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The Vols' statistical trends and where there is room for improvement

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The stat rankings from 2015 clearly show the areas the Vols need to fix, along with those the team needs to not break in the process.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesdays during the season, we generally take a look at the statistical trends for the Vols and the impact the latest game has had on them. Heading in to the the 2016 season, I thought we'd take a quick look at the year-to-year trends since 2011.

The charts are below, but here are a few observations:

Defense

Overall, the defense was pretty good last year, but they have a lot of room to grow this year as well. It will be hard to get much better at third down, but everything else can be squeezed a bit.

Interceptions and 4th downs are the only glaring problems, and the 2014 numbers (which were very good) seem to suggest that these two categories are either high-variance by nature or at least can be improved dramatically in the course of one season. Can't wait to see what a Shoop defense can do.

Offense

The offense was also good overall. It was both safe and good, but there is also room for improvement, most notably in the passing game. Whether that's, as most people think, on Dobbs or, as I think, on the facts that the slot receivers vanished right at the beginning of last season and Marquez North never really lived up to expectations, I think it can and will be improved this year.

The Tackles for Loss Allowed stat is a bit mystifying. In my mind, for some reason, it had improved, but the stat rankings say otherwise. How many yards might we average on the ground if this stat improves?

Penalties

This is one of those things I worry about. When you're trying to fix something, don't break something else. Yes, let's tweak the passing game and the aggression on defense, but let's not become penalty happy. That could undo in a hurry any other gains.

Special Teams

Woo.

Turnovers

Shoop! Is it there?

Here are the charts. What jumps out to y'all?

Category Stat 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Defense 3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 57 50 91 14 4
Defense Red Zone Defense 47 115 11 124 24
Defense Scoring Defense 36 104 78 35 26
Defense First Downs Defense 18 86 45 33 30
Defense Team Passing Efficiency Defense 58 24 35
Defense Total Defense 28 107 83 36 46
Defense Rushing Defense 69 85 100 65 49
Defense Team Sacks 100 98 99 29 56
Defense Passing Yards Allowed 12 111 27 22 57
Defense Team Tackles for Loss 67 48 90 21 80
Defense Passes Intercepted 86 56 40 15 93
Defense 4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 48 86 117 26 123

Category Stat 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Offense 4th Down Conversion Pct 91 80 76 34 6
Offense Passes Had Intercepted 63 83 107 84 7
Offense 3rd Down Conversion Pct 56 81 92 78 20
Offense Rushing Offense 116 61 44 89 21
Offense Scoring Offense 106 22 94 62 36
Offense First Downs Offense 98 20 101 54 37
Offense Total Offense 104 18 102 90 50
Offense Sacks Allowed 40 5 21 117 51
Offense Team Passing Efficiency 69 31 111 70 57
Offense Completion Percentage 32 58
Offense Red Zone Offense 58 29 100 5 82
Offense Passing Yards per Completion 115 116 87
Offense Passing Offense 50 15 109 70 93
Offense Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 9 37 122 107

Category Stat 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Penalties Fewest Penalty Yards 9 6
Penalties Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 51 67 21 6 6
Penalties Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 92 26 7 16
Penalties Fewest Penalties 13 17

Category Stat 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Special Teams Kickoff Returns 41 80 20 14 1
Special Teams Punt Returns 61 22 51 37 2
Special Teams Kickoff Return Defense 7 47 118 23 15
Special Teams Blocked Kicks Allowed 1 28
Special Teams Net Punting 104 52 28 36 30
Special Teams Blocked Kicks 70 41
Special Teams Blocked Punts Allowed 1 64
Special Teams Punt Return Defense 85 67 92 11 102
Special Teams Blocked Punts

Category Stat 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnovers Turnovers Lost 20 58 87 61 13
Turnovers Fumbles Lost 6 28 24 37 46
Turnovers Turnover Margin 59 88 54 53 50
Turnovers Fumbles Recovered 71 113 29 78 81
Turnovers Turnovers Gained 91 95 35 34 99