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October 4, 2013

3 Questions: Tennessee

  1. Can we replicate the stout run defense we saw against LSU? If there is one place Tennessee is better than LSU, it is the offensive line. They don't do much fancy, but they will use play action. If that doesn't scare you, you have obviously blackout drank absynthe to blot forgotten 2007. If their running game doesn't take hold, the play action can't work nearly as effectively. We saw that against LSU. 
  2. Can we find a way to pressure Worley AND cover receivers? With all the talk of missed communications and such, there was one thing very obvious from the LSU game: when we pressured the QB, Mett made decisions that didn't benefit his team. On the replay, I only saw one time where we blitzed, didn't get to him, but he also completed a nice down field pass. He completed a couple of others, but they were very nice hot route reads....where we had multiple linebackers chasing a guy they maybe should have had better coverage on. As noted above, the Vols have a stout O line. Getting to Worley will be difficult; they've only given up 4 sacks on the season. Now, they don't sling the ball around, running approximately 60% of the time. If I'm Butch Jones looking at our game tape, I'm looking to flip those percentages this week.
  3. Yes, another Special Teams thing. I've mentioned the 'North Texas was too close' narrative before, and I'll do so again. We give up TDs without our defense ever stepping on the field, we'll end up having to play catch up. One thing about Tennessee, in the games I've seen them play (parts of Oregon and Florida), they didn't stop playing hard I didn't see them give up. Give a team like that extra points, you'll find yourself in trouble, no matter how many points you can score.
My biggest concern is if we have the game we are going to have where we don't click on offense. It is going to happen at some point. With Gurley probably out, and an emotional, hard fought win last week, this could be the week. Can we still win if we have a let down offensively? I don't know. I'd be willing to say yes if we don't give away points by missing FGs or snapping the ball out of the end zone on a punt attempt. 

However, if it isn't the week for the let down, it is hard for me to think we'll not cover, and by a pretty good margin. A 21+ point win wouldn't shock me if that is the case.


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