We all know that the SEC is won in the trenches. We all know that Alabama - the best team for the past decade - has taken this strategy to heart. We all know how hard it is to win those battles up front every play.
You never win every snap on the front lines. There will always be at least one snap that you lose to your opponent. There is no shame in that.
And just because you lose up front, doesn’t mean you necessarily lose in the backfield.
This where Bama’s success really comes into play. Not only do they have some of the most dominating linemen in the country, but they’ve always had excellent running backs who know how to make up for the deficiencies - albeit very, very few deficiencies - when the men up front don’t do their job.
What does Tennessee have in common with all of this? It’s pretty easy - Jeremy Pruitt.
There is no surprise in the fact that offensive coordinator Tyson Helton and Pruitt will be looking to pound the football in an attempt to create that identity. We all know about Ty Chandler and what he can do, but what about his backup in sophomore Tim Jordan?
Even though Jordan is undersized for your typical Pruitt back, he is a strong runner with the agility to make people miss and the hands to catch coming out of the backfield.
This is most evident on this play. He’s able to make a semi-difficult catch, turn up field, and make a defender miss for a few extra yards:
Jordan also showed this ability in the Spring Game. His day was highlighted by a beautiful 29-yard scamper that set up a five yard touchdown. He again showed off his quickness, agility, power, and vision on both of those plays.
Touchdown Orange.#Vols RB Tim Jordan looked like John Kelly turning the corner on that 29-yard run inside the red zone, and then he scores from 5 yards.— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) April 21, 2018
It came as no surprise that Jordan led the team in rushing during the Spring Game. Chandler played well too, but Jordan stole the show.
With Carlin Fils-aime moving to the secondary, the opportunity is ripe for Jordan to make his mark in Neyland. Pruitt and Helson are going to want to pound the rock and they will be looking for the right players who can fit that mold.
The fact that Jordan will be pushed by Trey Coleman is encouraging as well. At 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, Coleman is more the type of back that fits Pruitt’s scheme. But Jordan has shown the ability to be a major offensive presence.
Regardless, the competition will help mold Jordan’s potential and bring out the best in a talented backfield. Look for Jordan to help highlight the Tennessee offense in 2018.