One other takeaway from that Connelly piece is this bit about Tennessee’s offense:
Guarantano pulled off Herbert-esque numbers despite living life with one of the worst run games imaginable.
Not even including sacks, 32.6% of Tennessee’s rushes were stuffed at or behind the line, worst in FBS. Only 41% of the carries gained at least 4 yards (119th). The Vols ran the ball constantly (and predictably) on early downs — their run rate was 64% on standard downs, nearly 5 percentage points higher than the national average — and all it produced were lots of second-and-11s and heavy pass rushes when Guarantano was looking to make up ground.
When he had time to pass, though, he did well. His passer rating was 152.0 on second downs and 150.4 on third downs with between 4 and 9 yards to go.
New offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is one of the better coaches in America when it comes to crafting a system around the standout talent he has at his disposal. Sometimes that means a run-heavy approach, and sometimes it means a lot of passing. With Guarantano and almost his entire receiving corps back (including a hell of a wideout trio in Marquez Callaway, Jauan Jennings and Josh Palmer), I’m guessing Chaney leans toward the latter.
The run game won’t be any better, if for no other reason than it’s highly unlikely the UT offensive line will be any better. Jim Chaney’s got a bunch of lemons, so we’ll see what his lemonade making skills manage to whip up.