Paralysis by analysis?

Tennessee's offensive players are trying so hard to be disciplined this fall that it's making them … well, undisciplined.

At least, that's the theory being set forth by junior center Rob Smith.

"Honestly, I think some of our discipline problem was worrying about discipline so much that it got be a negative thing," he said this week. "We were so self-conscious it was almost detrimental to us getting better. If you worry about something too much, you can overdo it. I think that might have been part of it."

Smith and his offensive line mates got a lot of attention during the open date week preceding this Saturday's game at Alabama. Perhaps some of the mental and physical lapses that showed up in Games 1 through 5 will not be repeated in Game 6 at Tuscaloosa.

"Hopefully, we've gotten better disciplined, eliminated some of the mental mistakes, things like that," Smith said. "I hope that's improved because that's what's been killing us all year.

"We've been off-page on certain things. It hasn't been a lack of effort. We just need to get out there and knock the heck out of people … with discipline and people being on the same page."

While UT's offensive front has been plagued by mistakes, Alabama's defensive front has been virtually mistake-free. That's why it ranks as one of the SEC's finest.

"They're solid, disciplined, hold their gaps well, get good leverage, don't make any mistakes," Smith said. "They make you beat ‘em, physically, man on man. They don't get out of their gaps and let big runs happen."


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