It's our favorite argument here at RTT: does Tennessee need to run the football and have some sense of offensive balance, or should these Vols say screw it and just throw it 50+ times per game?
This isn't a once-for-all question. It's a Tyler Bray question, specific to this quarterback and these wide receivers. We saw a glimpse of it last year, when after two games even the strongest "you have to run to win in this league!" screamers - including two of your trusty authors on this fine website - got seduced by the Cincinnati win and had visions of Bray putting up 500 yards against the Gators. The Cincinnati game was so powerful, we forgot that it's never more important to run the football than when you're playing Florida...and then Justin Hunter got hurt, and the questions changed.
One year later, the argument hasn't died. Tennessee's 116th best run game in the nation did nothing to stop it, nor did the signing of Cordarrelle Patterson and the best WR class in the country back in February. But it still remains to be seen if the voice of four verts is siren or muse.
Jim Chaney is still most famous for being the guy at Purdue with Drew Brees, adding fuel to the fire of passing on every down. But the most important question remains, "What gives Tennessee the best chance to win?"
Let your voice be heard in our poll and in the comments; after the jump, we take a look at UT's run/pass ratios during Bray's reign of terror...
Here's a look at the run/pass ratios during each of Tyler Bray's 12 starts at UT. The ratios do not include drives at the end of blowouts where the Vols were running the clock out. Sacks count in team rushing statistics, but obviously they are pass plays so they count there in the ratios.
- at Memphis (50-14 W): 38 pass/30 rush - Bray 19 of 33 for 325 yds, 5 TD - Team Rushing 32 carries for 130 yards (4.1 per).
- vs Ole Miss (52-14 W): 39 pass/21 rush - Bray 18 of 34 for 323 yds, 3 TD - Team Rushing 28 carries for 118 yards (4.2 per)
- at Vanderbilt (24-10 W): 29 pass/32 rush - Bray 16 of 27 for 232 yds, 2 TD/2 INT - Team Rushing 34 carries for 128 yards (3.8 per)
- vs Kentucky (24-14 W): 40 pass/24 rush - Bray 20 of 38 for 354 yds, 2 TD/2 INT - Team Rushing 26 carries for 76 yards (2.9 per)
- vs North Carolina (30-27 OT L): 50 pass/24 rush - Bray 27 of 45 for 312 yds, 4 TD/3 INT - Team Rushing 29 carries for 27 yards (0.9 per)
- vs Montana (42-16 W): 31 pass/39 rush - Bray 17 of 24 for 293 yds, 3 TD - Team Rushing 46 carries for 128 yards (2.8 per)
- vs Cincinnati (45-23 W): 41 pass/35 rush - Bray 34 of 41 for 405 yds, 4 TD - Team Rushing 35 carries for 126 yards (3.6 per)
- at Florida (33-23 L): 54 pass/15 rush - Bray 26 of 48 for 288 yds, 3 TD/2 INT - Team Rushing 21 carries for -9 yards (-0.4 per)
- vs Buffalo (41-10 W): 35 pass/35 rush - Bray 21 of 30 for 342 yds, 4 TD - Team Rushing 44 carries for 199 yards (4.4 per)
- vs Georgia (20-12 L): 43 pass/20 rush - Bray 18 of 33 for 251 yds - Team Rushing 23 carries for -20 yards (-0.9 per)
- vs Vanderbilt (27-21 OT W): 35 pass/28 rush - Bray 16 of 33 for 189 yds, 2 TD/2 INT - Team Rushing 30 carries for 101 yards (3.4 per)
- at Kentucky (10-7 L): 41 pass/21 rush - Bray 15 of 38 for 215 yds, 1 TD/2 INT - Team Rushing 24 carries for 61 yards (2.5 per)
- Houston: 450.1 ypg pass, 149.0 ypg rush (68th)
- Oklahoma State: 387.2 ypg pass, 162.6 ypg rush (51st)
- Arizona: 370.3 ypg pass, 94.5 ypg rush (114th)
- Baylor: 351.5 ypg pass, 235.6 ypg rush (10th) (!!!!)
- Oklahoma: 349.4 ypg pass, 162.9 ypg rush (50th)
- 2011 Arkansas (11-2): 300.7 ypg pass, 137.3 ypg rush (9th)
- 2007 Kentucky (8-5, a great season for them): 287.9 ypg pass, 155.4 ypg rush (6th)
- 2007 Tennessee (10-4): 262.5 ypg pass, 139.9 ypg rush (9th)