Statistical rankings are particularly sneaky and deceptive after one game, but with that caveat compiling this week's results still led to some interesting findings. Without taking all of this too seriously, let's take a quick look at where the Vols rank in each of the official NCAA statistical categories and how that compares to the season's worth of results from last year.
Before we do, though, I'd like to point out that someone's (I forget whose) projected Top Four in the inaugural College Football Playoff included Florida State, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Georgia, and that Tennessee plays three of those four in the regular season. If I'm not mistaken, Florida is the only other team with that on tap. All right, then. On to the weekly rankin's.
What Tennessee is doing well early
The first thing that jumps out here is that you wouldn't expect a team that was among the very absolute worst at stopping the other team on 4th down to actually stop its opponent at its first opportunity this year. Yeah, it's only once, but woo for a 116-spot swing.
A meh kind of ditto on Passes Had Intercepted. UT's QBs were really bad at that last year, so getting through the first game without any is a cause of huzzahs.
Other than that, it's just nice to see all of that green. (Green denotes those stats in which Tennessee ranks in the Top 30.) Much of that is formerly yellow, and some is formerly WARNING RED BAD.
|Categories in which Tennessee is in the Top 30|
|4th Down Conversion Pct Defense||48||86||117||1|
|Passes Had Intercepted||63||83||107||1|
|Red Zone Defense||47||115||11||1|
|Red Zone Offense||58||29||100||1|
|First Downs Defense||18||86||45||14|
|3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense||57||50||91||16|
|Team Passing Efficiency Defense||58||21|
Where Tennessee needs major improvement
Oh, this is kind of cool, too. When we last looked at this, Tennessee was finishing the 2013 season with 17 -- 17! -- entries in this Bottom 30 chart. Today, after one game, we have one. It likely won't stay like that -- Oklahoma and Georgia are looming in the hazy horizon, after all -- but hey, you take what you can get and you take it when you can get it. Also, if you're going to be bad at something, let's not be bad at running the football.
|Categories in which Tennessee is in the Bottom 30|
THE BIG FAT MIDDLE
And here's the rest, for tracking purposes.
|Categories in which Tennessee is in the Middle of the Rankings|
|Passing Yards Allowed||12||111||27||31|
|Team Passing Efficiency||69||31||111||42|
|Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game||51||67||21||43|
|Time of Possession||37||116||91||44|
|First Downs Offense||98||20||101||47|
|Team Tackles for Loss||67||48||90||47|
|Tackles for Loss Allowed||38||9||37||48|
|Fewest Penalties Per Game||56||92||26||56|
|3rd Down Conversion Pct||56||81||92||57|
|4th Down Conversion Pct||91||80||76||62|
|Kickoff Return Defense||7||47||118||62|
|Punt Return Defense||85||67||92||85|
|Passing Yards per Completion||115||87|
Players in the Top 30
Presenting . . . the Beast Chart.
|A.J. Johnson||Forced Fumbles||3|
|Todd Kelly, Jr.||Fumbles Recovered||4|
|Justin Worley||Completion Percentage||16|
|A.J. Johnson||Passes Defended||17|
|Dontavis Sapp||Fumbles Recovered||9|
|Devaun Swafford||Punt Return TDs||14|
|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|