Tennessee Football Scrimmage: Stats, Quotes & Wild Assumptions

So, the danger with numbers from closed scrimmages is that we're all free to make all kinds of crazy snap judgments about this team.  Having noted that, allow me to do so.

You'll find the complete stats and more than twelve minutes of interview time with Derek Dooley at this link from UT's official site.  What stands out?

  • 13 of 29 is better than 5 of 30.  Really, all Tyler Bray had to do today was complete one out of every five passes, and it would've been improvement.  Dooley makes the point in the interview that Bray was inconsistent last season - which I guess is true to a point, though I think the combination of so many bad games from Jonathan Crompton and a sans-deep-ball offense with Matt Simms made us quick to anoint anything good as great.  And Bray's numbers obviously speak for themselves, it's just that his inconsistency stood out the most in his TD/INT ratio (18/10, 8/6 against bowl teams), not his overall completion percentage (55.8).  Dooley's interview mentions consistency, tempo, and chemistry - things that are both vital to a quarterback and an offense, but also only come with time.  Today simply sounds like more evidence that Bray is exactly what he's supposed to be:  a sophomore gunslinger.  Having said that...
  • Look at the run/pass ratio.  Does this matter in a scrimmage?  You tell me.  The Vols threw it 57 times and ran it 22 times.  Maybe it's because the Vols struggled to run the ball, statistically speaking.  Maybe they felt most certain about Tauren Poole and wanted to give the passing game more work.  But I'm still very curious to see if this offense is even going to attempt to be balanced under Jim Chaney.
  • No new receivers caught any passes with the first or second team.  Da'Rick Rogers (6 for 77), Tauren Poole, Zach Rogers, Justin Hunter, and Matt Milton were all in on the action.  DeAnthony Arnett and Vincent Dallas were not, nor were any of the tight ends.  I'd be curious to know if Bray targeted them any.
  • A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt are already running with the first team at LB.  I'm for this - get the youth out there and see what they can do.  Much like in the secondary, this may be a complete indictment of the returning players like Daryl Vereen and Greg King (who's still learning after his injury last year) - no matter how good they are, they're still freshmen and it'll still show.  Even Eric Berry got beat for a touchdown as a freshman.  But the long-term reward is worth the short-term risk, especially without Herman Lathers.
We'll have more updates and thoughts on this as they come - what stands out to you from the numbers and quotes?
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