Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel wasn’t interested on Thursday in telling reporters which quarterback he plans to start on when UT takes on the Florida Gators on Saturday night in the Swamp.

“Don’t have an update on the quarterback status right now,” said Heupel on Thursday. “Joe’s (Milton) gotten some work during the course of the week. We’ll find out more tomorrow with him.”

Michigan transfer Joe Milton was the Vols’ starting quarterback for the season-opener against Bowling Green, but he’s been sidelined since the Pittsburgh game while dealing with what’s believed to be an ankle injury.

Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker finished the Pitt game and started last week against Tennessee Tech.

Sophomore Harrison Bailey saw some action in garbage time in the win against Tennessee Tech.

Who should start at QB for the Vols against Florida?

Tennessee’s offense has seemingly operated more efficiently with Hooker under center.

But does that mean Hooker should start against the Gators?

Not necessarily.

While Hooker has done a good job of moving the ball down the field, he’s also been prone to turnovers — specifically fumbles (Hooker is the better runner, but the risk of fumbles is simply too high).

Tennessee can’t afford turnovers against the Gators. The Vols are already going to have to play nearly perfect against Florida to get a win. Adding some ill-timed turnovers to the mix could be disastrous.

If Milton is healthy, he has the bigger upside. And I think this is a game where you have to go with upside.

The only way the Vols beat Florida is if Heupel’s offense runs as good as the UT head coach envisions when he lays in bed at night dreaming of perfect scenarios.

Milton — a physically imposing quarterback with elite arm skills — is the guy that Heupel wanted at quarterback to start the season. He’s the guy that has the skills to run the Vols’ offense at an elite level.

Hooker is the safer bet. But Hooker’s ceiling isn’t beating Florida.

Milton’s ceiling, however, is being an elite quarterback who can help the Vols beat nearly any team in the country. Tennessee has to hope everything comes together for Milton against the Gators in the Swamp. That’s the only way the Volunteers are leaving Gainesville with a W.

And if doesn’t go well, then Tennessee can go back to Hooker and work on beating Missouri next weekend.

The Vols have nothing to lose against the Gators. They have to swing for the fences and hope for the best.

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