Ultimately, Chavis credited the impressive outing vs. the Hurricanes to ''a lot of things,'' including added maturity for some key Vol defenders.
The biggest factor, though, was that the UT attack carried its share of the load ... and then some. In addition to controlling the ball for 21 minutes of the first half, the Vol offense kept the ball for the game's last five minutes, thanks to a fumbled punt that cost Miami its final possession.
''Really,'' Chavis said, ''it was a game that started and finished the way we wanted it to finish.''
Translation: With UT's defense on the sidelines.
While this weekend's foe, Mississippi State (2-7 overall, 1-5 SEC), lacks the overall talent Miami had, the Bulldogs have one advantage over the Hurricanes. Whereas Miami's top receiving threat was tight end Kellen Winslow, MSU has a bona fide deep threat in wide receiver Justin Jenkins. He ranks first among SEC players in receiving yards (770), second in receptions (52) and second in receiving touchdowns (8). He's made more effective by the fact the Bulldogs have Ray Ray Bivines (24 catches for 308 yards) on the other side.
''They've got two receivers (Jenkins and Bivines) who are big-time receivers,'' Chavis said.
Although Mississippi State's offense ranks dead last in the SEC statistically, the Vol coordinator says the Bulldogs have some top-notch weapons.
''When they've only won two ballgames, you look at me and wonder when I talk about them being really good on offense,'' Chavis said. ''They've got two tailbacks (Jerious Norwood, Nick Turner) who could start for anybody in this league. They can run the football. Norwood may be as fast as anybody we've played.
''Early in the season, they scored a lot of points on a lot of people.''
To put that in perspective, consider that Tennessee has scored more than 24 points in regulation just one time all season -- in a 34-24 defeat of Marshall back on Sept. 6.