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Stat rankings: Much improvement in the offense, but still much room for more

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The stat rankings show the improvement in the offense that you'd expect while still showing the hole the offense has dug for itself.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

It's the SEC's worst-kept secret that Tennessee's offense has improved dramatically since Josh Dobbs took the reins. But just how much better is Tennessee getting with respect to other teams in the nation? Quite a bit, actually, although they still have a long way to go.

What Tennessee is doing well

The eyeballs tell us, of course, that the biggest improvement this week was on offense, but as we all know, it's a long trip from the basement to the penthouse. So it shouldn't be all that surprising that the Top 30 table this week includes no new entries. Three categories did fall out, though -- Lil' Jon, Passing Yards Allowed, and Team Passing Efficiency Defense. Is this just because we've gone up against Coopers Amari and Pharoah, or has our video revealed a weakness in the pass defense that teams are now consistently able to exploit? We'll know more by the end of the season because I don't think there are any more superstar Coopers on opposing rosters for the next three games.

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

Utah St.

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

1

1

1
Blocked Punts Allowed 1 1 1 1 1
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 51 67 21 43 11 3 4 6 2 1 2 2
Fewest Penalty Yards 5 5 2 2 3 3
Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 92 26 56 15 6 9 20 10 6 5 6
Team Tackles for Loss 67 48 90 47 21 36 20 3 6 5 7 11
Fewest Penalties 6 18 11 7 10 11
Punt Return Defense 85 67 92 85 60 27 40 34 24 14 17 11
Red Zone Offense 58 29 100 1 44 55 39 49 33 28 18 20
Passes Intercepted 86 56 40 10 37 33 36 12 11 20 26 24
Kickoff Returns 41 80 20 84 68 63 48 58 31 24 28 25
Turnovers Gained 91 95 35 11 29 31 43 32 21 30 27 27
New Arrivals: None.
The Dearly Departed: 3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense, Passing Yards Allowed, Team Passing Efficiency Defense.

Where Tennessee needs major improvement

Several bits of good news here. First, three categories climbed out of this table: Scoring Offense, 4th Down Conversion Pct., and Turnovers Lost. Second, no new categories fell into the dumpster. And third, there was significant movement toward the exits in most categories. Total Offense moved from 113 to 95, and Rushing Offense moved from 113 to 100. The offensive line categories of Sacks and Tackles for Loss Allowed also moved up, although they still have a long way to go to stop smelling like garbage. A bit surprising is that Passing Yards per Completion didn't really improve very much.

Categories in which Tennessee is 90th or below
Category 2011 2012 2013 Utah St. Ark. St. OK GA FL UTC OM AL SC
Total Offense 104 18 102 79 81 93 89 103 106 113 113 95
Rushing Offense 116 61 44 91 88 94 97 109 109 117 113 100
Red Zone Defense 47 115 11 1 88 101 114 120 120 123 123 114
Passing Yards per Completion 115 87 93 103 110 117 119 119 119 117
Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 9 37 48 41 98 109 117 119 121 122 117
Sacks Allowed 40 5 21 65 66 109 107 118 118 123 123 118
New Arrivals: None.
Recent Departures:
Scoring Offense, 4th Down Conversion Pct., Turnovers Lost.

THE BIG FAT MIDDLE

And here's the rest, for tracking purposes. Note that First Downs Offense saw a gain of almost 30 spots, going from 88th to 59th just this week. It was in the dumpster the week before Dobbs started playing.

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
Kickoff Return Defense 7 47 118 62 76 73 54 54 59 55 50 32
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 57 50 91 16 13 3 1 3 5 8 25 33
Passing Yards Allowed 12 111 27 31 30 45 28 14 8 6 13 33
Team Sacks 100 98 99 73 58 78 67 54 65 50 48 34
Net Punting 104 52 28 70 76 78 72 59 48 31 34 35
Fumbles Recovered 71 113 29 19 22 22 51 65 38 53 32 40
Blocked Kicks 21 28 33 36 43 46
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 58 21 25 35 32 14 13 11 29 49
Completion Percentage 71 58 35 45 44 50
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 48 86 117 1 48 31 48 42 30 45 42 51
First Downs Defense 18 86 45 14 21 41 24 25 24 28 43 53
Total Defense 28 107 83 22 29 42 49 33 16 19 32 53
Scoring Defense 36 104 78 10 21 38 57 37 19 29 39 57
First Downs Offense 98 20 101 47 48 53 84 98 88 99 88 59
Turnover Margin 59 88 54 6 19 35 39 42 23 59 58 63
Passing Offense 50 15 109 44 54 68 54 56 62 69 68 64
Time of Possession 37 116 91 44 22 27 38 45 52 64 64 65
3rd Down Conversion Pct 56 81 92 57 8 63 62 81 78 94 64 66
Fumbles Lost 6 28 24 1 1 23 55 70 74 79 85 76
Rushing Defense 69 85 100 39 49 48 78 73 67 64 67 76
Team Passing Efficiency 69 31 111 42 61 98 83 86 76 85 84 77
Scoring Offense 106 22 94 41 48 83 74 89 79 94 96 83
Punt Returns 61 22 51 84 14 34 54 97 43 80 85 85
4th Down Conversion Pct 91 80 76 62 89 106 116 54 54 103 116 87
Passes Had Intercepted 63 83 107 1 34 76 43 65 53 85 83 87
Turnovers Lost 20 58 87 1 13 52 44 63 55 86 98 88

Players in the Top 30

So Derek Barnett is beginning to get some recognition, but honestly he's probably still not getting the recognition he deserves. Dude is 10th in the nation in TFLs and 19th in sacks. Give this guy some props.

Player Stat 2011 2012 2013 Utah St. Ark. St. OK GA FL UTC OM AL SC
Derek Barnett Tackles For Loss 22 10
A.J. Johnson Solo Tackles 14 6 6 5 14 15
A.J. Johnson Total Tackles 4 11 8 10 12 14 16
Jalen Reeves-Maybin Fumbles Recovered 14 13 18
Derek Barnett Sacks 19
Aaron Medley Field Goals Per Game 26 16 25 26 17 23
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