Josh Heupel has maintained that he does not have a quarterback controversy, often going back to the strength of one position group is not one player. However, after three weeks, it would certainly appear that Heupel has a decision to make at the spot ahead of the biggest game of the season to this point.
When asked if Joe Milton III would be the starter if healthy, Heupel addressed that bluntly today.
"I never speak in hypotheticals," Heupel said during Monday's noon press conference. (Joe) got a little bit of work last week. We'll find out where he is in particular Tuesday, Wednesday here and see where we're at at that point as far as whether he'll be able to play or not."
Despite not addressing hypotheticals, Milton is still listed as the starter atop Tennessee's depth chart, which certainly warranted the question about his status as the starter if available.
So far this season, Milton III has completed just about 50% of his passes, for 189 yards and one touchdown. He has added 98 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, including one 54-yard scamper.
Hooker on the other hand is completing 70% of his passes, with five touchdowns and one interception. Hooker has also lost two fumbles, but he has added 113 yards and a touchdown.
Heupel understands the magnitude of this game, and he will look to get this decision right before heading south to Gainesville.
"Obviously, everybody in the building is excited for the opportunity to start conference play," Heupel state. "Obviously, the competition is gonna rise this week. Looking forward to the challenge, going down there, on the road, first road game for us as a program here. Obviously, the week of preparation for us is gonna be really important, paying attention to the details."
The Vols will look to beat the Gators in the Swamp for the first time since 2003, when they take the field at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN Saturday night.