Transcript: Brandon Kennedy Georgia Week Media Avail

KNOXVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 – Offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy #55 of the Tennessee Volunteers during 2020 Fall Camp practice on Haslam Field in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

Brandon Kennedy, R-Sr., OL

On how good it was to have Cade Mays for the Missouri game and how big of a game it will be for Cade this weekend at Georgia…

“It’s great to have Cade back. He’s worked really hard and for him to have the opportunity to play is great. This week, we’ve kind of just been focusing on what we have to do as a team in order to be successful and go 1-0 every week. That’s the kind of goal we set out at the beginning of the season and we’ve focused on being 1-0 every week.”

On the offensive line’s strong performance on Saturday…

“It was great to see and very exciting. I think, as an offensive line, any time you see a linebacker in front of you and hear the crowd cheering, I think that was great. We also had a lot of yards that we let out there. As an offensive line, we knew that we wanted to be physical going in, but we kind of left a few things out there. In the next game, we want to be able to pick up on those things and be a little bit better.”

On facing Georgia’s defense this week…

“So far, what we’ve seen out of Georgia up front, they’re very big. I think the nose (tackle), No. 99 Jordan Davis uses his size to his advantage when going against blockers in the run game. So, our biggest thing moving forward is that we’ve got to continue being physical and execute at a high level. I think we can be successful.”

On where he saw in the Missouri game that the offensive line can improve…

“One thing that I saw and the coaches harped on is that in the last two seconds of the play, I think sometimes our runs could have been even longer, if we just finish and strain on our blocks. Moving forward to Georgia, I think that’s one of the things we want to focus on.”

On what advice he gave to Cade Mays before the season began…

“My advice to him was that we watch film together and he was in a similar offense, so things weren’t too different. I was here for him with anything he needed. With him coming from an SEC school to another, he knew what it was like. It was a lot of similarities and that’s what we talked about.”

On what it meant to be the only team captain on Saturday and what specific things he has seen out of Georgia’s defense…

“It was very special to me, especially being my first time back in Neyland after all we went through. I loved it and it was good that we had at least a certain amount of fans there. It was very special to me.

“What I see out of Georgia’s defense is that they’re very physical up front. Kind of like I said earlier, their nose and their two defensive ends are very physical in the run game and they also have a defensive end, no. 13 (Azeez Ojulari), he’s pretty good with his pass rush and their linebackers have experience. Also, on the back end I think they play very physical in the secondary as well. We’re just excited to have this opportunity to play Georgia.”

On where he saw the offensive line get better from the South Carolina to Missouri game…

“The biggest thing was we were on the same page, once you are on the same page and kind of know what to do, it makes it easier and you are able to play faster, so that’s the thing we wanted to improve on, just being able to strain them because some of the runs we had that were like 10-12 yards could have been more with the strains, so that’s our focus for Georgia.”

On how he would say his conditioning is so far with being one of the guys that plays every snap, and what he thinks about freshman OL Javontez Spraggins so far this season…

“For me personally, as a center you have to be in tip top shape whether it is running extra sprints after practice, or anything like that I am always doing it, because I know we have a long SEC season. And then, as far as Javontez Spraggins, he is a pretty good guard, he’s very physical and he’s come along as a freshman and I like what I see out of him.”

On what his reaction was when Coach Jim Chaney introduced the jumbo set in practice for the offensive line and how much they enjoy it with two extra offensive linemen on the wings…

“As an offensive lineman we are very excited, we want to run the ball, so any time you put more lineman in to run the ball it’s great for us.”

On how he thinks Jarrett Guarantano has done calling the plays to them, and also being able to recognize receivers and any kind of check downs they have…

“I think he’s done exceptionally well, us as an offensive line being able to give him time to make decisions, and if we are able to give him the time he can make those great decisions and we see that success on the field.”

On what jumps out to him on running backs Eric Gray and Ty Chandler and how they complement each other…

“I think starting off with Ty we have seen him have success in this league as far as rushing yards, so I feel like he is a pretty fast guy and smart, but also shifty. Moving on to Eric, as a younger guy he has come along, and he had his year last year to get more comfortable, but now he is able to be shifty and make people miss and that’s what I see out of them.”

On if they have come up with any kind of name for their jumbo set…

“We haven’t really thought of a name, but as we go throughout the season and use it more we will come up with one, but we haven’t as of now.”

On if going for it on fourth down gives him confidence to make plays and give him that “extra juice”…

“Yes, so the offensive coordinator and head coach put the responsibility on us to get the first down, and it is always important to us, so I feel like as an offensive line we bear down and are able to do what we need to do to get the first down.”

On how he plans to handle the Georgia’s different defensive fronts…

“Anytime a defense has multiple fronts, I put the responsibility on me as a center to keep us on the same page, so what I have been doing this week is going back and looking at some of the games they had last year, and also the first two games this year just seeing the multiple fronts they could give us. So when we get into the game, I’ll know what to expect and to keep us on the same page and have success.”

-UT Athletics

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