s matchup

NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee
Chandler is one of the best running backs in the SEC
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of questions surrounding the Tennessee offense coming into 2018, but one player required no hesitation when it came to reliability.

Ty Chandler is the best player on offense and he’s proved that multiple times this season. He is second on the team in touches but leads the team in yards from scrimmage and yards per touch.

He is a the epitome of a complete back that includes the ever-desired blend of hands, speed, agility, acceleration, and toughness.

Two of South Carolina’s three losses on the season have come at home. Against Georgia and Kentucky, the Gamecocks allowed 347 yards on 63 carries and five touchdowns.

Georgia had the most success, running for almost 200 yards. They ran a lot of zone like below on D’Andre Swift’s touchdown.

Guess, what? The Vols love to do just this. They also love to run - or attempt to run - an inside power game like on Brian Herrien’s touchdown.

This play’s perfectly into Chandler’s hands. His athleticism allows him to be all over the field for all different types of packages and schemes.

Chandler had 112 total yards and a touchdown on 21 touches against Auburn. There’s no reason to expect he sees anything less against South Carolina.

As mentioned earlier, the Gamecocks aren’t anything special at home. Texas A&M pounded out a 26-23 win with 19 carries from Trayveon Williams. He finished the game with 78 yards and a touchdown, but led the final drive, carrying the ball six times for 25 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown.

The Vols love to use Chandler in multiple ways. It’s tough for defenses to really key in on where he may be and even some of the better defenses in the country will have a tough time keeping up with him.

This is a very winnable game for the Vols. If they want to take the next step, it starts with their best players performing at their highest level. Chandler is one of those players.

It won’t be easy considering South Carolina has had an extra week to prepare, but there’s no reason to think Tyson Helton can think up some new ways to get him the ball.