If you had a chance to watch last week’s Thursday night game between Tennessee and Appalachian State, you may have witnessed some vulnerabilities in the Volunteer offense. However, it seemed their game plan was rather vanilla, likely deciding beforehand to withhold just enough game film not to tip their future opponents. Looking back, I bet the coaches did not realize how much of a risk that was going against a good opponent that finished 11-2 last season. Even so, an SEC team that talented, at home, and ranked in the Top 10 probably should not struggle as much as they did. Well, until you take a closer at Tennessee’s weaknesses.
Vols’ Quarterback Play
Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs (6’3” 210 SR) is a very talented dual-threat quarterback. He is well known as a strong power runner and can wear down a defense on the ground. However, it seemed he was handcuffed a bit in the opener, and the Volunteer coaching staff maybe wanted to protect him by keeping him from running the ball as much. I counted five to six designed runs, although statistically the box score reads nine runs for -4 yards. It’s fairly expected for the staff to keep their signal caller as healthy as possible before a big game.
As the Vols’ offense struggled to score against Appalachian State, they were forced to open their playbook a bit more and put the ball in Dobbs’ hands more. In overtime, he ran a keeper to the outside, eluded a defender, and attempted to dive over a defender into the goal line – only to get destroyed on the way up and fumbled the ball into the end zone. A courageous run, but breathtaking for Tennessee fans as they prayed he got up after such a hit, not to mention the scrum of players fighting for the loose football. Eventually the play ended up as a touchdown, but those are the type of plays he’s capable of making and it also...
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