Tennessee took to Neyland Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the annual Orange and White Game — the final event of spring football. The Volunteers, entering year three under Josh Heupel, are looking to build on an 11-2 season. We got our preview of what that might look like in the Orange Bowl win over Clemson, and it was pretty special.
Today, the coaching staff played it safe, however. Several key players were held out of the action.
Players who did not play on Saturday
RB Jabari Small
RB Jaylen Wright
WR Bru McCoy
WR Ramel Keyton
TE Charlie Browder
OL Ollie Lane
DL Daevin Hobbs
DL Nathan Robinson
DL Da’Jon Terry
DE Caleb Herring
LB Aaron Beasley
LB Kwauze Garland
CB Warren Burrell
CB Brandon Turnage
CB De’Shawn Rucker
S Jourdan Thomas
S Jack Luttrell
Playing without several weapons and a mixed-and-matched offensive line, Joe Milton got off to a slow start. Nico Iamaleava did as well, as both of Tennessee’s top passers went three and out to start.
It was actually Gaston Moore tossing the first touchdown of the day to walk-on Dayton Sneed, who went up to make the play in the corner of the endzone.
Moore followed that up with another touchdown drive, this time capping it off by hitting Hunter Salmon for six.
Late in the second quarter, the offense started to heat up. Milton uncorked one downfield for Kaleb Webb, who was able to haul it in on the sideline. Milton finished up the drive by finding Webb again for the score on the next play.
Nico Iamaleava then gave us a flash. The 5-star quarterback rolled right and threw a frozen rope down the sideline, delivering a perfect ball on the move. These are the tools that made Iamaleava the top prospect in the class of 2023.
- Cameron Seldon got plenty of work today in a variety of different place. Seldon was a primary option at running back for the Volunteers, with Jabari Small and Jaylen Wright not participating today. Seldon showed off some of that explosiveness that we’ve heard about on a touchdown run, but also lined up some as a receiver.
- Chas Nimrod did some nice work in the intermediate, finding a couple of soft spots in the coverage.
- Desean Bishop got the bulk of the work on the ground, flashing some good looking elusiveness when he got out in space.
- Ethan Davis went down late with an injury. The freshman tight end had a nice game today with a few catches, but landed hard with just four minutes to play in the game. He was holding his shoulder/collarbone as he exited the field.
- Iamaleava made a mistake late, throwing into double coverage in the corner of the endzone. He should have been picked off, but the defensive back couldn’t make the play.
- Defensively, freshman Cristian Conyer made a nice play on the ball to force a breakup, then Cameron Miller cleaned things up with a pick on a tip drill. The ball from Moore was slightly behind the receiver.
- JT Carver hit from 39 yards out to give the White Team a 17-14 lead with under four minutes to play. The White Team would hold on to that score to win.
- Honestly, there’s not too much to take from today. It was a vanilla day with gobs of key players out, and frankly Tennessee struggled to find a rhythm, as you would expect.
Joe Milton: 9/13, 79 yards, 1 TD
Nico Iamaleava: 8/16: 112 yards
Gaston Moore: 8/11: 94 yards, 2 TDs
Desean Bishop: 24 carries, 90 yards
Cam Seldon: 10 carries, 45 yards, TD — 3 rec, 43 yards
Dylan Sampson: 3 carries, 13 yards
Kaleb Webb: 3 rec, 50 yards, TD
Chas Nimrod: 3 rec, 17 yards
Ethan Davis: 3 rec, 53 yards
McCallan Castles: 2 rec, 9 yards