Good Day All,
It was a great day for “Football Time in Tennessee” last Saturday. To my surprise it was a little warmer than the Oklahoma game day. The Vols made it warm for Western Carolina as well.
There was good news in that a lot of kids were able to play. There was better news that most of them played pretty well. The best news was that there were no serious injuries during the game. Jashon Robertson left the game in the first quarter with a tender ankle that had been bothering him in practice. Crowder did a good job taking his place. Barnett was also gimpy, but he was also spelled early in the game. Starting in the second quarter, the Vols played reserves extensively with Dormady playing two second quarter series and the entire second half. The second half was literally all reserves.
One note, Butch likes to win but I do not think that he will do the Steve Spurrier “Your Job to Stop Us” and run the score up intentionally on a team. Spurrier never saw a punt he liked and a pass that he did not like. On that note in the second half with the score 55-3 Vols, the Vols next 19 plays were 18 runs and one pass (incomplete on 3rd & 4 at the end of the 3rd QTR). A really nice note in those series, Kelly ran the ball 13 times for an average of 4.5 yards per carry. He did not have a carry for a loss against a Western Carolina defense that was stacked against the run. That is a “Special Effort” for a young RB and OL. Young did not do as well. He had 9 carries for 28 yards but had 2 runs for losses of 7 and 3 yards that stopped drives in the 4th QTR. During those series, Dormady was not snapping the ball until the play clock was under 5 seconds remaining. The Vols controlled the clock for 10:50 of the 4th QTR. The Vols ran the ball well between the tackles behind the backup linemen. If the game was on line, I feel that Dormady could have broken several runs outside on keepers.
In the 3rd and 4th QTR it is worth noting that Western Carolina’s starting QB, RB, and WR’s were in the game against the Vol Reserves. They had one TD on a long run but were not able to move the ball consistently. With my tongue in my cheek, Western Carolina had some really good tackling on that long TD run….
In the first half, the Vols scored quickly. Hurd and Alvin really ran the ball well. Hurd’s push between the tackles was outstanding. Josh started hot passing for the second game and cooled off. The Special Teams TD’s got him out of the game quickly and Dormady came in to replace him. He threw incompletions on 2nd and 3rd down for two possessions. On one possession he rolled out and ran the ball on 3rd down. He was a yard short of the first down, but for the second game North was open down field behind the secondary on his run. He seems to be having trouble consistently hitting the receivers cleanly on the short routes on the side line.
I wonder if the last three games Butch has really pushed running the ball to the right side of the Offense to develop that side of the OL and improve their consistency blocking running plays?
Did Preston Williams make a splash? WOW!! He is a handful. He and Dormady lit the field up for the final scoring drive. How about Kamara as a Punt Returner!! Another, WOW!!
On to the Florida Game analysis, I like our Defense against the Gators. I am not as comfortable with the Offensive side of the ball against them. The Gators are playing at home and their defense has as much talent and in some areas more than Oklahoma had. Our key on defense is first to control the run for both the RB’s and the QB, and second to pressure the QB when he passes. One thing to watch, in all three games this year, on passing plays we have had QB’s run on us for first downs. Those runs come almost completely on the left side of the defense, away from Barnett. On Offense we have to handle the Gator Blitz. They ate Kentucky up. This will fall on the QB and the WR’s when they show a Blitz.
This morning, I heard a former NFL QB talk about handling a Blitz. “Throw the Ball –FAST!”, “When they have 8 or 9 guys in the box, Play Action and Run Fakes WILL NOT WORK!! Get rid of the Ball”. His comments included, that if you have the right running play called than run the ball, if not throw it FAST!
To win the Starting Offense has to be consistent both running the ball and passing the ball. The Defense has to continue to improve as they have done every game this year and pressure the Gators on every play. Put them in long yardage situations. Kentucky showed how to stop them. No Freebies in turnovers or Special Teams. Our Special Teams need to continue to play “Special”.
Time to go.
GO VOLS! Beat the Gators!