The Day After: UMass

Brent Hubbs, Publisher
Vol Quest
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Courtesy of UT Athletics

Head coach Butch Jones described Saturday's win over UMASS as unacceptable. We review the Vols surprising 17-13 win with The Day After.

HOT AND NOT

HOT

Butch Jones – The fifth year head coach's name creates plenty of reaction with the Vol fans. But that's not why he makes the hot list. He's on the hot list because he was clearly bothered by his team's 17-13 win. In past “ugly wins” Jones has been defensive regarding anything negative in a win. That was not the case Saturday evening.

Tennessee's punt game – Trevor Daniel had 8 punts for an average of 48.9 yards a punt. Four of those 8 went inside the 20, including two inside the five. Even when Daniel didn't kick the ball with great hang time, Tennessee was there in coverage. UMASS had 3 returns for a total of 17 yards.

NOT

The offense – Aside from the final two drives of the first half, the entire offensive day wasn't pretty. In the second half it was simply gross. In the final two quarters, Tennessee ran 32 plays for 58 total yards. They managed to score three points. But in the second half, Tennessee averaged 1.8 yards a play.

The offensive line of line scrimmage – Tennessee rushed for 135 yards, but gave up 12 tackles for loss. In the first three games, the Vol offense had given up just 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. To see that number against a UMASS defense that came into the game ranked No. 119 in the nation was alarming.

Chunk plays – The bug-a-boo continues for Bob Shoop's defense. The UMASS offense had rushes of 39 yards and 42 yards. They had a pass play of 36 yards of well.

DEFINING MOMENTS

1. Dormady to Tyler Byrd for six – It was the game winner for the Vols and it was Quinten Dormady's best throw of the day. Dormady had a clean pocket. He stepped into the throw and delivered it with great touch. A second moment in that drive goes to John Kelly who rushed for 27 yards on a draw on 2nd and 17. Had that play not happened, then Tennessee doesn't get into their 2-minute offense.

2. Elliott Berry knocks UMASS quarterback Andrew Ford out of the game – The play came with 1:23 to go in the third quarter and it changed the game. UMASS finished with just 57 yards the rest of the way and only had 8 yards passing completing two passes for just eight yards.

3. 3rd and 8 Dormady to Brandon Johnson for 66 yards – Facing 3rd and 8 from their own 22 in a scoreless game, Dormady hit the sophomore on a deep slant for 66 yards setting up Tennessee at the UMASS 12 and their first touchdown.

4. Jonathan Kongbo sack – Up 17-13, UMASS used a 42 yard run to get into Tennessee territory. Facing 2nd and 8 at the Vol 36, Jonathann Kongbo sacked Ross Comis for a 7 yard loss making it 3rd and 15 and ending the UMASS threat.

BY THE NUMBERS

11 of 13 – Tennessee had 13 possessions in the game and 11 of them started with a running play.

1.8 – Average yards gained per play by the offense in the second half

12 – Number of TFL's for Bob Shoop's defense including 7 sacks. Unfortunately, UMASS had 12 tfl's as well

4 -- Number of wins the Vols have when scoring less than 21 points in the Butch Jones era

GAMEBALL

When you have 7 receptions for 123 yards in a day when the offense has a bad day, you get a gameball and that's why Brandon Johnson gets the gameball. The sophomore from Florida had a career day. Johnson appeared to be heading to a Tennessee record setting day with 6 of his 7 receptions and 114 yards coming in the first half. Johnson had just one catch and a big drop in the two balls thrown his way in the second half.

BIGGEST QUESTION/CONCERN MOVING FORWARD

There are plenty of questions moving forward for the Vols. How does Butch Jones manage his quarterbacks? Can Jashon Robertson and Shy Tuttle get healthy? Both were missed on Saturday particularly Robertson. What does Jones do with his two field goal kicker strategy?

The Vols clearly had a post Florida hangover. They played poorly. They will play better in a week, but the competition is going to be very different. Can Tennessee win on the line of scrimmage? Can they protect the quarterback?

Maybe the biggest question coming out of the 17-13 win for the offense is can they win on first down. Tennessee had 18 first down runs for 57 yards. Throwing the football the Vol offense was 8 of 10 for 27 yards. So on 28 first down snaps the Vols had 84 yards of offense. Tennessee averaged three yards on first down, but of the 28 snaps, 16 went for 2 yards or less and of those 16, seven went for negative yards.

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