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Vols' statistical rankings after Week One

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What exactly went wrong against App State, and how uncharacteristic of the team was it compared to last year?

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

We all know not to read too much into numbers early in a season, but let's take a quick look just to see what happened during the Appalachian State game compared to what kind of team we thought we had at the end of last season.

What Tennessee is currently doing well

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

2014

2015 App. St.
Blocked Kicks Allowed

1

28 1
Blocked Punts Allowed 1 64 1
Red Zone Offense 58 29 100 5 82 1
Kickoff Returns 41 80 20 14 1 4
Passing Yards Allowed 12 111 27 22 57 17
Red Zone Defense 47 115 11 124 24 19
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 57 50 91 14 4 24
Kickoff Return Defense 7 47 118 23 15 30
Passes Intercepted 86 56 40 15 93 30
Scoring Defense 36 104 78 35 26 30

Those Blocked Kicks and Punts categories should just be ignored, but the Red Zone Offense looked much better last week than it did for the 2015 season. It was good to see Kickoff Returns hold steady, and we're out of the gate with strong improvement in Passing Yards Allowed and Passes Intercepted.

Where Tennessee needs major improvement

Categories in which Tennessee is 90th or below
Category 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 App. St.
Completion Percentage 32 58 92
Total Offense 104 18 102 90 50 92
Rushing Defense 69 85 100 65 49 94
Time of Possession 37 116 91 51 56 94
Punt Return Defense 85 67 92 11 102 124

Not surprisingly, a couple of offensive categories look like they felt on Thursday night, and Rushing Defense, well, let's blame that on the triple option for now and hope it's not a pattern. And were we really that bad in Punt Return Defense last year? I must have repressed that memory.

THE BIG FAT MIDDLE

Categories in which Tennessee is in the Middle of the Rankings
Category 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 App. St.
Tackles for Loss Allowed 38 9 37 122 107 46
Total Defense 28 107 83 36 46 48
First Downs Defense 18 86 45 33 30 50
Fewest Penalties Per Game 56 92 26 7 16 52
Fewest Penalties 13 17 53
Team Tackles for Loss 67 48 90 21 80 55
Turnovers Gained 91 95 35 34 99 57
Fumbles Lost 6 28 24 37 46 58
Sacks Allowed 40 5 21 117 51 58
3rd Down Conversion Pct 56 81 92 78 20 59
Net Punting 104 52 28 36 30 60
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 58 24 35 61
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 51 67 21 6 6 62
Fewest Penalty Yards 9 6 63
Passing Yards per Completion 115 116 87 64
Passes Had Intercepted 63 83 107 84 7 65
Turnovers Lost 20 58 87 61 13 66
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 48 86 117 26 123 70
4th Down Conversion Pct 91 80 76 26 6 73
Turnover Margin 59 88 54 53 50 74
First Downs Offense 98 20 101 54 37 75
Passing Offense 50 15 109 70 93 82
Rushing Offense 116 61 44 89 21 84
Punt Returns 61 22 51 37 2 86
Team Passing Efficiency 69 31 111 70 57 86
Scoring Offense 106 22 94 62 36 88
Blocked Kicks 70 41
Team Sacks 100 98 99 29 56
Fumbles Recovered 71 113 29 78 81

The most disappointing thing here is all that 2015 green that was yellow against App State. This is especially true for the penalties categories. Butch Jones' teams have consistently been well-disciplined teams, but they really weren't in the first game of 2016. Let's hope they get back to what they've done consistently well in the recent past.

Players in the Top 30

Player Stat 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 App St.
Aaron Medley Field Goal Percentage 1
Josh Malone Yards per Reception 2
Trevor Daniel Punting 6 3
Cameron Sutton Total Interceptions 8
Cameron Sutton Interceptions Per Game 8
Aaron Medley Field Goals Per Game 17 14 15
Cameron Sutton Punt Returns 1
Evan Berry Kickoff Return TDs 1
Evan Berry Kickoff Returns 1
Cameron Sutton Punt Return TDs 11 2
Alvin Kamara Punt Return TDs 12
Evan Berry Combined Kick Returns 13
Aaron Medley Scoring 23
Jalen Reeves-Maybin Fumbles Recovered 23
Jalen Hurd Rushing Yards 29