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Tennessee Vols' statistical rankings after Week 2

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Tennessee has played two games and has two games' worth of stats to prove it. Things change next week, but for now, some surprises lurk in the stat rankings.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Two games in, and we're beginning to get a feel for Team 118 and what it can do against medium rare competition. Starting Saturday, we'll get a better bead on what the team's like when the hurricane hits and there's barns and cars and cows flying through the air. But for now, let's enjoy the relative calm and see what these guys are doing well already and what they still need to work on.

What Tennessee is doing well early

Yeah, it's early, but hoo-wee look at the green. And then look at the categories themselves. The table is full of things like penalties and turnovers, things you wouldn't expect from a cast of rugrats. And wonder of wonders, there's defense in this here thing!

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

Utah St.

Ark. St.
Fumbles Lost 6 28 24 1 1
3rd Down Conversion Pct 56 81 92 57 8
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 51 67 21 43 11
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 57 50 91 16 13
Turnovers Lost 20 58 87 1 13
Punt Returns 61 22 51 84 14
Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 92 26 56 15
Turnover Margin 59 88 54 6 19
First Downs Defense 18 86 45 14 21
Scoring Defense 36 104 78 10 21
Team Tackles for Loss 67 48 90 47 21
Fumbles Recovered 71 113 29 19 22
Time of Possession 37 116 91 44 22
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 58 21 25
Total Defense 28 107 83 22 29
Turnovers Gained 91 95 35 11 29
Passing Yards Allowed 12 111 27 31 30
New Arrivals: 3rd Down Conversion Percentage, Fewest Pealty Yards Per Game, Punt Returns, Fewest Penalties Per Game, Team Tackles for Loss, Time of Possession (raspberry), and Passing Yards Allowed.
The Dearly Departed: Passes Had Intercepted, Passes Intercepted, Red Zone Offense, 4th Down Conversion Percentage Defense, Red Zone Defense.

Where Tennessee needs major improvement

I said this last week, but it half-bears (and half-cats) repeating: Tennessee finished the 2013 season with 17 entries in this Bottom 30 table. They started 2014 with only one, and after the first game, they still have only one. If you're looking for a silver lining, well, at least we swapped out Rushing Offense for Passing Yards Per Completion. That's something, isn't it?

Categories in which Tennessee is in the Bottom 30
Category 2011 2012 2013 Utah St. Ark. St.
Passing Yards per Completion 115 87 93
Recently checked in to Hell's Hotel: Passing Yards per Completion.
Recently Escaped: Rushing 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.
Passes Had Intercepted 63 83 107 1 34
Passes Intercepted 86 56 40 10 37
Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 9 37 48 41
Red Zone Offense 58 29 100 1 44
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 48 86 117 1 48
First Downs Offense 98 20 101 47 48
Scoring Offense 106 22 94 41 48
Rushing Defense 69 85 100 39 49
Passing Offense 50 15 109 44 54
Team Sacks 100 98 99 73 58
Punt Return Defense 85 67 92 85 60
Team Passing Efficiency 69 31 111 42 61
Sacks Allowed 40 5 21 65 66
Kickoff Returns 41 80 20 84 68
Kickoff Return Defense 7 47 118 62 76
Net Punting 104 52 28 70 76
Total Offense 104 18 102 79 81
Red Zone Defense 47 115 11 1 88
Rushing Offense 116 61 44 91 88
4th Down Conversion Pct 91 80 76 62 89

Players in the Top 30

Oh, my word. Shhhh, and don't make any sudden moves that might startle it. That strange animal is a Tennessee player in the Top 30 in Sacks. It's name is Owen Williams.

Player Stat 2011 2012 2013 Utah St. Ark. St.
Todd Kelly, Jr. Fumbles Recovered 11
Cameron Sutton Fumbles Recovered 11
Justin Worley Passing TDs 15
Justin Worley Points Responsible For 16
Marquez North Receiving TDs 17
Justin Worley Points Responsible For Per Game 18
A.J. Johnson Passed Defended 17 20
Justin Worley Completions Per Game 22
Aaron Medley Field Goals Per Game 26
Owen Williams Sacks 29
A.J. Johnson Forced Fumbles 3
Todd Kelly, Jr. Fumbles Recovered 4
A.J. Johnson Interceptions 4
Cameron Sutton Interceptions 4
Justin Worley Completion Percentage 16
Dontavis Sapp Fumbles Recovered 9
Michael Palardy Punting 11
Devaun Swafford Punt Return TDs 14
A.J. Johnson Tackles 4
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