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Tennessee Vols football stat rankings continuing to improve

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Your eyeballs are not lying when they're telling you to be excited about the immediate future of Tennessee Football.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

With two regular season games remaining, the Top 30 table continues to grow and the Bottom 30 table continues to shrink. Let's take a look at how it's all coming together.

What Tennessee is doing well

Welcome (back) to the Top 30, 3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense, First Downs Defense, and Passing Yards Allowed. And allow me to introduce a new student this morning. Everybody say hi to Team Sacks. You may remember his older brother who sat in this very desk way back in . . . well, it was before we were keeping attendance, back in the days when this was a one room schoolhouse and your dad had to walk 17 miles round trip in his bare feet and skivvies chewing on yesterday's corn cob. Y'all are going to like him.

Categories in which Tennessee is in the Top 30
Category 2011 2012 2013

Utah St.

Ark. St. OK GA FL UTC OM AL SC KY
Blocked Kicks Allowed 1 1 1

1

1

1 1
Blocked Punts Allowed 1 1 1 1 1 1
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 51 67 21 43 11 3 4 6 2 1 2 2 2
Fewest Penalty Yards 5 5 2 2 3 3 3
Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 92 26 56 15 6 9 20 10 6 5 6 5
Team Tackles for Loss 67 48 90 47 21 36 20 3 6 5 7 11 5
Fewest Penalties 6 18 11 7 10 11 5
Punt Return Defense 85 67 92 85 60 27 40 34 24 14 17 11 10
Red Zone Offense 58 29 100 1 44 55 39 49 33 28 18 20 12
Kickoff Returns 41 80 20 84 68 63 48 58 31 24 28 25 15
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 57 50 91 16 13 3 1 3 5 8 25 33 18
Team Sacks 100 98 99 73 58 78 67 54 65 50 48 34 19
Passes Intercepted 86 56 40 10 37 33 36 12 11 20 26 24 22
First Downs Defense 18 86 45 14 21 41 24 25 24 28 43 53 25
Passing Yards Allowed 12 111 27 31 30 45 28 14 8 6 13 33 30
New Arrivals: 3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense, Team Sacks, First Downs Defense, Passing Yards Allowed.
The Dearly Departed: Turnovers Gained.

Where Tennessee needs major improvement

I have another important announcement to make this morning as well. We've just received word that the prodigal Total Offense has lifted its head from the hog trough and begun its journey home. Its friend Rushing Offense is right behind him.

Seriously, though, there are just six statistical categories remaining in this mire, and except for that Red Zone Defense thing, it's all trending the right direction since Dobbs took control and should only improve over the next couple (few?) games and into next season. Oh for the day this section is empty.

Categories in which Tennessee is 90th or below
Category 2011 2012 2013 Utah St. Ark. St. OK GA FL UTC OM AL SC KY
Punt Returns 61 22 51 84 14 34 54 97 43 80 85 85 91
Rushing Offense 116 61 44 91 88 94 97 109 109 117 113 100 94
Passing Yards per Completion 115 87 93 103 110 117 119 119 119 117 105
Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 9 37 48 41 98 109 117 119 121 122 117 109
Sacks Allowed 40 5 21 65 66 109 107 118 118 123 123 118 117
Red Zone Defense 47 115 11 1 88 101 114 120 120 123 123 114 124
New Arrivals: Punt Returns.
Recent Departures:
Total Offense.

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 2013 Utah St. Ark. St. OK GA FL UTC OM AL SC KY
Turnovers Gained 91 95 35 11 29 31 43 32 21 30 27 27 32
Kickoff Return Defense 7 47 118 62 76 73 54 54 59 55 50 32 35
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 58 21 25 35 32 14 13 11 29 49 38
Total Defense 28 107 83 22 29 42 49 33 16 19 32 53 38
Net Punting 104 52 28 70 76 78 72 59 48 31 34 35 41
4th Down Conversion Pct 91 80 76 62 89 106 116 54 54 103 116 87 42
Completion Percentage 71 58 35 45 44 50 42
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 48 86 117 1 48 31 48 42 30 45 42 51 44
Scoring Defense 36 104 78 10 21 38 57 37 19 29 39 57 46
Fumbles Lost 6 28 24 1 1 23 55 70 74 79 85 76 48
Turnover Margin 59 88 54 6 19 35 39 42 23 59 58 63 48
Passing Offense 50 15 109 44 54 68 54 56 62 69 68 64 52
Blocked Kicks 21 28 33 36 43 46 55
Time of Possession 37 116 91 44 22 27 38 45 52 64 64 65 55
Fumbles Recovered 71 113 29 19 22 22 51 65 38 53 32 40 61
Turnovers Lost 20 58 87 1 13 52 44 63 55 86 98 88 61
3rd Down Conversion Pct 56 81 92 57 8 63 62 81 78 94 64 66 63
Rushing Defense 69 85 100 39 49 48 78 73 67 64 67 76 64
Scoring Offense 106 22 94 41 48 83 74 89 79 94 96 83 66
First Downs Offense 98 20 101 47 48 53 84 98 88 99 88 59 67
Passes Had Intercepted 63 83 107 1 34 76 43 65 53 85 83 87 67
Team Passing Efficiency 69 31 111 42 61 98 83 86 76 85 84 77 69
Total Offense 104 18 102 79 81 93 89 103 106 113 113 95 78

Players in the Top 30

So now that Derek Barnett has finally earned his "I'm trending on Twitter" t-shirt, we can now stop harping on him not getting the recognition he deserves and just start expecting it from him. But don't forget about Curt Maggitt, who's also ranking in the Top 30 in sacks. Wait, what? They're both back next year AND they'll be joined by two 5-star DLs in the middle? Hoo-wee. Sign me up. What? I'm already signed up? Well sign me up for double.

Player Stat 2011 2012 2013 Utah St. Ark. St. OK GA FL UTC OM AL SC KY
Derek Barnett Tackles For Loss 22 10 5
Derek Barnett Sacks 19 9
Curt Maggitt Sacks 14
Aaron Medley Field Goals Per Game 26 16 25 26 17 23 16
A.J. Johnson Total Tackles 4 11 8 10 12 14 16 19
A.J. Johnson Solo Tackles 14 6 6 5 14 15 27
Jalen Reeves-Maybin Fumbles Recovered 14 13 18 28
Justin Worley Completions Per Game 22 29 22 16 18 25 22 23
Cameron Sutton Interceptions 4 13 17 27
A.J. Johnson Forced Fumbles 3 22
Justin Worley Points Responsible For 16 23
Justin Worley Points Responsible For Per Game 18 25
Cameron Sutton Passes Defended 21
Jalen Reeves-Maybin Tackles For Loss 21 26
Aaron Medley Field Goal Percentage 27
Cameron Sutton Fumbles Recovered 11 14
Todd Kelly, Jr. Fumbles Recovered 4 14
Todd Kelly, Jr. Fumbles Recovered 11
Justin Worley Passing TDs 15
Marquez North Receiving TDs 17
A.J. Johnson Passed Defended 17 20
Owen Williams Sacks 29
A.J. Johnson Interceptions 4
Justin Worley Completion Percentage 16
Dontavis Sapp Fumbles Recovered 9
Michael Palardy Punting 11
Devaun Swafford Punt Return TDs 14
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
Devrin Young Punt Returns 28
Tyler Bray Passing Efficiency 29
Austin Johnson Interceptions 23