Tennessee DE Darrell Taylor expected to be suspended 1st half of South Carolina game

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor will be suspended for the first half of the Vols’ next game, on Oct. 14 against South Carolina, according to Brady Hoke.

Hoke, the Tennessee associate head coach and defensive line coach, said it was his understanding that Taylor’s second half ejection against Georgia triggered the first-half suspension by NCAA law.

“As far as I’m aware, I think that’s true,” Hoke said, asked if Taylor’s ejection meant an automatic first half suspension from the team’s next contest. “Kyle (Phillips) will be the go-to guy to begin the game (in place of Taylor), and with the progress Deandre (Johnson) has made … and Matt Butler is doing a better job each day he’s out here.”

Jonathan Kongbo, who has 19 tackles and a quarterback sack, will start at the other defensive end position opposite of Phillips.

Hoke said the ejection and punishment serves as a teaching moment for Taylor, a 6-foot-4, 254-pound sophomore who’s in his first year as a starter.

“There’s no question (it’s a teaching moment), any time you hurt your team, and it’s one of those penalties you can control,” Hoke said. “Darrell has a high motor, he has a high intensity meter, and I think there are times when there’s got to be some composure and some control. I think it was as much frustration as anything else.”

Taylor was ejected early in the fourth quarter after an altercation with Georgia senior tight end Jeb Blazevich with Tennessee trailing 31-0.

RELATED: Tennessee teammate compares Darrell Taylor to Vols all-time sacks leader Derek Barnett

Taylor was the hero of the Vols’ season-opening 42-41 double-overtime win against Georgia Tech, blowing through a blocker and stopping Yellow Jackets quarterback TaQuan Marshall to foil a 2-point conversion attempt.

RELATED: How Vols staged amazing comeback to beat Georgia Tech, Darrell Taylor starred

Taylor has started each of the five games this season and leads the defensive ends with 20 tackles this season.

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