It may have been a Fall afternoon and the weather was better than forecast earlier in the week but it was still a very chilly and windy game day in Knoxville yesterday. It was a pretty good crowd despite the weather and it was a great send off for the Seniors. They stayed in the stands as a rule and in the game.
Josh Dobbs was super both running and passing the ball. As of this Sunday afternoon, he has already picked up one National Player of the Week Award (Walter Camp) for his performance against Mizzou. The Vol offense rolled up huge numbers and scored early and often. The score was the Vols 63-37 over the Tigers.
The downside was the Vol Defense gave Mizzou enough yards for Mizzou to run over 100 plays for 740 yards on offense. That is not so hot, but there was an upside on the defense to look at for the entire game. The Tiger’s fast paced play calling had an adverse impact on the Vols early in the game. At that point Mizzou was running the ball more than passing it.
Mizzou had the ball for 15 possessions. They punted twice. The Vols scored a TD following each Mizzou punt. They lost two fumbles to the Vols. One resulted in a Vol TD and other allowed the Vols to runout the clock to end the game. They lost the ball 2 times on INT’s that both resulted in Vol TD’s. On 4th Down Conversion tries, they were only 2 of 5, the Vols converted both of those turnovers into TD’s. To sum the total of that up, the Tigers ran 51 plays on 9 possessions that did not result in a score for their team. The Vols had 5 possessions with no scores including the possession at the end of the game running the clock out. It is important to note that when Mizzou was over two scores down they started passing the ball more and their pace of play slowed because they were unsure of their play selection. The Vol INT at the start of the 3rd QTR took some of the wind out of their sails.
A major part of the Vol’s OVERALL GAME success was that the Vol defense took the ball away from the Tigers much more effectively than their defense could accomplish in trying to stop the Vol’s offense.
The worst part of the Vols defense was that in the 1st and 2d QTR the Vols had 4 straight situations where they had had the Tigers on 3rdor 4th Down with long yardage and gave up first downs. Three were on runs. On two occasions the Tigers were aided by Vol penalties.
It is worth noting that in the 4th QTR when Mizzou was running their last 39 plays of their 100 plus plays the Vol defense was in good enough condition to hold them to one TD with the Vols scoring 4 TD’s. In the 4th QTR the Vols forced a punt (3 & OUT), had an INT (VOL TD), and forced a fumble (ran out the clock).
I appeared that the Vols made defensive adjustments at the half and in the 3rd QTR that hurt the Tigers offense. In the 3rd QTR following our first TD of the 2d Half the Tigers had a 14-play drive for an answering TD. After that four of their six possessions, did not result in a score for the Tigers.
The Vols are headed to Nashville to play Vandy. They have one of the best defenses the Vols will have faced this year and their season would be complete they defeated the Vols following Turkey Day. Their attendance was A bit above 27,000 for the Ole Miss game. I would say the crowd was probably about 50-50 Vandy/Ole Miss. I hope that Dudley Field Stands are all Orange next Saturday night. Mizzou ran the ball well on Vandy when they beat them last week in Columbia. Vandy’s offense does not play at the Mizzou pace, and I do not feel that Vandy’s QB is as good as Mizzou’s QB. We need to take care of the ball and play the Vol Game.
Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving; we have an awful lot to be thankful for in this country.
Go Vols! Beat Vandy!!