Checking the Film: A Closer Look at UT’s 24-20 Loss to Arkansas

    by -

    Prev1 of 2Next
    Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

    Joshua Dobbs-1-2

    First Quarter: 

    15:00: The best start in football. Jakob Johnson and Tennessee’s front line wipe out Arkansas and Evan Berry uses his elite speed to beat the rest down the sidelines.

    8:16: The Vols’ first actual drive is a thing of beauty. They mix pass/run and use tempo to their advantage to catch Arkansas off guard and look, seemingly, unstoppable. Dobbs caps it off with this play, where he goes through his progression before deciding to tuck it and run for the score. He gives great effort at the goal line and the Vols lead 14-0 early.

    8:16: It doesn’t take Arkansas long to realize how they can create favorable matchups in the passing game. Here, they put Drew Morgan in motion and Emmanuel Moseley passes him off to LaDarrell McNeil. McNeil isn’t nearly as good in coverage as Moseley, but especially when he bites on the play-action…like he does here. Brandon Allen has an easy throw to a wide-open man for a huge play.

    7:20: I like this call. Jancek dials up a corner-blitz and puts Moseley in position to make a tackle at, or behind, the line of scrimmage. Moseley hesitates, however, and Collins is able to pop through the line for a first down.

    6:03: It looks like Tennessee’s linebackers are in position to make the stop when Collins cuts back…But then, somehow, completely whiff at the point of attack.

    2:49: This is a great play. Hurd and the receiver clear out the flat and Dobbs has an easy toss to Kamara in space. Kamara, as he often does, makes a man miss and the Vols get a nice play on a very simple concept.

    **We aren’t even through the first quarter and the Vols have already called more “vertical” passing plays than we’ve seen, maybe all season. They are trying to test Arkansas’ poor secondary, but are unable to connect and/or get guys open. I credit the staff for trying, but Tennessee’s receivers are clearly struggling mightily to get open down the field with any level of consistency.**

    2:04: Another dandy by DeBord catches Arkansas in a blitz…This is a truly great play-call and execution.

    0:40: Another great drive by Tennessee fails to put points on the board. As great as this team has looked at times (in every game), they have left far too many points on the board this season.

    Second Quarter:

    14:15: Yikes. I don’t know what the play-call was for Jancek’s defense, but I doubt it called for all three of Tennessee’s linebackers to follow Hunter Henry and fail to pressure Brandon Allen after he escaped from the pocket. Allen makes a decent throw, and then, once again, Tennessee’s secondary takes terrible angles and fails to put a hand on the receiver who walks into the end zone.

    13:57: This isn’t a “big” play, but it showcases the patience and running ability of Jalen Hurd to wait on his blocks and explode for a first down.

    11:30: Another designed flare pass to Kamara and another nice play for the Vols, who really moved the ball at will in the first half.

    5:36: I mentioned earlier that Tennessee continues to hurt itself in critical situations, and this is another prime example. The Vols are already in field goal range and look poised to punch it in the end zone, but Preston Williams puts the ball on the ground and the Vols are denied points…again.

    3:17: The Vols have time and timeouts to close the half…but look content to punt the ball back to Arkansas before the end of the half. The Vols call two runs up the middle and throw a swing pass into the teeth of the Arkansas defense before punting back to the Hogs. Arkansas drives down the field and ties the game heading into halftime.

    Third Quarter:

    14:26: Arkansas has a nice variety of run plays in its arsenal, and here the Hogs go to a draw play, sucking the Tennessee defensive linemen into pass-rush mode, while using a lead blocker as well. Tennessee has numbers and bodies close enough to bring down Alex Collins, but he has great feet and good speed, gets to the outside and turns up the sideline for a big play.

    9:16: This is Arkansas at its best. After a play-action pass to Drew Morgan got them inside the 10, Collins gets them to the 1, and then there’s no doubt the Razorbacks are going to run it twice, if needed, to score. It only takes one try. The Vols send out their heaviest guys –Kahlil McKenzie, Shy Tuttle and others – but that veteran Arkansas offensive line drives UT back a full two or three yards in some instances and makes it easy for Collins to basically just lean into the end zone.

    9:07: This isn’t a particularly great throw, but this is a great concept from Mike DeBord here. Everybody knows defensive attention will be on Jalen Hurd wherever he goes, so the Vols put him in motion, send him out towards the left flat and Joshua Dobbs sends a pump fake his direction. At least two defenders jump on that a bit, opening room for Von Pearson to come across the middle and make the catch. A better throw maybe gives him some room to run, however.

    7:57: Some of the questions and complaints about Dobbs’ throwing ability this season are valid. But the junior quarterback makes some throws that remind you why he’s the starter, and here is an example of one of those when he finds tight end Ethan Wolf in stride for a 31-yard catch and run, a play that tied for UT’s longest pass of the evening.

    7:29: I like this concept by the UT offense. The Vols go 5-wide, except with Alvin Kamara split out. He motions across the formation and takes the quick jet sweep toss. He has a chance to get to the corner, but a poor block by Von Pearson keeps the Arkansas corner free to stop him for a very short game. The 5-wide look relaxes the defense a bit on their run assignments, so, in concept, this was a good play to try for UT.

    6:47: The Vols will take every good bounce they can in the second half. Medley’s 45-yarder hits the post, but then goes in to make it 24-20, as Medley mades just his second career FG in the 40-49 yard range.

    5:58: Shades of Oklahoma and Baker Mayfield here…Brandon Allen escapes the decent pressure (it was a zone blitz with LaTroy Lewis dropping into coverage), rolls to his left and floats one for Hunter Henry. Todd Kelly Jr. makes an awkward attempt that looked like he was between decided if he should go for the ball or the man, and Henry, a very good TE, makes the catch and rumbles down the sideline for the big play.

    3:54: Beautifully designed and executed toss play to the left with big Denver Kirkland leading the way for the Hogs, who easily takes out Justin Martin, who gives up about 150 pounds to Kirkland. But the effort of Shy Tuttle to run the play down stands out too. He does things like this regularly on film and has a bright future for the Vols.

    1:49: Just an awful kick by Hedlund here that barely cleared the line, but credit big Shy Tuttle for pushing, getting his hand up and being ready to get the block.

    :12: Terribly designed and/or executed third-down call here. Both Josh Malone and Ethan Wolf curl up about four yards short of the marker. Dobbs tries to hit Malone, who can’t make the grab, but it wasn’t going to be a first regardless. 

    Prev1 of 2Next
    Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse