Vols with quarterback questions, a week before the start of SEC play


Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III (7) looks for a receiver during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Pittsburgh Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE — Two weeks into the season and just one week before the start of SEC play and the quarterback position at Tennessee remains a question mark for first year head coach Josh Heupel.

Starter Joe Milton has been much more effective with the legs than his arm through his first six quarters as the Vols starting quarterback, missing some big throws in Saturday’s loss to Pitt before being knocked out of the game in the second quarter.

Hendon Hooker came in and had his ups and his downs.

Hooker throwing for 188 yards, adding 49 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, but he also turned it over twice in UT’s first loss of the year.

That leaves Heupel to decide who starts Saturday against Tennessee Tech.

A decision he’s not ready to make with Milton still banged up.

“I don’t know where he’s at health-wise at this moment. Right now as we go forward, the guys that are healthy will be ready to go compete and play,” Heupel said.  “We’ll find out where Joe is here in the middle of the week.  So there’s multiple factors that play in to who’s the guy that’s going to be taking the snaps. I thought Hendon (Hooker) did a lot of really good things.  It’s tough being a backup because you don’t get the same amount of reps, you don’t know when your time is going to be called. I thought he answered the bell with a lot of positive things during the course of play. Obviously, we have to do a better job of taking care of the football.”

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