Howdy, My Friends,
I enjoyed the game yesterday other than the weather delay. Good crowd and a lot stayed despite the weather and the delay. It was a good crowd and the crowd impacted Bowling Green’s offense several times especially as the field shortened. Not as loud as Neyland can get, but 61,000 or so cannot make the noise of 91,000 (+) and Nissan’s end zones are open compared to the Neyland high end zones.
On a football learning note, why do some football coaches really like the no huddle speed offense? It is not because you can run different plays with it. The factor that impacts games the most is that the defenses cannot adjust and change staff without calling time outs. If the offense does not substitute the defense cannot substitute. What happens? The offense runs a play and the offensive play set gives them a matchup of staff that the defense cannot handle. They immediately run the same play/ same set/ and it would not surprise me if they got the same results. Bowling Green used this to get Deiter (6’3”) who moved from the slot to WR on Malik (5’11”) for two straight plays and a TD. Note that Malik was on the WR and was able to tackle Deiter, but he still made the receptions using good throws by the 5th Year senior QB Johnson. Malik (and the other DB’s as well) let the WR get behind him and tried to play the ball from behind. It appeared to my eyes that Deiter did a good job of pushing Malik off when he got beside him. That let him get past Malik and allowed him to catch the ball.
Both the Vols and Bowling Green can and did ran multiple plays and concepts off the same personnel packages. You do that with changes in formations and by using option read by the QB. It seemed to me that Bowling Green had a lot of “injuries” as we made big plays and successive runs for first downs. Those “injuries” stopped the clock and allowed them to substitute without using their time outs.
On the Vols. Four penalties, two holding penalties that cancelled two Vol TD’s and one 5 yard motion when an OL moved his arm before the snap. Defense 1 late hit when Barnett touched the BG QB after he threw the ball and that led to a BG’s FG. No turnovers.
Some things I noticed about “VOL’s TEAM PLAY”. Both Josh Smith and Marques North made great downfield blocks on the long TD runs by the RB’s and Dobbs. Coleman Thomas can really pull for a Center. He made great pulling blocks on both the left and right side of the line on outside runs by the RB’s and QB that resulted in TD’s. The Vols were much more successful in short yardage 3rd down and in the “ORANGE ZONE” yesterday than they were last year. We had really good Special Teams play on coverage and especially on the Return Game. The best return game in years.
We had a number of players step up their level of play from last year on both the offensive and defensive lines. There were a few dropped balls but not consistently, the WR level was better across the board. Think about this, missed FG’s and penalties took 20 points off the board.
On defense: There were some problems but there are some real positives. The first point, last year teams were able to gash the Vols on defense in the second half of games, especially in the 4th QTR. The Vols gave up 20 points in the first half, 10 points in the 3rd QTR and shut BG down in the 4th QTR. Second point, even without Willie Martinez at the game the secondary adjusted and reformed successfully repeatedly during the game to stall BG, especially in the 4th QTR. While BG had 11 plays over 20 yards they did not successfully break long plays for TD’s after the 31 yard TD pass to Deiter over Foreman at the start of the 2d QTR. Tuttle was in the game early and had some good push but BG ran at and by him for their best runs in the middle (I believe that he was being double teamed). All of the effective interior runs by BG were to their right side of the line. In the 3rd QTR our LB’s or DE’s did not contain the QB on his read options and he was able to get outside for several runs and 1 First Down. The LB’s did not pick up coverage of the TE’s when BG was in a two TE set and sent the WR’s deep. Throws to the TE’s on the left side set up their scores of their last two BG TD’s in the 1st half.
We need to remember the players that the Vols held out for this game and the walking wounded that did play. Todd Kelly Jr entering the game in the second half seemed to give the secondary a lift. He played well for a kid with two hospital stays in the past two weeks. Note that BG did not get a 1st down in the last 9 minutes of the game. This as mainly because our backups controlled to ball on offense most of the 4th QTR.
I have no idea what happened to Medley in the kicking game.
All in All, a good game for the young players to get their feet wet. They played a team with some talent and experience that taught them some hard lessons. There will be some good film study. No one was hurt and that is a huge positive. Several players that were not able to play extensively this week will be able to contribute more next week, especially in the secondary. Based upon this week, the DB’s and LB’s will have their hands full next week with the Sooners. This team has not hit its potential yet.
Time to head out.
Go Big Orange, Beat the Sooners!!