With Josh Heupel at the helm of the Tennessee football program, we all know that the Vols will have a powerful offense. We saw all the evidence of that we needed last season. But Heupel’s defense is a different story. UT had the No. 12 overall defense in the SEC last year, giving up nearly 422 yards per game to opponents. Heupel and defensive coordinator Tim Banks are obviously looking to improve the defense in the coming season but a number of elements could hold the unit back.

Perhaps primary among those potential problems is the Vols’ defensive line. The line lost its leader, Matthew Butler, to the NFL along with a few other key contributors. The squad will be bookended by two quality edge rushers in Byron Young and Tyler Baron but beyond that duo, the line is made up almost entirely of unproven talent. So, could this be the undoing of Tennessee’s defense in 2022? Or could defensive line coach Rodney Garner surprise us all with an improved unit? On the new Big Orange Podcast, we broke down the defensive line and gave our take on how they may perform this year. Check out the conversation in the YouTube video below…

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