A quick review of what I saw in the Auburn game:
· Continued consistency in the kicking game. It’s won one game for sure this season, and has yet to drain momentum in any game
· Run from scrimmage by Rajion Neal for a TD in the first half. Strength, effort and balance allowed Neal to embarrass Auburn defenders in what is arguably one of the better runs from scrimmage in past years.
· Offensive line at different points in the game. There were times when The OL was smashing the Auburn line; unfortunately it wasn't all the time.
· A very athletic play by DE Jacques Smith on his pick 6 TD. The fact that it was a DL/DE is again something we haven’t seen in a while. Now, if Smith would just act like "he has been there before" after the TD and minimize the animation.
· Dobbs running ability from the QB position. Whether designed or fearing for his life, his skills offer a much needed dimension to the offense.
· DB, Cam Sutton: Should make the SEC All Freshmen squad. Nice surprise for the Vols at a critical position.
· Without question, punt and kick coverage. Maybe we didn't put enough men on the field? Whatever, it obviously exposed our lack of speed more than our technique, but regardless, it was ugly and placed us in terrible field position if they didn't score on the play to begin with.
· A disturbing pattern of missed tackles, either due to speed or technique.
· Still no sign of a consistent game changing play maker.
No question the road for the Vols in 2013 has been more challenging than anyone could have predicted. To catch 6 different teams ranked in the top 10 when we played the game (three of those on consecutive weeks) plus Florida who was ranked in the top 20 at the time, is a schedule that not many teams care to have. Vanderbilt continues to prove they are not our daddy’s Vandy and Kentucky continues to improve but as Coach Stoops says, nobody cares.
Let’s assume and hope that a week off proves helpful to this team and that their goal of becoming bowl eligible while getting dicey is still obtainable. Let’s see what happens.