Scouting Tennessee Vols Offense

Early in the Oregon game, Tennessee fans had to be excited about what they were seeing. In their first five possessions, the Vols gained 233 yards and scored 13 points and had a 10-point lead on a top 10 opponent. However, that excitement about the Vols offenses faded quickly.

Tennessee managed to gain just 100 yards in its final nine possessions and did not score again in a 48-13 loss in front of another huge crowd at Neyland Stadium.

The game was eerily reminiscent of Tennessee's 1995 game against the Gators when the Vols led 30-14 only to see the Gators score the next 48 points on the way to a memorable 62-37 win.

Quarterback Matt Simms is the new trigger man in the Vols attack. The son of NFL great Phil Simms is completing just over half his passes (29-of-53) for 332 yards with just one TD and one INT. He has a strong arm, but tends to float the ball and it's gotten him and his receivers into trouble. He is a former high school teammate of Gator defensive end Justin Trattou.

The strength of the Tennessee offense is the power running game, which was very effective early on against Oregon. Junior RB Tauren Poole (40-272, 6.8 3 TD) is leading the SEC and is a strong runner who is hard to bring down. David Oku (13-85, 6.5, 1 TD) is a solid second back.

The offensive line is pretty much new, but it appears to be a good one especially coming off the ball. The center position is a problem, though. Cody Pope won the starting job but suffered a concussion during the Oregon game and is questionable. RG Jarrod Shaw is the most experienced player of the group while freshman LG JerQuari Schofield (6-6, 331) and RT Ja'Wuan James (6-7, 313) add plenty of side and talent.

Tennessee has a very capable receiving corps with Denarius Moore (8-103, 1 TD) and Zach Rogers (4-52). They'll be even better when they get Gerald Jones (6-86 vs. Tenn-Martin) back in a couple of weeks. Tennessee also has a really good TE in Luke Stocker (3-19) who caught 29 passes a year ago including 5 TD.

All in all, Tennessee is a solid offensive team that should get better as the revamped offensive line matures and Simms does the same. It is still a challenging match up for the Gators because Florida appears vulnerable to a power running attack and gave up 244 on the ground in the win over USF.

Tennessee will be more dangerous the longer they stay close. If they fall behind and become one dimensional they fall into a trap. Florida must control the Vols running game in order to make that happen.

Fightin Gators Top Stories