Tennessee 2011

Tennessee 2010 Statistics

(SEC) The Volunteers play on a grass field at Neyland Stadium (seats 102,455)

  • Derek Dooley is in his 2nd year as head coach at Tennessee.  In his first season the team went 6-7 and with that just-barely losing record, the hope is that they get on the other side of .500 this year. And I think Tennessee fans are happy to have some consistency again.  Volunteer fans were used to stability after 17 years with the same head coach in Phillip Fulmer, but following his retirement, Lane Kiffin was hired.  Kiffin stayed for one year and then bolted when the USC head coaching position became available. As a result Dooley was hired in 2010.
  • Not only was this team undergoing changes last year with the staff, they had to replace  the majority of their starters. Offense had just three starters return and defense lost their top four tacklers.
  • At quarterback, Matt Simms was the starter last year to begin the season (8 games including the tough ones against Oregon, at LSU, Alabama and at South Carolina). After Simms was injured, true freshman Tyler Bray ended up starting the last four, plus the bowl game that they lost to North Carolina in double overtime. This year Bray is the starter and has a lot to improve upon, especially accuracy. Bray is 6’6 and 21o lbs.
  • The top two running backs return, including Tauren Poole who quietly amassed over 1000 yards last season and averaged a very nice 5.1 yards per carry. And the offensive line is much more experienced and should be improved. These things are both really good news for a rushing offense that was quite anemic. Their rushing yards were one of the lowest in the nation. But then again, so were their rushing attempts.   This year Marlin Lane will also be there to add speed.
  • The best news:  recruiting. They did really well this year and had a top recruiting class that will increase the height, weight, speed and athleticism at every position according to Dooley.  And that’s more important for Tennessee than most teams this year as they have a young team and are going to be starting plenty of underclassmen.
  • On defense, two of the three starting linebackers will be true freshmen: Curt Maggitt on the weak side and A.J. Johnson on the strong side. In addition the lack of experience at linebacker, there is some concern with the defensive line, especially depth.  It will be critical to make sure the front two lines are solid enough to handle the nickel packages, which Dooley claims to play about 50% of the time.  Those are plays, which require five defensive backs and as a result only have six men in the box instead of seven.
  • The tough stretch of the schedule starts on October 15 with back-to-back games against LSU, at Alabama and against South Carolina. This team will be aiming for eight wins to show that they’re on the right track and it won’t be easy, but it’s definitely doable.

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  1. […] Tennessee Safety Jansen Jackson:  8/24/2011 Derek Dooley announced that troubled Tennessee defensive back Janzen Jackson was dismissed from the Volunteers football team.  How this impacts them?  Jackson was third on the team in tackles last year (first out of all defensive backs) and tied for first on the team with 5 interceptions.  This could open up Tennessee’s passing defense for potentially more attack, although there isn’t much more room to expand against their passing defense which faced an average of 34 passing attempts per game last year.  Furthermore, according to Dooley, they are deep at the defensive back position. […]