Tennessee Volunteer national statistical rankings after Week 8

Kevin C. Cox

A defense circling the bowl for weeks now has succumbed to the pipes. Here's this week's statistical rankings after the Alabama game, with a bonus digression into a discussion of synchronization.

Caveats.

The fact that the Alabama game this weekend was almost exactly what I expected did nothing to make it less disappointing. Perhaps the greatest disappointment is expecting it to begin with, which sort of extended the misery earlier into the week into a kind of pre-disappointment period. Which stinks.

If you're looking for a Bright Side, it's that Tennessee's four losses have all come against teams in the top 11 of the BCS standings, and the games against Nos. 1 and 2 have been at home while the games against Nos. 11 and 12 have been on the road. Feel better? Me neither. But it might explain some things, including the Vols' statistical rankings taking a pretty good hit this week.

Here are the latest NCAA statistical rankings for the Vols after the Alabama game, grouped into three categories: Those things in which UT is in the Top 30, those things in which UT is in the Bottom 30, and everything else. First up, the Stuff UT Is Doing Well.

Categories In Which Tennessee
Is In The Top Quartile
Category

2011

NCS GS FL AK GA MSB AL SC TR MO VAN KY
Pass Sacks Allowed 40 29 14 13 7 4 3 2
Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 97 55 57 55 58 26 14
Red Zone Efficiency 58 65 57 43 24 22 14 19
Passes Intercepted 86 1 3 11 2 2 18 24
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game 51 39 53 59 42 39 40 26
Passing Offense 50 13 9 14 8 14 22 28
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 7 76 63 64 53 33 30 28
Defense Third-down Efficiency 57 57 27 18 17 28 14 29

Dropped out: Punt Return Yardage Defense (now 73!), Total Offense (now 34), Scoring Offense (now 37), First Downs (now 41).
New Arrivals: Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game.

You'd expect playing the defense that is not only #1 in the nation overall but #1 in almost every category to negatively impact your offense, and that's exactly what happened. Three categories of offense (First Downs, Scoring, and Total) all fell out of the top 30 and a couple of others (Passes Intercepted and Passing Offense) are barely hanging on.

Hey, look, a Bright Spot: The o-line and Tyler Bray are still solid in not permitting sacks, and Tackles for Loss Allowed actually and signficantly improved against the nation's best defense.

#OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE

Categories In Which Tennessee
Is In The Bottom Quartile
Category

2011

NCS GS FL AK GA MSB AL SC TR MO VAN KY
Fumbles Recovered 71 66 60 79 97 70 93 86
Pass Sacks 100 68 47 83 94 100 95 91
Pass Defense 12 86 73 66 66 74 84 92
Turnovers Lost 20 23 51 55 69 94 85 93
Time of Possession 37 38 81 87 83 63 82 94
Total Defense 28 70 48 77 68 79 87 95
Scoring Defense 36 54 38 64 61 81 90 96
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency 91 58 54 38 76 74 77 100
Passes Had Intercepted 63 1 28 78 76 100 92 101
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency 48 37 76 82 88 85 97 102
Red Zone Efficiency - Defense 47 58 95 108 104 110 116 117

New Arrivals: Pass Defense, Turnovers Lost, Time of Possession, Total Defense, and Offense Fourth-down Efficiency.
Climbed out: None.

At the end of last season, this Bottom 30 category had eight entries, and with the exception of Pass Sacks and a couple of special teams items, they were all offensive statistics.

We've seen a dramatic shift since then. As of right now, we have 11 entries in the Bottom 30, and of those, six are defensive statistics. The defense has been circling the bowl for awhile now, and this week, it succumbed to the pipes. Pass Sacks was bad last year and is bad this year, but most of the other categories have gone from either Top 30 or Middle 60 to Bottom 30. It stinks, is what I'm trying to say.

If you, like me, want to rush off to find solace in national rankings that show that the teams we've played have terrific offenses, then you, like me, are going to be disappointed. The following numbers are Total Offense rankings for our FBS opponents to date:

  • NC State: 55th
  • Florida: 100th
  • Akron: 44th
  • Georgia: 18th
  • Mississippi State: 50th
  • Alabama: 39th

This team has been out of cycle with itself for what seems like forever. I remember before I even started writing about the Vols blaming . . . who was it, Chris Leak? . . . for getting our QBs and WRs out of cycle. It forced Casey Clausen into early action, so he was learning when he had good receivers, and his receivers were learning when he got experience. I may be misremembering some of that, but that was my feeling at the time. But this much I know for certain: Recently, it has often been the case that when our defense is good, our offense is bad and vice versa. Synch up, folks.

THE BIG FAT MIDDLE

And here's the rest, for tracking purposes.

Categories In Which Tennessee
Is In The Middle
Category

2011

NCS GS FL AK GA MSB AL SC TR MO VAN KY
Total Offense 104 23 15 30 17 18 22 34
Scoring Offense 106 43 15 37 23 22 24 37
First Downs 98 40 30 44 18 21 25 41
Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 52 53 75 69 71 66 45
Turnovers Gained 91 3 7 28 20 11 39 48
Punt Returns 61 59 51 54 38 41 47 48
Passing Efficiency 69 32 8 35 24 39 39 49
Fumbles Lost 6 43 59 40 47 49 49 51
Kickoff Returns 41 38 14 23 55 65 49 52
Rushing Offense 116 45 42 71 57 49 45 57
Offense Third-down Efficiency 56 43 49 63 67 54 49 63
Pass Efficiency Defense 48 28 13 29 17 30 39 66
Punt Return Yardage Defense 85 5 8 26 29 20 20 73
First Downs Allowed 18 71 79 77 70 62 72 75
Net Punting 104 32 56 42 46 60 73 75
Turnover Margin 59 4 18 48 41 55 69 80
Tackles for Loss 67 65 53 62 81 74 69 84
Rushing Defense 69 46 36 84 74 92 81 89

Players in the Top 30

Player Stat 2011 NCS GS FL AK GA MSB AL SC TR MO VAN KY
Cordarrelle Patterson Kickoff Returns - - 5 15 16 22 2 2
Byron Moore Interceptions - 5 - - 6 5 4 6
A.J. Johnson Total Tackles - - - - - - 11 7
Tyler Bray Passing Yards Per Game - 10 11 13 9 14 16 20
Tyler Bray Total Passing Yards - 10 7 9 9 8 24 23
Curt Maggitt Forced Fumbles - 6 - - - - 27 28
Cordarrelle Patterson All-Purpose Running - - 8 23 - - 28 29
FORMERLY IN THE TOP 30
Justin Hunter Receiving Yards Per Game - - 14 18 13 26 41 31
Tyler Bray Points Responsible For - - 12 22 10 16 19 32
Tyler Bray Passing - 16 - 27 22 24 28 32
Tyler Bray Total Offense - 17 20 21 14 23 28 36
Justin Hunter Total Receiving Yards - - 11 12 5 17 47 37
Justin Hunter Receptions Per Game - 9 14 19 13 25 47 45
Tyler Bray Passing Efficiency - 30 5 28 22 35 35 49
Curt Maggitt Forced Fumbles - - - - - 21 -
Derrick Brodus Field Goals - - - - 18 23 -
Brian Randolph Solo Tackles - - 13 - 29 - -
Cordarrelle Patterson Total Receiving Yards - - 30 - - - -
Willie Bohannon Fumbles Recovered - - 17 - - - -
Eric Gordon Interceptions - 5 - - - - -
Prentiss Waggner Interceptions - 5 - - - - -
Marsalis Teague Interceptions - 5 - - - - -
Maurice Couch Forced Fumbles - 6 - - - - -
Byron Moore Solo Tackles - 11 - - - - -
Michael Palardy Field Goals - 13 - - - - -
Curt Maggitt Pass Sacks - 20 - - - - -
Cordarrelle Patterson Scoring - 25 - - - - -
Devrin Young Kickoff Returns - 30 - - - - -
2011
Austin Johnson Interceptions 23
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Rocky Top Talk

You must be a member of Rocky Top Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rocky Top Talk. You should read them.

Join Rocky Top Talk

You must be a member of Rocky Top Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rocky Top Talk. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker