Time and the Crimson Tide wait for no man, and neither does the Tennessee ‘cloudless lightning’ offense nowadays. Well there is one exception, the Tennessee offense is waiting on the defense to ‘step it up’.
Quarterback Tyler Bray said he tried to keep Tennessee’s offensive changes quiet during the offseason. Dooley has said the Vols made a “philosophical” commitment to running a no-huddle offense in December and January.
“You guys asked if it was the same,” Bray said. “It is the same. It’s just faster.”
The truth is, the Vols defense is WAY behind the offense, and Dooley is proving to the defense that they must improve for Tennessee to continue the long trek towards the SEC Title Game. For the Florida game watch for the Vols offense to strike early and running a no-huddle aerial attack racking up almost endless points on the hapless and hobbled Gator defense. Then Dooley will use his legendary judgement and discipline to play a conservative, ball control offense, and keep the game close and exciting and still allow the defensive squad reps at “game speed” to figure how to execute. And more importantly, taking his foot off of the gas, Dooley will preserve his well documented friendship with Florida coach Will Muschamp.
The stats don’t lie. Offensively Tennessee is tied at first in scoring offense at 43 points per game; Tennessee is second in total offense (541 ypg); Tennessee is 3rd in rushing offense (187.5 ypg) and Tennessee is 1st in passing offense (353.5 ypg. The defensive stats are not as gaudy for the Vols. Tennessee is is 9th in total defense (335 ypg); Tennessee is 7th in rushing defense (103 ypg); Tennessee is 10th in passing defense (232 ypg). Needless to say there is a lot of work to be done on the defensive side of the ball.
So there it is. A quick strike offensive attack that allows Tennessee to gain control of the tempo of the game and gives Dooley the option to ‘hold back’ a potent offense in order to get the maximum growth out of a defensive unit that he needs to give up less points than Tennessee scores in a game. Just another example of the maturation of Derek Dooley, having to teach that novice D-Coordinator “Uncle Sal” Sunseri that he needs to catch up with the offense.
A couple of things on the defense. The players take on the attitude of their coaches. Former Vols DC Wilcox was a good coordinator but his scheme and attitude were more west coast and laid back compared to Uncle Sal’s fiery “we’re gonna knock their dicks in the dirt” attitude that he has been preaching to them since he got to the Hill.
There was nothing wrong with Wilcox’s defensive philosophy football, if you don’t play football in the SEC; anyone else see Wilcox’s Washington defense manhandle LSU? You can’t just sit back and let teams have 15-20 play drives like what happened to us last year. It would have been much better to have been aggressive, have them break a long play for a TD instead of just pounding us into submission. Plus if we had let them score on faster with fewer plays we would have got the ball back faster and ultimately more scoring opportunities for our offensive play-makers. Bottom line is that Uncle Sal Sunseri will help our our improve our 2012 offensive stats.
- Why Dooley is on the hot seat (loserswithsocks.com)
- Dooley: I will not be defined by a trophy (loserswithsocks.com)
- New philosophy calls for fast-paced, no-huddle offense (govolsxtra.com)
- “The Bray”: Dining on Wolf Meat (loserswithsocks.com)
- Vols Begin Georgia State Week (whnt.com)
- Derek Dooley says Tennessee players ‘overestimating’ 1-0 start (govolsxtra.com)
- Derek Dooley Building a Winner: Sal Sunseri Will Be Great for Vols (bleacherreport.com)