4. Will the defense be clutch under Bob Shoop?
Tennessee’s defense wasn’t bad in 2015. It just struggled at times to step up and make the big play, especially in some late-game, fourth-down situations. Enter Bob Shoop from Penn State, one of the most respected defensive coordinators in the nation.
He has made his reputation on generating pressure and producing top-10 defenses nationally at both PSU and Vanderbilt. Loaded with likely his most overall talented defense of his career, Shoop’s charge is not only to produce a defense that improves a bit statistically, but, perhaps more importantly, steps up in the big moments to help get the Vols more wins in 2016.