No finger-pointing

Tennessee's defense has been awesome all season; Tennessee's offense has been awful all season. Yet, defenders have done no finger-pointing – in part because Rob Smith doesn't play defense.

Smith, a junior guard who has started 22 consecutive games, admits that if he were a defensive player he'd be tempted to criticize UT's offense – a temptation Vol defenders have resisted to date.

"They haven't done that all year," Smith said. "I can't say I wouldn't have if I was them."

Realizing how harsh that sounded, he paused, smiled sheepishly, then added: "I might say, ‘Come on, step it up a little bit.'"

Tennessee's attack unit ranks 10th among SEC schools in total offense, while the stop unit ranks third in total defense. The attack unit ranks 10th in scoring offense, while the stop unit ranks fourth in scoring defense. The attack unit ranks eighth in rushing offense, while the stop unit ranks No. 1 in rushing defense. The attack unit ranks eighth in passing offense, while the stop unit ranks fifth in passing defense

Given how little assistance they've gotten, Tennessee's defenders could be forgiven if they blamed the offense for UT's disappointing 4-5 record heading into today's game against Vanderbilt.

"They've done more than carry this team this year," Smith conceded. "They've played absolutely awesome. They've played at championship level and we (offense) haven't. We haven't upheld our end of the deal.

"But they haven't said nothing, which is surprising really."


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