December 1st, 2015 | TN Bill’s Tennessee Tidbits
Good Day My Friends,
I hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. I certainly did enjoying the weekend of fellowship with Friends and Family. This is a “Fun” VOL NOTE to write.
The weather was not perfect in Knoxville for the Vol’s game with Vandy, but the atmosphere was really great. It was a really good crowd for the 19 senior’s last game and they were there early for the VOL WALK. Most stayed until the end of the 4th QTR and in the 2d and 3rd QTRs the crowd was really into the game. You could compare this game’s execution on offense and defense with the Bowling Green and Kentucky games because the defense and offense both played major parts in the win. Both sides of the ball were very effective. I really ought to say Oklahoma and Bama as well. We did not score a lot in those games but against those defenses those were good games.
Each QTR was different. In the 1st QTR, the Vol offense moved the ball very well mixing runs and passes. Short gains on runs and bigger gains mostly on passes. There were some really good 3rd Down conversions. Vandy had big plays on both of their first two possessions. One long play was a pass TE on our LB and their really good RB had his longest run of the game and broke (or we missed) several tackles. These plays set up Vandy’s two 1st Half TD’s. Vandy ran the ball well in the 2d QTR with a three TE set but did not score. The Vols had to settle for a FG due to a busted play in the Orange Zone. The Vol defense (Todd Kelly Jr.) had an Interception near the End Zone to end Vandy’s best 1st Half drive. Vandy had almost 300 yards offense in the 1st Half.
Third QTR was in my opinion the Vol’s Best of the Year on all sides of the ball. That continued into the 4th QTR until our last score. On defense we tackled, pressured the Vandy QB, and covered the Vandy receivers. On Offense we ran and passed successfully even when Dobbs/ Hurd/ Kamara left the game.
One note, in an earlier VOL NOTE, I had commented that I did not think that the Vols had pulled out the entire play book. The last three games have shown that. We have seen sets and plays in each of those games that were not used earlier in the year. Some of the passing plays we used Saturday against Vandy worked because Dobbs had time that I do not feel he would have had earlier in the year. A lot of that success last weekend was due to the OL’s improvement from the first of the year as well as some improvement by the QB and WR’s.
It is an “OLD MAXIM” in Football, it is not the “Playbook” or the “Call” that makes a play work it is EXECUTION BY THE PLAYERS. The best offensive and defensive coordinators recruit players, teach them, and ask them to do what they can do best. Sometimes that does not work, sometimes you have to ask kids to do things that they are not good at… we have all seen what bad things that can result in. In other words, do not run a play that you know will not work…. unless you have no other option.
We should note that all those short runs in the first half and in our other games were caused by Vandy selling out to stop the inside run game by Dobbs, Hurd, and Kamara. They knew that all three of those guys would bust a “Short” run up the middle into the End Zone in the blink of an eye. Those short runs opened those play action passes in the middle and on slants and our running “Counter Plays”. We really ran Counter Plays well Saturday with several long runs off Counter Action.
The Vols have ran successfully this year against Florida, Oklahoma, Bama, Mizzou, and Vandy that all have “Salty” Run Defenses. They have run successfully at those defenses and on counters away from them. When you are running with Power at a team they have to react immediately to the run action to counter the Power and Speed. That opens them to counters… show a run action to one side and actually run to the other side. Most backs are not “good” counter runners, just not quick nor fast enough. We have three that are both QUICK AND FAST. Do that successfully a few times and the defense starts to stand still to see where they are going and that is the worst thing that can happen to the defensive player. Offensive Linemen LOVE defensive player past the line of scrimmage that are “standing still” watching the play. Can you say,” EASY TO BLOCK!!!”
The same thing is true when you are talking about DB’s when they are asked to cover man on multiple receiver sets on one side of the field and when you throw a man in motion things start to get interesting.
On a related line for play calling, the Vols have repeatedly “burned” teams with Flat Passes to Backs. During this game the Vols ran a Two Back Set with Hurd and Kamara together and ran at least six different plays off that set to both sides of the field… they all worked. Our first TD pass to Von Pearson was set up by an earlier successful pass to Kamara from that formation in the left flat for good yardage. On the second play the Vandy DB left Pearson and “FLEW” into the flat to hit Kamara on the pass play-fake and Pearson’s TD was in the End Zone was wide open.
Our Special Teams were really “Special”. Very few people noted the yards that we got on Vandy’s “Short Kicks”. Vandy was not going to kick to Berry. They kicked short. Normally on those short kicks it is a “Fair Catch” and the player does not advance the ball. Our guys advanced the ball repeatedly after the catch creating great field position.
And we all had a good time. I am sure that the Vandy 1st Team Offense felt good about scoring on the Vol Walk-On’s at the end of the game. They “SHOWED US”!
Time to get ready for Christmas and New Year’s …Bowl Season and Signing Day!!