Randy's ratings: offense

Here's a position-by-position ranking of Tennessee's offensive performance in Saturday's 50-0 blowout of UT Martin:

QUARTERBACK: Matt Simms was poised and precise, connecting on 14 of 24 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. He gets a 9. Backup Tyler Bray was 3 of 6 with a sack and an interception but the game was no longer in doubt during his stint. RATING: 8

RUNNING BACK: Tauren Poole averaged 6.5 yards per carry en route to 110 yards, Rajion Neal 8.8 ypc en route to 79 and David Oku 12.8 en route to 77. Each had a run of at least 24 yards. All three ran hard and made yards on their own. RATING: 9

WIDE RECEIVERS: Denarius Moore caught four passes for 66 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown. He also sprinted 58 yards on an end-around. Gerald Jones caught six balls for 86 yards before injuring his hand. Wideouts did some very good downfield blocking on a few of the tailbacks' better runs, as well. RATING: 9

TIGHT END: Luke Stocker had a relatively quiet night, catching two balls for 17 yards. Backup Mychal Rivera caught one pass for 7 yards. Not much production from the position but, then again, not much was needed. RATING: 8

OFFENSIVE LINE: At times it looked like a blocking wall featuring a true freshman, a redshirt freshman and a sophomore ... which it was. After being flagged for two false starts and two illegal formations (too few men on the line) in the first half, the linemen got their act together in the third quarter and dominated the smaller Skyhawks. Tennessee averaged 7.7 yards per rush and suffered only one sack, so somebody was doing some competent blocking. RATING: 7

GAMEPLAN: As expected, the coaches put the game on the shoulders of the offensive line and running backs. This approach produced 537 total yards and 50 points, which is a pretty good day's work. Play calling was vanilla by design. RATING: 9

SUMMARY: Those who argue that what Tennessee did Saturday night vs. unheralded UT Martin was meaningless might call Houston Nutt, whose Ole Miss Rebels lost to unheralded Jacksonville State. The Vols executed well against the opponent put in front of them. Angels can do no more.

OVERALL OFFENSIVE RATING: The average for the six categories figures out to an 8.3. Given that Martin is a Football Championship Subdivision team, we'll call it an even 8.


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