Monday's 3-2-1: UMass

Brent Hubbs, Publisher
Vol Quest

It's time for the 3-2-1 report. Three observations, two questions and a prediction as the Vols try to rebound from Saturday's heartbreak.

Three things we learned in Saturday's loss:

1. Tennessee's redzone plan needs to get fixed – The Vols had seven snaps inside the 10-yard line. All seven were throws. For the season, Quinten Dormady is 4-of-14 for 34 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the redzone.

For the season in the redzone, John Kelly has 8 carries for 44 yards and four touchdowns. As a team, the offense has run 27 offensive snaps in the redzone. The 12 runs have netted 60 yards and five touchdowns. Through the air, the offense is 5-for-5 for 45 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs.

2. Vols must play cleaner games – After having only two penalties in the season opener, the Vols were flagged 7 times for 54 yards. Five of those flags game in the redzone. Another was a celebration penalty after John Kelly's touchdown. That 15 yards set Florida up with great field position that they turned into a touchdown. Simply put, Tennessee must clean up those mistakes. They have 13 penalties in the last two games.

3. The Vols can run the football – They will play better defenses, but the Vol offensive line and Tennessee's running backs can move the sticks. Tennessee has 491 yards on 92 carries this season for an average of 5.3 yards a carry. Tennessee's most productive day was Saturday and the run game got better as the game went on.

Two questions heading into UMASS week:

1 – How does Tennessee manage their personnel?

Most may assume that means the quarterbacks, but I don't think there's much decision making going on with who plays quarterback. I think the question at quarterback is what kind of freedom will they continue to allow Quinten Dormady to have in terms of audibles. Will they limit some of that or are they good with his game management.

But at other places it's about personnel. What's the answer at linebacker. Who's their best two, their best three? What do they do at defensive end if DeAndre Johnson is out for an extended period? Are they going to commit to playing Matthew Butler? Where's Tyler Byrd? What's his role on this team? Three games in there remains personnel questions and some decisions that need to be made.

2 – What's Tennessee's answer going to be at kicker?

After making a 51-yard kick, Tennessee looked like their had their field goal situation settled. Then missing their next three attempts, the unknowns at kicker are a real uncertainty for Jones' club.

Tennessee is likely to be in more close games the rest of the season. The offense is not going to run rough shot over people so coming away with points when they are in the scoring area is vital. The problem is going 2 for 5 Saturday leaves a huge question mark who to call on to make an important kick.

One prediction: Tennessee will run it in the redzone

After throwing it 7 times in 7 snaps inside the 10 yard line at Florida, Tennessee will run it this week in the redzone. Butch Jones said on his coaches show that they need to run it from the 1-yard line.

After a bad, bad afternoon in the redzone, Tennessee will lean on their run game inside the 20 yard line.

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