Some Tennessee fans may think the Vols defense is broken after Tennessee won a barn-burner over Troy last Saturday. Coaches Dooley and Sunseri have seen nothing that requires fixing, unveiling the same defensive lineup for Missouri this Saturday.
The Vols just gave up 48 points to Troy. They rank 112th in total defense and 115th in pass defense.
Tinkering aside, it’s business as usual in the Vols, who will try to wrap up an astonishing opportunity to go over 500 for the season against the hapless Tigers.
“I’m coming out of the offensive room and putting all my attention on defense,” Dooley said Monday during his weekly news conference.
Humbly downplaying the growth of the surging defense, “When you’re in this position you are going to get criticized when you don’t get results,” Dooley said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with what’s fair or right, it’s just the way it is. Like Bruce Hornsby and the Range, that’s just the way it is.”
It’s impossible not to feel satisfied about a 55-49 thrashing of Troy. But the Vols still have a lot of improving in them – as scary as that thought may sound.
Judging by Saturday’s game at Neyland, which was a significant step up from South Carolina the week before, it appears that the Vols have still got another 20 points in them, on both sides of the ball.
But they’re just so much better than Missouri it doesn’t matter.