#OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE: Tracking Tennessee Football's Opportunity for Improvement, Week Two

With all due caveats -- it's early, the opponents, etc. -- I could not wait to do this Week Two installment of the #opportunityisnowhere post. I was not disappointed. Actually, I did find a bit of disappointment, but I had to intentionally look for it. Hey, I was distracted by the sunrise, and so were you. The trend of increasing the number of things the Vols do well and decreasing those they do not will likely hit a speed bump this week, but if we just fly over the thing and land on all fours like every episode of Dukes of Hazzard, we're going to have to recalibrate this thing soon, redefining "well" as top 10 or 15 percent instead of 25 and "opportunityisnowhere" as bottom half instead of bottom quartile. And oh, that will be a glorious day.

But that day is not today, and that speedbump may put us on our backs, so for now, we'll just keep reviewing with the same parameters. Here is a list of the statistical categories in which Tennessee earned itself a top quartile ranking after the Cincinnati game.

Categories In Which Tennessee
Was In The Top Quartile after Week Two
Category

2010

W1 W2
Sunny Skies 120 1 1
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency - - T-1
Offense Third-down Efficiency   11 4
Passing Efficiency   7 5
Time of Possession 90 14 5
Passing Offense 30 16 9
First Downs 92 66 11
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 9 14 12
Scoring Offense   27 22
Total Offense - - 24
Kickoff Returns   12 24
Punt Return Yardage Defense   T-19 T-24
Red Zone Efficiency 104 T-7 -
Turnover Margin   T-9 -
Fumbles Recovered   T-10 -
Turnovers Gained 23 T-15 -

Defense Fourth-down Efficiency came absolutely out of nowhere and went right to the front of the class. We dropped out of the top 30 in four categories, but with the exception of Red Zone Efficiency, we knew that last week's numbers were fluky, so we shouldn't be surprised or concerned. Turnovers could still be generally improving under the radar.

If there's anything disappointing about all of that, it's that with the exception of the Defense Fourth-down Efficiency stat I just mentioned, it's almost all offense. Actually, it's more precise to say that none of it is defense. Time of Possession is probably attributable to both offense and defense, but the list of things we do well clearly shows that we are an offensive team at this point. We knew that, of course, but the fact that we're not in the top quartile in any defensive category (again, save the 4th-down thing) really drives the point home. Our defense may be improving, but we still can't consider them very good.

Let's take a look at the players who made the top 30 this week:

Player Stat W1 W2
Tyler Bray Points Responsible For T-19 T-4
Tyler Bray Total Passing Yards 14 4
Tyler Bray Passing Efficiency 5 5
Justin Hunter Total Receiving Yards 11 6
Tyler Bray Passing Yards Per Game 14 6
Tyler Bray Total Offense 29 9
Justin Hunter Receiving Yards Per Game 11 10
Tyler Bray Passing (completions) - 10
Justin Hunter Receptions Per Game - 12

Um, woo Bray and Hunter. Again, this we knew. Like last week, though, Tauren Poole just missed the top 30 (33rd) in rushing. I left out the categories where several players were bunched together.

#OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE

Hey. Throw open those doors, y'all, because under our current standards, opportunity is indeed nowhere. Behold the List of Things In Which the Tennessee Volunteers are in the Bottom Quartile after Week Two:

Categories In Which Tennessee
Is In The Bottom Quartile
after Week Two

Category 2010 W1 W2
       

That's right. It's blank. Gloriously, beautifully, brilliantly blank. Blank, blank, blank.

For now.

Here's what it looked like last week, for the record. You know, in case we need it next week.

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

Category 2010 W1 W2
Pass Sacks T-90  
Pass Sacks Allowed 115 82  
Tackles for Loss Allowed 113 42  
Punt Returns 109 64  
Rushing Offense 105 74  
Red Zone Efficiency 104 73  
Offense Fourth Down Efficiency 96 59  
First Downs 92 66 11
Time of Possession 90 14  

We did just barely miss the bottom quartile (86th) on tackles for loss and punt returns (89th), so consider those our greatest opportunities for improvement.

Thoughts? Are we getting carried away? How much should we expect things to change after this weekend in the Swamp?

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