Yeah, I know what week it is, but Georgia gets the Vols in a few weeks and I expect Alabama to be the opponent in the SECCG, so munch on these in the meantime.
From David Ubben ($$):
Alabama took away Tennessee’s running game for 60 minutes and reaped the benefits of a one-dimensional offense late. The Vols averaged 5.14 yards per carry entering the game and 26th nationally with 59 carries longer than 10 yards, which was more than all but one team (Arkansas) in the country. Alabama limited Tennessee’s backs to 38 yards on 14 carries with no runs longer than 7 yards.
They may have been sloppy in pass coverage, but Alabama’s defensive front seven took the Vols completely out of their running game. That’s not nothing. On the one hand, that’s something that bodes well for the trip to Knoxville. On the other, let’s just say the idea of having to count on Stetson Bennett to win a game when Georgia’s running attack is shut down concerns me just a wee bit.
- Tennessee ranks 129th out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams with 25 minutes and 19 seconds of possession time per game, ahead of only Connecticut.
- The Vols notched eight more tackles for loss and are averaging 7.4 per game, which ranks third in the FBS and first among Power Five teams.
I know TOP isn’t the most meaningful stat out there, but when you’re as thin as Tennessee is, going fast while going 2-12 on third down conversions is a recipe for wearing out your defense by the fourth quarter. Which, by the way, is what happened. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of that against the Dawgs.
As for the second stat there, UT did do a good job early on flustering Alabama on offense, “early on” being the key term. (See paragraph above.) By the way, tackles for loss notwithstanding, ‘Bama finished an incredible 15-20 on its third down conversions. Tennessee is next to last in the conference in opponents’ third down conversion rate. If Daniels is back as the starting quarterback by then, expect him to feast on third downs.