#OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE: Tracking Tennessee Football's Improvement

You would expect some dropoff in the rankings after having played LSU and having done so without your starting QB, and that's exactly what we got. On the bright side, any uptick this week should be construed quite positively considering the competition, and we did see some of that. Here's the list of Things Tennessee is Doing Well, as of the end of the LSU game:

Categories In Which Tennessee
Was In The Top Quartile This Season
Category

2010

MT CIN FL BUF GA LSU
Offense Third-down Efficiency - 11 4 7 T-1 4 5
Red Zone Efficiency 104 T-7 - - 23 17 16
Passes Had Intercepted - - - - T-17 T-6 21
Turnovers Lost - - - - - - T-21
Passing Efficiency - 7 5 13 8 13 22
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 9 14 12 21 18 13 24
Pass Defense - - - - - - 24
Passing Offense 30 16 9 11 11 11 25
First Downs Allowed - - - - 20 22 30
Fumbles Lost - - - - - - T-30
Time of Possession 90 14 5 10 5 12 -
Turnovers Lost - - - - T-26 14 -
First Downs 92 66 11 12 11 22 -
Scoring Defense - - - - - 29 -
Defense Third-down Efficiency - - - - - 30 -
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency - - T-1 19 T-7 - -
Scoring Offense - 27 22 - 21 - -

Improved. Red zone efficiency actually improved by a spot, although that could well be because we managed a TD the one time we made it into the red zone. I originally wrote that last sentence as a joke, but when I went to look at it, it turns out to be true. But also this: UT crept into the top 30 in turnovers lost and fumbles lost, which is a very good thing, because if we weren't protecting the ball that well, we'd be off the chart bad on the stats that track turnovers for and against. There's also the pass defense, which made the top 30 this week.

Holding steady. Offense third-down efficiency dropped only a single spot and is still in the top five, so woo for that.

Took a hit. Offense, mostly, as you'd expect. We lost ground on interceptions thrown, passing efficiency, and passing offense, and we fell out of the top 30 in TOP, first downs, and scoring offense.

On to the players who made the top 30 this week:

Player Stat MT CIN FL BUF GA LSU
Tyler Bray Passing Yards Per Game 14 6 7 T-7 9 8
Tyler Bray Points Responsible For T-19 T-4 T-6 3 11 10
Tyler Bray Passing Efficiency 5 5 15 7 11 10
Tyler Bray Total Offense 29 9 12 13 17 16
Tyler Bray Passing (completions) - 10 14 16 21 21
Da'Rick Rogers Total Receiving Yards - - - - 29 28
Da'Rick Rogers Receiving Yards Per Game - - - 17 23 29

Some of those categories are on a per-game basis, so we may continue to see Bray in them for the rest of the season, but we did say goodbye to Bray's total passing yards and Da'Rick Rogers' receptions per game.

#OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE

And now for those areasofgreatestopportunity:

Categories In Which Tennessee
Is (Or Was) In The Bottom Quartile
This Season

Category 2010 MT CIN FL BUF GA LSU
Passes Intercepted - - - 93 111 T-113 T-116
Turnovers Gained - - - - 98 107 115
Rushing Offense 105 74 - 105 98 114 114
Net Punting - - - 96 116 105 110
Red Zone Efficiency Defense - - - - - - T-105
Turnover Margin - - - - - - T-93
Pass Sacks - - - - - 91 T-90
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game - - - 98 - - -
Fewest Penalties Per Game - - - 97 - - -
Offense Fourth Down Efficiency 96 59   94 - - -
Punt Returns 109 64 - 91 - - -

Must improve. Takeaways and rushing offense. The turnover categories that track both giving and taking are horribly, horribly low, and they are downright frightening when you consider that our giving is actually pretty good. If we start giving the ball away more, we're in ugly trouble, but on the other hand, if we just start making some big turnover plays on defense, we may be able to improve some things significantly. The run game seemed to improve this week against the Tigers, but it didn't improve the ranking, which is still indiscernible grime on the bottom of the barrel bad.

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