Continuing to refocus on the process of becoming a good program again . . .
Fairly good week for the Vols on the improvement front. Two additional players climbed into the top 50, and the other four stayed there. The team also made the top 30 in an additional three categories (to make five total) and improved in six categories in which they are (4) or were (2) in the bottom quarter in the nation. That leaves five categories they still really need to improve, four of which center on the offensive line. The other is punt returns, which starts with finding someone who will actually catch the ball and hold on to it with some consistency.
All right, now on to the details. This week, the things UT does well (as defined as those things in which it ranks as one of the nation's 30 best teams) continues to grow. The Vols held their spots in fewest yards penalized per game and kickoff return yardage defense, in which they're a top ten team, and they added passes intercepted, turnovers gained, and turnover margin.
|Categories In Which Tennessee
Is In The Top Quarter
|Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game||10th||10th||11th|
|Kickoff Return Yardage Defense||8th||8th||21st|
UT also added two players onto the list of guys who rank in the top 50 of any particular category. Denarius Moore cracks the top 50, although just barely, in total receiving yards, and Prentiss Waggner hits 46th in interceptions.
|Prentiss Waggner||8th||Fumbles Recovered|
|Marsalis Teague||33rd||Passes Defended|
|Denarius Moore||50th||Total Receiving Yards|
The Volunteers also made some headway on their to-do list. The improvement on Things Tennessee Still Does Not Do Well List, after the jump.
Categories In Which Tennessee
|Pass Sacks Allowed||115th||114th||118th||106th||N|
|Tackles for Loss Allowed||115th||111th||116th||102nd||N|
|Offense Fourth Down Efficiency||110th||108th||108th||114th||N|
|Red Zone Efficiency||106th||108th||118th||116th||Y|
|Offense Third Down Efficiency||95th||101st||110th||115th||Y|
|Time of Possession||89th||96th||95th||104th||Y|
Last week, UT got out of the bottom quarter in the nation in seven different categories. I've left them here for the sake of posterity. I didn't record the rankings, but would have if they'd have fallen back into the bottom quarter. So we're still fine on those. Relatively speaking, of course.
This week, we add two more categories to that list: the ever-controversial time of possession, and the not-controversial-at-all pass defense, which the Big Orange improved all the way from 91st to 77th. Woo for those guys. We also saw at least marginal improvement in four other categories: offensive third down efficiency, kickoff returns, first, downs, and red zone efficiency.
That leaves five categories that either aren't getting better or are getting worse. Not getting better are pass sacks allowed and rushing offense, and getting worse are tackles for loss allowed, offensive fourth down efficiency, and punt returns. With the exception of punt returns, which is mostly a matter of simply finding someone who will catch the ball and not drop it, all of that is offensive line stuff.