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NC State Offensive Coordinator Eli Drinkwitz a target for Tennessee OC job

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Drinkwitz and Auburn OC Chip Lindsey are top two candidates

Pictured: Not Eli Drinkwitz, but his boss-man
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

According to an update from footballscoop.com, NC State Offensive Coordinator Eli Drinkwitz is one of the top two candidates for the open Tennessee OC position. The report indicates that Drinkwitz has reciprocated interest in the job. The Tennessee OC position opened up when Tyson Helton accepted the head coaching gig at Western Kentucky.

Tennessee missed out on a bowl game this year, finishing the season at 5-7, but did show improvement in head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s first year in Knoxville. Pruitt ended up as the Tennessee head coach after NC State HC Dave Doeren turned down the job last December.

Drinkwitz showing interest in the Tennessee position is not surprising. While the Volunteers offense finished the 2018 regular season ranked just 62nd in S&P+ in 2018, the unit features a lot of youth and solid pieces to build around, with all skill position starters and key contributors being non-seniors, including sophomore QB Jarrett Guarantano (153-of-246, 1907 yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs). Plus, it’s an opportunity to coach in the SEC and move closer to Drinkwitz’s home state of Arkansas.

The other top candidate for the open Tennessee OC position is Auburn OC Chip Lindsey. This is interesting because, should Lindsey get the gig, the Auburn OC position will also be one linked to Drinkwitz as it is the school where Drinkwitz first broke into the college coaching scene as a Quality Control Assistant in 2010-2011 under current Auburn HC Gus Malzahn, for whom Drinkwitz also coached (running backs) at Arkansas State in 2012.