Good Day, Everyone,
We saw a couple of really good defenses last Saturday. The Vol LB’s and DE’s played a really good game. Vareen played his best game. Ole Miss had the better DT’s and really stopped the Vols inside the box for the entire game. We ran best outside of the middle. The Ole Miss DB’s really covered our WR’s well and tackled everything that moved.
In the second half their OL dominated inside the Tackles and both their QB and RB’s ran effectively up the middle. That is an old story that is repeated every time a big strong OL pounds on a smaller DL for an entire game. Our guys have heart but you have to have talented depth to counter that pounding. Depth is the one weakness that I see in our defense now.
We did not have a lot of penalties but the ones we did have really hurt us and took good plays off the board. Add those to the sacks and the Vols fought down and distance all night. I think that Worley did his best job of scrambling to escape the pass rush but on two of those scrambles he threw interceptions. On one North, and on the other Malone, stopped and were basically standing still which allowed the DB to turn and focus on Worley. They did not react to the throw as well as the DB.
On the OL, we need to remember that the only starters on this line that Butch and his staff recruited are the Freshmen. None of the Freshmen starters were recruited as OT. I really respect Gilliam’s effort but he does not have the mobility to cover a wide rushing DE. Neither he nor Thomas can get to those guys well enough when pass blocking to slow them down. On the other side Kirbyson has a lot of the same problem. Does it seem that the OL penalties are on the side away from the play? When we play the teams with strong DT’s the ILB’s and DE’s crash and plug the middle runs.
Early in the season, Butch made it clear that his biggest concern on the Return Special Teams was ball security and it was clear to me that was the primary reason Delvin and Cam had the return duties. The Freshmen are exciting with their talent and potential. The “BUT” their mistakes create a different sort of unpleasant excitement. Berry’s fumble was caused by two things. First the ball was in the wrong arm and second he did not have it “high and tight”.
The Vols could win the rest of their games. The odds are terrible for that, but after Bama the Vols will be playing teams that are having problems and have demonstrated weaknesses.
Our WR’s need to block better on the outside screens and they need to start beating the press coverage to open up quicker throws for the QB. They cannot stand next to the DB’s and expect the ball to be thrown to them. The Vols have missed Josh and Von for those plays.
I hope that Butch can find some of whatever it was that Nick gave the Bama Team last week. That Bama team did not play the way they did the first half of the season. If Bama continues that level of play that does not look good for the Vols success this coming Saturday. That is especially true if we have several people out for the game. We do not have “Quality” depth on either side of the ball.
We can win, but it will not be easy. I much rather be able to say that the Vols will win or even should win, but that is not the case.
Go Vols!! Beat Bama!!