I have written throughout this historic 2012 season that the Vols defense was “way behind” the offense. I recommended that Dooley and Chaney go to a ball control offense that would eat up the clock and score fewer points so that the defense could stay on the sidelines and rest more. Last Saturday, the defense showed the offense that they could play a little ball too.
Tennessee welcomed Troy University to its campus for Homecoming Day on Saturday. The Trojans are in the midst of another Sunbelt championship kind of a season and so Dooley was unable to keep most of his swarming defensive schemes under wraps, yet the Vols still dominated the action from the opening whistle. In the last of its tuneup games before the traditional grind of a punishing November SEC schedule, with a gauntlet of Missouri, Vandy and UK waiting in the wings, Tennessee next rolled past Troy for a 55-48 win.
Sure the Vols gave up 48 points and 722 yards to the second best team in all of Alabama. But when it looked like the Trojans might pull out another victory the Tennessee defense rose to the occasion. What was supposed to be a knock-down, drag out tussle for four quarters quickly disintegrated into a one-sided bullying of the Trojans by a swarming, smothering and opportunistic defense that Dooley unleashed. The Vols rose time and time again to thwart the explosive Troy offense taking a page from former Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox’s playbook, “bend but don’t break” scheme.
Not many people thought the Vols could stop the potent offense fielded by Troy. Tennessee’s chances were hindered even more by the fact that Dooley was still recovering from hip surgery. But the players on the field decide the outcome of the game, and in this instance Tennessee’s eleven were simply better.
The Troy win is the first step on Tennessee’s road back to prominence.
- Vols QB Tyler Bray needs a break from football (loserswithsocks.com)
- The Tennessee Offense: Dooley Will “Pump the Brakes” for Florida (loserswithsocks.com)
- Tennessee’s offense rescues defense against Troy, 55-48 (govolsxtra.com)
- “Fans” Leaving Neyland Early: Fanaticism gives Dooley/Vols the final edge (loserswithsocks.com)
- David Climer: Tennessee Vols barely survive Troy (govolsxtra.com)
- ‘Second season’ begins for Tennessee against Troy (govolsxtra.com)
- After wild win, Tennessee facing questions as final 3 SEC games loom (govolsxtra.com)