The Tennessee “Surge”

Bill Connelly says what I keep saying (although he says it better):

… Then, as the calendar flipped to November, the Vols won four in a row to somewhat miraculously attain bowl eligibility. I’ve mentioned before that late-season heat rather reliably carries over to the next season (as long as the team doesn’t consist of all seniors) … but what if the heat was mostly a mirage?

Tennessee Offense (September): 25.0 Adj. PPG
Tennessee Offense (October): 25.3 Adj. PPG
Tennessee Offense (November): 28.4 Adj. PPG

The offense improved a bit as Tyler Bray got his bearings, but this was far from a surge. You see, Tennessee played about the easiest November schedule that you are allowed to play and remain in the SEC. Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky were the three worst teams in the conference not named Tennessee, and Memphis was almost the worst team in the country. That the Vols won those games was more a sign that they simply hadn’t fallen apart instead of a serious hint at program momentum…

If Janzen Jackson, UT’s best defender, doesn’t come back, along with the existing problems in the front seven, this is a defense that looks a little on the thin side to me.  Couple that with my feeling that Tyler Bray still has a lot to prove about himself, and I have a hard time believing the Vols have a realistic shot at contending for the SEC East title in 2011.

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15 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

15 responses to “The Tennessee “Surge”

  1. Stoopnagle

    Still, a scary game for Georgia. We’ve not fared too well the last few trips up to Neyland.

    • zdub

      Always tricky playing TN in Neyland. They get psyched up to play us more than most teams they play, though their games with UF early in the season are always pretty hard fought too.

      We may feel better/worse about having to travel to Knoxville this year depending on whether our D performs well or poorly early on. A good D should be all it takes to beat them since I don’t believe their D will be tough; our mediocre O (as it stands right now) should also put enough points on the board to secure a win.

  2. ScoutDawg

    Yeah, I agree we can’t overlook UT any year, but I think with Big John Jenkins on defense and Mr. Murray running the O, I think we are going to run it up in ‘em this year.

  3. OKDawg

    It’s gonna be REAL interesting to watch Bray and Murray battle each other in the fall in Neyland. UT fans belly-ache all day long about how Bray is the better QB. At this point, I’ll take Murray – especially after watching Bray use throat-slashing gestures at the UNC players in last December’s bowl game. Bush league.

  4. Macallanlover

    It is hard to see TN anywhere above 4th in the East based on talent, but anyone can spring upsets, and injuries prior to matchups can certainly effect any conference game. Vols always step their game up against UGA, UF, and Florida so overlooking them could always result in an upset. I just don’t see UGA taking them lightly after the disaster season of 2010 so we should beat them again, and it shouldn’t be that close. Li9ke so many others have stated, Bray looked like the rookie he was until the competition slacked off. TN still has many more questions to answer than the better teams in the conference. They will be fortunate to go 7-5, imo.

  5. TennesseeDawg

    Tennessee is extremely thin on the D-line especially at DT. 2 DTs have been kicked off the team who were expected to start

  6. Lrgk9

    Bray reminds me of Logan Gray at QB. All the skills except the ability to do ‘IT’ at SEC speed and complexity.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Ehhhhh….I’m not so sure that Logan Gray got a real chance to show what he could do at the University of Georgia. Rode the pines behind the Number 1 pick in the NFL draft. Rode the pines behind the 3 year back-up who was the sentimental favorite of the HC to become another DJ Shockley. Beat out by the guy now viewed as the best QB in the SEC. Sent in to return puts but told to only fair catch the ball, etc. Primarily a running QB he probably could have been a starter for a school that ran the spread, particularly in a lesser conference like the MAC or C-USA. His mistake was not transferring after his sophomore season. Does anyone know where he is?

  7. jeff

    UT has had the same high school level November schedule for as long as I can remember and . . . I’m 52.

  8. AthensHomerDawg

    It’s the SEC so yeah….upsets are always possible. Still, UT is in disarray and aren’t the Big Orange anymore.

  9. Sanford222View

    The Vols stink this year. Bray is over rated. ‘Nuff said.