Tennessee Vols statistical rankings after Oregon

Yeah, this picture pretty much sums it up. - Jonathan Ferrey

If you can't tell anything after Austin-Peay, and you can't tell anything after Oregon, what can you tell after both?

It's really hard to get a read on your team if they've only played Austin-Peay. It's also dangerous to divine too much from the wreckage after a game with Oregon. The truth should be somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, and now that we have the numbers from both, here's what they look like. Before proceeding, note the caveats.

Here are Tennessee's national rankings in all major statistical categories after three games. First up is the Stuff UT is Doing Well:

Where Tennessee is doing well

Categories in which Tennessee is in the Top 30
Category 2011 2012 AP WKU OR
4th Down Conversion Pct 91 80 - -

1

Passes Intercepted 86 56 12 1 2
Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 92 - 1 3
Turnovers Gained 91 95 26 1 3
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 51 67 - 2 4
Turnover Margin 59 88 24 3 4
Pass Sacks Allowed 40 5 23 18 5
Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 9 54 29 7
Passes Had Intercepted 63 83 1 39 17
Kickoff Returns 41 80 1 7 19
Red Zone Defense 47 115 - 5 19
Rushing Offense 116 61 11 23 29

Dropped out: 3rd Down Conversion Pct, First Downs Offense, Team Passing Efficiency Defense, Scoring Defense, Scoring Offense, Team Tackles for Loss, and Total Defense
New Arrivals: 4th Down Conversion Pct, Passes Had Intercepted

Yeah that 4th Down Conversion Percentage will pour fuel on the fire that is the debate about whether Tennessee should have gone for it on 4th down more often rather than punt to the Ducks. I wonder, though, if that number just wouldn't be there this week had we tried more often.

The good news is that we're still a disciplined team, and our offensive line is still good. And the red zone defense is still holding its own, although that is little consolation when the opponent doesn't care whether they score from inside or outside the red zone.

The jury is still out on the turnover numbers, I think. We're still ranked highly from the Western Kentucky performance, but whether that's mostly skill or luck remains to be seen.

Where Tennessee needs major imporovement

As expected, both before and after the game, the defensive statistical rankings took a hit after playing the Ducks. More concerning, to me anyway, is the passing game statistics. If that's not fixed, then word gets out, and everything else gets more difficult, too.

Categories in which Tennessee is in the Bottom 30
Category 2011 2012 AP WKU OR
Passing Offense 50 15 101 108 114
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 48 86 34 70 113
Net Punting 104 52 7 101 104
Passing Yards per Completion 102 90 103
Passing Yards Allowed 12 111 17 38 102
Punt Return Defense 85 67 2 43 93

New Arrivals: 4th Down Conversion Pct Defense, Passing Yards Allowed, Passing Yards per Completion, Punt Return Defense
Climbed out: None

THE BIG FAT MIDDLE

And here's the rest, for tracking purposes.

Categories in which Tennessee is in the Middle of the Rankings
Category 2011 2012 AP WKU OR
Turnovers Lost 20 58 25 31 32
Scoring Offense 106 22 20 13 41
First Downs Offense 98 20 12 26 43
Time of Possession 37 116 55 70 45
Fumbles Recovered 71 113 - 22 48
Team Pass Sacks 100 98 41 48 50
3rd Down Conversion Pct 56 81 13 26 52
Red Zone Offense 58 29 1 59 52
Team Tackles for Loss 67 48 38 29 55
Fumbles Lost 6 28 57 32 56
Punt Returns 61 22 28 40 60
Rushing Defense 69 85 19 43 65
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 14 10 71
Team Passing Efficiency 69 31 25 46 72
Scoring Defense 36 104 1 15 73
Kickoff Return Defense 7 47 76 77 78
Total Offense 104 18 51 65 78
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 57 50 10 60 81
First Downs Defense 18 86 8 39 83
Total Defense 28 107 11 29 90

Players in the Top 30

Player Stat 2011 2012 AP WKU OR
Brian Randolph Interceptions 3 14
Michael Palardy Punting 19
Vincent Dallas Kickoff Returns 12
Rajion Neal Scoring 14
Dontavis Sapp Fumbles Recovered 23
Max Arnold Fumbles Recovered 23
Brent Brewer Forced Fumbles 24
Dontavis Sapp Forced Fumbles 24
Rajion Neal Rushing Yards 15 27
Justin Worley Passing Efficiency 28
Daniel Hood Interceptions 7
Malik Foreman Interceptions 7
Justin Worley Points Responsible For 13
Rajion Neal Rushing Yards Per Game 15
Devrin Young Punt Returns 28 21
Daniel Hood Passes Defended 21
Marlin Lane Scoring 21
Marlon Walls Tackles For Loss 30
A.J. Johnson Tackles 4
Byron Moore Interceptions 13
Cordarrelle Patterson Kickoff Returns 14
Cordarrelle Patterson All-Purpose Runners 16
Tyler Bray Total Offense 19
Justin Hunter Receiving Yards Per Game 22
Tyler Bray Passing Efficiency 29
Austin Johnson Interceptions 23
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