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Insider Mailing: Florida Week Edition

Jalen Hurd-1-24

“Whole, 2%, or skim, and can we get our WRs off the cartons?” – Travis Russell 

Bob:  Skim all the way Travis…so refreshing!  And I’m with you on greater in-game exposure for the WR’s, namely one Marquez North!

Houston: 1% each and every day until we reach our dreams, goals and aspirations.

John: Skim is for puritans, whole for gluttons, thus, 2% for the reasonably moderate. And maybe, man. Maybe. I sure hope so.

Kevin: “Skim Milk isn’t milk, it’s water pretending to be milk.”- Ron Swanson. The WR corp needs to run smaller rotations, but in the meantime i’d settle for a few of them running a crisp route and beating press coverage.

“When the Vols beat Florida Saturday; does UT athletic dept post the video of them singing rocky top on the plane ride back?” – Shawn Guinn 

Daniel: No idea, but I think they should. Nothing wrong with posting video of a team celebrating among itself. You earn that right when you win – that’s on the other team if they get offended by that.

Bob: I’d like to see something in the locker room post-game.  That stuff is always the most spontaneous and entertaining!

Houston: No comment.

John: They would definitely post something, as well they should. But the superstitious side of me questions the prudence of you posing that question. But since the topic has been broached, SHOULD there be reason to celebrate, I hope the Vols don’t do it on the field. In other words, walk off like it wasn’t all that big of a deal. Like it was expected. Celebrate on the way home. Again, SHOULD there be reason to celebrate.

Kevin: After the beating that Butch has taken in the past few weeks, I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t make a big deal about a win over the Gators. However, as I said our in Pick Six Against the Spread column, I ain’t picking the Vols.

“Do you trust our football team? No? Me either.” – Talmadge H Rainey 

Daniel: “Trust has to be earned, and should come only after the passage of time,” – Arthur Ashe.

Bob:  My answer’s a two-parter.  I trust the team’s talent in between the lines to make plays, provided they’re allowed to make the play.  That’s the segue to part 2, which is my trust of the decision-making on the sidelines and upstairs.  I’m still waiting to be sold on that part of the deal, so you could say that my trust level of the team is a work in progress.  Maybe some detailed analytics will help show me the way.  Sure.

Houston: I want to believe. Really, I do. But, as Mr. Ashe said, trust must be earned. Same with respect…and the Vols won’t get it unless they start taking care of business.

Reed: Absolutely not, and I’ve tried. Tennessee SHOULD have ended the streak last year. The Vols were the better football team for 3.5 quarters. I trusted that they’d get it done and they absolutely destroyed my confidence. Time heals all things and I trusted, again, that they’d beat Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. And they destroyed my trust again when they were clearly the better team. They enter this game as the better team (and current favorite). They SHOULD win. I want to pick them…I just don’t think I can.

John: I’m going to speak specifically to the last 10 Florida games. Going into many of them, I trusted UT would get it done. I was near certain of it last year. Yet, that trust was proven to be misplace. To do the same thing over and over again, yet expect different results is the textbook definition of lunacy. So, in hopes of a different result, I’m trying something new. So, no, man, I simply can’t trust this team to get it done against FL until they come through.

Kevin: No

“What is the best Leinenkugel variant to drown our sorrows with Saturday night?” – Neal Simmons

Bob:  I know it’s officially fall now, but gimme some ice cold Summer Shandy if it’s still around, win or lose!

Houston: Pumpkin Shandy with a loss…that way at least one thing wearing orange won’t let you down.

John: I answer any question Sweet Neal asks because he’s one of my faves on Twitter and in life in general. Because I have a soft spot for the charmingly pessimistic. But not for Leinenkugel. I drink Miller Lite because I’m lame.

“Whats a good gator tail recipe and what beer should I wash it down with? #GatorHater” – Chris in Disgusta

Bob:  I heard while Charlie Weis stopped through Gainesville a few years back, he had a top-shelf recipe for gator tail, yet no one really knows for sure how good it was because the finished product never got past old Chuck after he flambéd it! #GetInMyBelly!

Houston: Teriyaki grilled or deep fried. Drink with Abita Andygator or the peach Sugarlands Shine.

“Does CBJ need to let Dobbs’ legs become more of an asset for the offense? Thats what made our offense successful last half year.” – Spencer Scofield 

Daniel: Great question. Looking at all of Dobbs’ games against FBS opponents in the past two years, you can see correlation in the Vols winning and Dobbs putting up a lot of rushing yards. Really the only exception is the Alabama game, but that was a game he didn’t start and most people considered the Vols’ effort that game, once Dobbs came in, to be a pretty good one overall despite the loss.

(L) Alabama: 19 carries for 75 yards
(W) South Carolina: 24 for 166
(W) Kentucky: 10 for 48
(L) Missouri: 17 for 13
(W) Vanderbilt: 21 for 91
(W) Iowa: 13 for 76
(W) Bowling Green: 12 for 89
(L) Oklahoma: 14 for 12 yards

I’m over-simplifying it a good bit. Quarterback rushing yards isn’t a really a great stat because of how sack totals eat into it, but just looking at attempts, it is fair to see Dobbs has rushed less in 2015 (13 attempts per game this year as opposed to 17.3 attempts in 2014). For an offense looking for a spark in Gainesville on Saturday, I think the Vols may want to try to get Dobbs going on the ground a little bit more.

Bob:  That’s some great analysis from DL, and I’d go a step beyond that and say that perhaps Josh is the one who needs the spark most right now, so having that cat roam a little more could relax him a bit, and be just what the doctor ordered for the offense.

Houston: 100% yes. Turning him into a nearly pure pocket passer (as they’ve essentially done through three games) limits his effectiveness and robs him of, perhaps, his greatest attribute. I get that keeping him healthy is important for this team’s ultimate success, but so is having him make big plays. Not allowing him to run is cutting his playmaking ability in half. He’s dynamic…turn him loose.

Reed: Dobbs hasn’t been able to gain any traction on the ground against defenses that aren’t terrible, as Daniel’s breakdown shows. That’s a concern this weekend, for sure. He’s averaging just 2.7 yards per carry against good defenses and the Vols need some big plays from his legs, but Florida’s defense is really, really good. He looks boxed in and the staff needs to turn him loose a bit AND use a few designed plays (options, rollouts, etc) to get him on the move – where he’s at his best.

Kevin: I don’t think Dobb’s involving himself in the run game is the key to Tennessee winning, but if Tennessee is effectively utilizing the other parts of its offense then Dobbs usually finds himself with open lanes to run in. Mike Debord needs to make adjustments to his scheme and Butch Jones needs to let his team play looser than he coaches.

“Do you think we’ll see less rotation of WR’s this week?  Is Butch too hard headed to make changes?” – @RockyTop10EC

Daniel: I’d love for them to find the 3-4 guys they feel the best with and give them a majority of the reps with 2-3 behind them to play situationally or to be ready to give them a rest from time to time. I’d be surprised if they change their philosophy though at this point. Zach Azzanni has talked about his desire to have nine guys rotating, so I think that’s more what they’re working towards as opposed to cutting it down. We’ll see, they need to shake some stuff up at that position, so maybe they cut the rotation down, but I’ll need to see it to believe it.

Bob:  Man I wish they’d thin out those rotations!  It’s the football equivalent to what Kentucky did in basketball last season with their platoon squads, and I really believe it prohibits playmakers from ever really getting into the true flow of a game.  Will we see that happen?  I’d say it’s unlikely.

Houston: If Pig is limited, then yes.

Kevin: I don’t really see why Tennessee needs to run 9 receivers, especially when a guy like Marquez North is struggling to get into a groove. I’d like to see North, Von Pearson/Pig Howard, and Josh Smith on the field to start the game and see what they can accomplish as a unit. Certainly you want to use weapons like Jauan Jennings, Jonathon Johnson, and Preston Williams but let the (perceived) three best receivers on the team settle into the offense early in the game.

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