There's been a lot of woe is us around here this week, and no doubt some of it has been merited. Some of us, including me, are of the opinion these Vols will have a better chance against Alabama than they will tomorrow simply because of the matchups; Team 117 just doesn't seem to be built for the kind of boat race Georgia not only prefers, but executes without discrimination. The only team to hold the Dawgs under 35 in their last 10 games was your 2012 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide...and Georgia got 28 on them and was one play from 35 and much more.
Anything can happen, and the Dawgs could be emotionally vulnerable after a ridiculous September put them through the spiritual wringer. But even if the Vols don't beat Georgia (and even if you don't get to see Riley Ferguson), remember the goals for Butch Jones, Year One are still fully intact: get bowl eligible, and get the one win that makes everyone believe. Saturday is another chance to get that W...but if it's not this time, it could still be later in the month.
To achieve those goals of six wins, one big one - whether tomorrow or elsewhere - Tennessee has to do a better job maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. We've seen this team in five games now, and while a quarterback change could affect some of this, their identity is beginning to take shape. The hope continues that if this team stays healthy, it will be playing better football in November than September. What will that better football look like?
1. Run/Pass Ratio
The Vols are 35th nationally in rushing offense (215.4 yards per game), and 16th nationally with 5.52 yards per carry. That stat includes Nathan Peterman's three carries for -12 yards; Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane have combined for 5.98 yards per carry. As we thought, the run game is clearly the strength of this team, no matter who's playing quarterback.
So how have the Vols been calling plays so far this season?
- Austin Peay (first half only): 28 run, 13 pass
- Western Kentucky: 45 run, 19 pass
- Oregon: 38 run, 29 pass
- Florida: 23 run, 34 pass
- South Alabama: 37 run, 36 pass
- Austin Peay, Daniel Hood INT, Offense at AP 25: Touchdown
- Austin Peay, Malik Foreman INT, Offense at UT 10: Punt
- Western Kentucky, Jusitn Coleman pick six
- Western Kentucky, Cameron Sutton pick six
- Western Kentucky, Dontavis Sapp fumble, Offense at WKU 28: Field Goal
- Western Kentucky, Max Arnold fumble, Offense at WKU 12: Touchdown
- Western Kentucky, Brent Brewer INT, Offense at WKU 22: Touchdown
- Western Kentucky, Brian Randolph INT, Offense at UT 18: Punt (blocked)
- Western Kentucky, Brian Randolph INT, Offense at UT 20: Touchdown
- Florida, Punt snap fumble, Offense at FLA 15: Fumble
- Florida, Devaun Swafford pick six
- Florida, Daniel McCullers fumble, Offense at FLA 38: Punt (4th and 32)
- South Alabama, LaDarrell McNeil INT, Offense at USA 23: Field Goal
- South Alabama, Brent Brewer INT, Offense at USA 35: Interception
- South Alabama, Brian Randolph INT, Offense at UT 20: time expired