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Friday Top 10: Reasons to be Hyped About 2016

4. Offense Should Be More Potent

Alvin Kamara-1

If there was one thing the Vols did well in 2015, it was run the ball. And boy, did they run the ball. In fact, they ran the ball more effectively than any previous Vols team since 1951 as they amassed 2,908 team rushing yards and scored 32 rushing touchdowns. But the Vols lacked much explosiveness in the passing game, and that led to frustration from many Vol fans.

But the 2016 Vols are poised to have a more impressive overall offense, one more balanced and dangerous.

No, the Vols won’t suddenly become an air-raid offense in 2016 and sling the ball around like they did in 2012. But with Josh Dobbs being a senior and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord with a year under his belt to familiarize himself with Tennessee, the coaching staff should feel more comfortable letting Dobbs and the pass game expand. DeBord looked like he got into more of a groove with play-calling down the stretch, and while Dobbs still struggled with consistency, he was still able to take care of the ball well.

Even if Tennessee’s passing game doesn’t make significant improvements in 2016, the ground game should be just as good if not better than the already historic performance they put up in 2015.

Jalen Hurd needs only 892 yards to surpass Travis Henry’s school-record 3,078 career rushing yards. Hurd totaled 899 rushing yards as a freshman and racked up 1,288 last season. Barring any significant injury, Hurd should crush that record by a couple hundred yards. And his complementary back, Alvin Kamara, is talented enough to be the starter at most every other school in the SEC. The two combined to run for 1,986 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2015 and could total even more in 2016.

Throw in Dobbs’ running ability, an offensive line with a road-grading mentality, and even more depth at running back, and the Vols could be even more deadly running the ball in 2016. Which is a very scary thought for Tennessee’s opponents. 

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