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RTI Film Study: Upsetting Georgia

Getting the Passing Game Back on Track

Photo by Kyle Zedaker/Tennessee Athletics

Georgia’s defensive line is one of the best in the country. But Tennessee can’t let them control the line of scrimmage in the passing game. Tennessee should be able to run the ball fairly well, especially to the outside. But it’s the passing game that the Vols should be worried about.

Notre Dame went to a similar look that the Vols used against Florida.

So far, this has been the only way Tennessee can get their playmakers the ball out in space. Brian Kelly, who runs a very similar offense to Jones at Tennessee, lets the rush through in order to get a quick pass out over their heads. In this case it works because the offensive line does a good job getting downfield.

You’ll see linemen blocking for a split second, then letting their guys through to the quarterback. But that split second is still important. Dormady has to have that second to read the coverage and make sure his screen pass isn’t going to be picked off. Georgia is going to be hunting these screens down since it’s essentially all UT has done successfully in the passing game through four games.

But underneath routes in the flat won’t work as often against this defense.

I expect to see the same “Cover Zero” technique that Florida used. That means everyone who isn’t in man coverage is blitzing. And it doesn’t give Dormady much time to throw.

Georgia will sacrifice safety help over the top to take away these intermediate passes. Because Tennessee hasn’t shown it can throw the ball over the top.

The Vols have to find a way to make Georgia respect the deep pass. If they can’t, it may be a long night for the Vols’ offense.

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