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First off, it's very disappointing to have an offensive line this big and come up short in short yardage situations. I'll concede that much. Absolutely no excuse. However, as a team we appear to be doing better on the ground than last year. It's not perfect, and the yards per rush don't jump off the page but we're doing at least marginally better. 187.5 yards per game and 353.3 passing yards per game don't bother me that much? Now does that mean you accept what we've seen so far? Absolutely not! We should be able to open grand canyon sized holes with these guys up front. We should be able to get 5 yards per rush easily going against average front 7's. I just don't think we should beat ourselves up. We are in fact one of the most explosive offenses in CFB right now, and the run game has improved. It's just not there yet.
+1. I agree completely. A lot of people are freaking out and I can't figure out why. We finished 116th in the country last year and are currently ranked 43rd in rushing offense with a more than doubled rushing avg. from last year. Without an all-world, game-changing back in our back field, I'm not sure what more people could possibly want. I think we've improved dramatically over last year and as long as Bray keeps this aerial assault going, how much more running do we really need? The only thing I've been disappointed in is the short yardage situations but I just think that can be easily fixed with a little more aggression by the line and better north/south running from the backs.
I think people are concerned because they've seen this pattern before. In past years, when the Vols' running game has been less-than-explosive against weak opponents, it absolutely stagnated when SEC play began. While this team has a better passing game than any UT team in the past ten years, it will need to achieve some degree of balance to have any level of success in SEC play. So far, fans haven't seen enough to indicate that'll consistently happen.
Put me in the camp of nervous optimism. I think this line has the experience and talent to open some holes, but until it proves that it can dominate weaker opponents, it's okay for us to wonder if it can hold its own against physical SEC teams.
I can understand the pessimism around the run game but I agree with the OP. We couldn't run against Montana last year, so it seems difficult to argue that we haven't improved running the ball when every statistical metric shows we have. Not as dominant as i would have liked against GSU, but bama was horroble this week running the ball against WKU; so ot happens. I also think the line is in a tough position because we just don't have an elite running back.
The key is the short yardage.......you have to be able to get 1-2 key yards on key downs.
The only other thing you want to see is when FL is in their base package (like 1st down sometimes vs UTs base offense with 2 WRs and 2 TEs maybe)....you want to see our RB get about 4 ypc.......that gets Chaney in a good position to call just about anything. The problem is where Neal was dancing and losing yardage or getting zero.........then its 2nd and 10+ and DC's can tee off on Bray if they want or fake it and drop 7-8 bc they know you have to pass.....the advantage goes to the D.
This post was edited by SamVolsam 19 months ago
I agree with the OP Good post
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