This just in. Playing the top two teams in the nation back-to-back and immediately after another solid defense from another rival while losing key contributors like Spinal Tap loses drummers will do damage to your national rankings, your trending reports, and your sanity. But let's assess the damage, shall we?
|Categories In Which Tennessee
Was In The Top Quartile This Season
|Red Zone Efficiency||104||T-7||-||-||23||17||16||9|
|Kickoff Return Yardage Defense||9||14||12||21||18||13||24||11|
|Offense Third-down Efficiency||-||11||4||7||T-1||4||5||23|
|First Downs Allowed||-||-||-||-||20||22||30||30|
|Passes Had Intercepted||-||-||-||-||T-17||T-6||21||-|
|Time of Possession||90||14||5||10||5||12||-||-|
|Defense Third-down Efficiency||-||-||-||-||-||30||-||-|
|Defense Fourth-down Efficiency||-||-||T-1||19||T-7||-||-||-|
First the good news. We're still doing well in the red zone and at defending kickoffs. Perhaps best of all, that first downs allowed category that popped up for the first time four weeks ago is holding steady despite our many challenges. Offense third-down efficiency is hanging on by a thread, but it's about to wear out and fall into the abyss unless Justin Worley can pull some magic beans out of his armpit.
Now for the bad news. The kickoff return yardage defense stat is not reserved for teams that are actually good. Sure, Boise State and Oregon are in the top 20, but so are Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky, and Eastern Michigan. And everything else is out of the top 30 now.
And to close with a Good News Sandwich . . . all of the stuff that used to be in the top 30 and isn't anymore? All of it was stuff that was an improvement over last year. Perhaps some of it will reappear after we get through October.
On to the players who made the top 30 this week:
|Nobody's Brother||This Space Intentionally Omitted||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|I Need Five More of These||To Make the Point That We and Da'Rick Rogers Miss Tyler Bray and Justin Hunter||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|But It's Early||And I'm Tired||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|And I Need More Coffee||But Not That Nasty "Salty Caramel Mocha" stuff from Starbucks||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Because That's As Nasty||As It Sounds Without the Trademark and Logo||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|And I'm Filing This Entire Table Into||#lessonslearned||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Da'Rick just missed (#32 and #31) on receiving yards per game and total receiving yards.
And now for those . . . ahem . . . areasofgreatestopportunity:
Categories In Which Tennessee
|Red Zone Efficiency Defense||-||-||-||-||-||-||T-105||-|
|Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game||-||-||-||98||-||-||-||-|
|Fewest Penalties Per Game||-||-||-||97||-||-||-||-|
|Offense Fourth Down Efficiency||96||59||94||-||-||-||-|
Yeah, rushing offense feels better this week yet goes one step to the south in the rankings. Most alarming of all is the appearance of total offense at #91. Scoring offense isn't far behind at #76.
So yeah, playing Alabama and LSU will put extreme close ups of your warts on the Jumbotron, but our offense needs a boost, and we need some Compound W stat. That and turnovers, which McDonald's sells two for the price of one, so it's not like they're not out there.