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Oct 22

Jai Eugene

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Improved Vols fall a little short to Bama

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It’s impossible not to feel satisfied about a 44-13 loss to Alabama. But I feel like the Vols still have a lot of improving in them – as scary as that thought may sound.

Judging by Saturday night’s performance at Neyland, which was a significant step up from Starkville the week before, I suppose the Vols have still got another 7 or 14  points in them. They’re not quite there in terms of opportunities being taken and completely nailing their game-plan.

But they’re just so much improved that  it doesn’t matter.

What really matters is the improvement of Tennessee’s defense.  The stats don’t lie:

  • Florida=550 yards
  • UGA=550
  • Bama=539

A lot of Alabama’s  inability to move the ball was because of a very good Vols defense  but I’m also racking my brain to understand what Bama was doing out there. I know Nick Saban too well to think he can be coaching them to play like that. 

But when Tennessee  smelled blood you’d see four or five Vols arrive with intensity and ferocity to punish the Bama ball carrier. 

Some of the Bama decisions made under pressure were reactive, weak and soft. They really lacked the attitude and hardness to put the effort and fight in to trying to achieve something.

Too many times when they should have dropped a shoulder and put body into contact and they  panicked and conceded. That’s very weak mentally.

I’d also like to mention Tyler Bray’s crisp and pinpoint passing. Despite what people are saying about him coming back, I truly believe it will be his last season in Knoxville.  He has accomplished everything that he needed to do as a Vol.

So if this is Brays’s last season he should be proud of the way he played. His influence was supreme. He was the one player continually pressing the offense, and he looked hungry for work despite throwing 2 picks to Bama.

It’s a shame he’s going because his understanding now of the dynamics of the game are very, very good.

In my time I’ve watched  some very talented players, many of whom I thought were going to be clutch performers because they had speed, power and skills. But as you watched them evolve they didn’t necessarily get there because they didn’t have game instinct. They lacked the ability to get themselves into the match so they could use their talent

But Tyler Bray’s  understanding now is superb because he knows how to inject himself into a game and simply take over the game. His instinct for the game is so good he has become a central part of the Tennessee’s offense this season.

Dooley continues to  implement great game-plans and Sal Sunseri is on fire with his defensive schemes. 

Next up?  The Cocks and the Old Ball Sack Coach!!!

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Jai Eugene

Jai Eugene

No I am not the real Jai Eugene from LSU. Or as Jai is known at Tennessee as "the one that got away". I am retired Army Aviator that happens to have a blog that produces sometimes relevant Tennessee Vols content. Sure those dicks over DawgSports and the MGOBlog say we are a little "analysis challenged". Maybe it had something to do with me helping to defend their first amendment rights overseas while they were out shopping at the mall. Anyway, we have been around since 2006. Been mentioned in GoVolsxtra, Sports illustrated, ESPN, the Atlanta Journal and Deadspin to name but a few major left wing sports media that seem to think we do a pretty good job. If you have story tips, want to chat or advertise on the site contact me at loserwithsocks@gmail.com
Jai Eugene

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2 comments

  1. BamaTide

    Here's a fuuny quote from your ramble, "...Alabama's inabilility to move the ball..." Were we watching the same game? You should recheck that score, guy. TN did what they do best: fail vs SEC opponents. I'm not seeing this improvement that you mentioned. Bama will no doubt be Natty Champs once again. Add it to the stack.

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    1. Jai Eugene
      Jai Eugene

      It was much closer game than most Tide fans want to admit. A strong Tennessee must seem really scary to you.

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