Good Morning Everyone,
A day has passed since the Vols played Ga Tech and the smoke has cleared. Reading notes from fans on the boards, opinions on the players, coaches, and the game run the entire spectrum. It is time for my two cents worth of observations. I think I will just go Yea! And Ney! First some good notes and then some not so good notes.
First this team is in really good physical condition and appears to be mentally tough. Their play on both sides of the ball in the 4th Quarter and the OT’s demonstrated that the off-season work had paid off. The DL and LB’s numbers were especially telling. Yea!!
The Vols have a lot of team speed. Tech could get guys open in both running and passing, but they were caught and tackled in the open field. Turnovers were created when Vol defenders caught Tech players from behind. The guys did not give up on plays pass them. Yea!!
The Vols dropped a lot of passes especially in the first half, I think 6 by my count. It was the RB (Kelly), WR’s (all of them), and the TE (Wolf). The QB was a 40% passer in the first half going 8 of 20 passing for the half. The drops stopped drives. The Vols wanted to run the ball and Tech loaded the box to slow Kelly down. They were effective. The Vols had to throw the ball to loosen the defense. The dropped passes aided the defense and forced Vols punts. Ney!!
Martin had a terrible day. No tackles and no pass breakups. Tech’s offense went after him successfully on every early pass in the first half. Ney!!
Dormady hit 71% of his passes in the second half with 12 of 17 passing. The WR’s. TE’s, and RB’s caught the ball short, medium, and long. The running game was opened up and Kelly ran for good yardage in the 2nd Half and the Over Times. Yea!
Four Freshmen and a Walk-On contributed to the win. Ty Chandler, Josh Taylor, and Trey Smith on offense and on defense Darrell Taylor and Walk-On Paul Bain. Yea!!
Ga Tech averaged over 6 yards per carry running the ball and had 10 runs over 10 yards long with 5 in each half. Darrell Taylor did a good job contesting the Option to his side and had several significant stops. He had the most tackles on the DL. Kongbo had several tackles chasing plays, but he was not able to contain the Option. He was passed to the outside on counters when he took an inside rush and he was passed on the inside when he took an outside rush that took him pass the QB in the backfield. These were the long runs for first downs. Ney!!
A note on the Option. The Tech QB carried the ball 44 Times. He was their leading rusher with 249 yards. That is not what you want as an Option Coach. The Second Tech Rusher was the FB going up the middle. The FB also blocked well for the QB running behind him. The Vols made the Tech QB keep the ball. They did well covering the pitch man. That took the Homerun plays away from Tech. The Pitchmen had two long runs and no TD’s. That is one reason the LB’s and DL had the number of tackles they had for the game. It looked to my eyes that the LB’s played a bit more off the line then normal. That gave up yardage but kept the Tech Blockers off their legs so they could make tackles. I really feel for the Tech QB if he tries to keep up with 44 carries per game as his average per game. Yea!! And Ney!!
The Vols only had two penalties and no turnovers. The OL did not give up a sack and Dormady had two good runs. YEA!!
On the Offense, J. Jennings appears to be out for the season. Tyler Byrd had a bad game with several drops, but the other young WR’s stepped up. Josh Smith in the Slot Receiver should be back for the next game as should Drew Richmond on the OL. Yea! And Ney!
The Best Area for the Vols? Special Teams and they are very Special in all areas. Ty Chandler had a return when Tech kicked away from Berry. He did a good job. Berry was Berry, EXCELLENT! I do not think that he will be up there nationally in the Kickoff Return stats because no one will kick it to him if they
can help it. The coverage teams are really good. They get to the ball carrier and they make hard tackles. YEA!!!
At this point the Vols are getting ready for their next two games with Indiana State and Florida. The Vols have things to work on and the home game will allow them to explore options and to give other players opportunities. This is a good schedule to get ready for the first critical SEC game and these different opponents on offense and defense. Having had one road game helps the Vols. I think the Vols really run the ball a lot at Indiana State and try not to show “New Things” unless they want to give the Gators more stuff to work on.
In closing for these notes, the Vols beat a Team that had 9 wins last year and played in a conference championship game. Tech had 4 straight wins over SEC Teams. The Vols came from behind and won closing the game. In the past few years we have given up leads and lost the close games at the end. This Volunteer team showed toughness and the will to win. This game really reminded me of the Vols at Syracuse in ’98. That game was a springboard for that team. This team is a lot like that ’98 Vol Team in terms of talent and experience as well as expectations from the Fans and the Media. They believe in themselves and each other.
Go Vols! Beat Indiana State!