Tennessee fans are rightfully excited about their new head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s ability to recruit and coach up a defense. But after last season’s effort on the offensive side of the ball — which ranked 124th of 129 teams — some fans may be just as excited for a completely new offensive direction.
In steps Tyson Helton, who comes over from USC. The Trojans finished 13th in total offense in 2017 under Helton and former Vol great Tee Martin’s direction. Helton is now tasked with reviving one of the worst offenses in college football.
Helton is expected to bring back the traditional I-formation looks as he implements a pro-style attack. But according to him, his offense is just simply going to take what the defense gives him.
“The biggest thing is we do whatever it takes to win,” Helton told the media on Thursday. “I don’t think in today’s game that you can just be one particular thing. I think defenses are going to dictate what you do and you have to be able to put yourselves in positions to win games. You’re going to see multiple defenses so you have to be able to attack what you’re seeing. One thing I like about our offense is we’re very multiple. We can get under center, we can run the ball. We can spread you out, we can get in the gun and throw the ball.”
Tennessee may be coming off of a 4-7 season, but the offensive talent isn’t totally dry. If the Vols can get some stability under center, Tennessee has some difference makers like Marquez Callaway, Ty Chandler and Jauan Jennings. They have the ability to go multiple like Helton wants, but the production will come down to the quarterback spot and whether or not the offensive line can find their groove.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about the offense, it’s about the players,” Helton said. “The players are the ones who goes and wins the games. It’s not the plays, it’s the players — and you have to teach the players what’s important about the game. Taking care of the football, knowing your situation, putting yourself in a position to go win the game in the fourth quarter. That’s what good football teams do.”
“So to answer the question, what is the offense? The offense is whatever we need to do to go win the game.”