Friday, November 16, 2007

UT Preview: Thank God for Jason

On the eve of the Commies make or break game aganist Tennessee, we enlisted help from our man Jason to get VSL Nation prepared.

Tennessee's offense is still very similar to the days of Manning. A few standard offensive sets:

1) Three wides + TE and one back: TN's bread and butter...they are equally likely to throw and run from this set, because as a defense it's hard to walk a safety up into run coverage with 4 potential receivers...if we bring a blitz here Goff/Benoist will have to cover the TE. They ran this formation quite bit against GA and the o-line took care of business.

2) Four wides + one back: 80/20 pass/run from this set, but they have gashed defenses with the draw here.

3) Five wides: The prescription for this offense is to bring extra pressure and sit on the short routes...there's a high probability that they will throw a quick slant or an out from this formation, because they can't protect the QB for very long. Very important that our safeties are sound in this formation...they are on an island and can't give up the big play.

4) Short yardage/goal line: standard 2 TEs and two backs. What you see is what you get.

TN's offensive skill positions are talented across the board. I hope that DJ feels OK tomorrow, we need an Ole Miss/SC-type performance from him and the DB corps. Also much has been made of TN's low sacks allowed...this is because the majority of their schemes are basic "slide" protections with each lineman picking up the guy in his strong side gap and the back picking up the first unblocked defender rushing from the weak side. Think of zone run blocking translated to pass protection. It's a pretty sound scheme but there are definitely ways to defeat this protection with overloaded blitzes to one side of the formation. If Vandy's defense does it right you can have TN's o-linemen following the protection scheme and VU defenders literally running untouched to the QB.

TN's 4-3 defense...again pretty bread and butter but they have speed to execute. In theory the 4-3 opens up the perimeter option, because if you get a hat on the mike (middle) LB there are only two players at the point of attack, the DE and outside (sam or will) linebacker, as an offense you have numerical advantage and it should be 5+ yards per pop. If they start moving the safety closer to the perimeter to defend the option, then the middle of the field is open for Earl & Co.

I watched some Alabama video and DJ Hall got off even with double coverage. Alabama paired him with other receivers and ran some creative combination routes (rub-offs, picks, etc.) to get him space. Again, Earl should have 10-12 touches. I have also noticed that when Earl is in motion for that end-around he gets the ball 90% of the time. We can exploit this in several ways.

Our tailback running game is obviously very important. The o-line played well against KY, and this must continue.

Other sources:

Error-free game could lift Vandy's bowl hopes - Mo Patton, Tennessean

Vanderbilt has full attention of UT Players - Bryan Mullen, Tennessean

Speedy Stewart giving QBs opposing nightmares, The Man we Love to Hait - Nashville City Paper

Wideout catch on to the running game - Mo Patton, Tennessean

Vandy wants bowl game, The Sporting News

What better place than here, what better place than now? - Who Ya With's Game Day


Douglas James said...

Why are we such glutton's for punishment? I mean that was a terrible loss even though the guys played their hearts out but c'mon! What was with the roughing the punter? Are you serious. And we had like 3 or 4 drives of under 2 minutes in the second half. UGH!!!!!!!!! I'm so angry right now I feel like starting a fight with a random nerd in the law library

Anonymous said...

It was a tough loss: VU gave the game away.

It's difficult, but everybody has to forget about this game...the 6 win goal is still within reach, that is all that matters.

Aaron said...

Jason, 6 wins was not the goal. Getting to an bowl game, not just bowl eligible, was the goal.

Seamus O'Toole said...

What Aaron said.