Lack of Second Half Adjustments are Killing the Vols this Season

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    Photo Credit: Will Boling/RTI

    Tennessee has lost three of their last four games and looked listless in their one win against winless UMass in that stretch. And a large part of the reason the Vols have looked so bad in the last month is because of the lack of second half adjustments on the part of Tennessee’s coaching staff.

    The Vols are being out-gained and outscored in the second half this season, and it’s been even worse over the last three games.

    Through the first two games of the season, Tennessee wasn’t having a bad time in the second half. Tennessee dumped on 35 points and 275 yards in the second half and two overtimes against Georgia Tech, and they accumulated 159 yards and 14 points in the second half against Indiana State. In fact, the Vols even performed well in the second half against Florida, totaling 288 yards and 17 points.

    But the last three weeks have seen a massive decline in second half production.

    Against UMass, Tennessee managed just 58 total yards of offense and scored only three points. Over the last two weeks, however, Tennessee has failed to score a single point in the second half against either Georgia or South Carolina, and the Vols totaled 75 yards in the second half in both of those games.

    The Vols have totaled just 208 yards of offense and scored just three points in the second half over their last three games. Meanwhile, Tennessee has given up 537 yards of offense and 36 points to UMass, Georgia, and South Carolina in that same span.

    All in all this season, Tennessee is being out-gained 1,294 to 930 in the second half this season, and they’ve been outscored 90 to 69 in the second half of games this year.

    Second half adjustments, or the lack thereof, have been one of Tennessee’s biggest downfalls this season. The Vols have been beat time and time again after halftime this year, and that comes down to coaching. Plain and simple.

    Tennessee’s opponents have been able to make halftime adjustments and stop whatever is working for the Vols. Butch Jones and his staff, on the other hand, have sorely lacked in that department.

    The Vols’ issues this season are plentiful. It hasn’t all been because of coaching. Poor execution on the offensive line, dropped passes by receivers, poor routes from receivers, inconsistent front seven play on defense, and turnovers from the quarterback position have all contributed to Tennessee’s woes in 2017.

    But coaching has definitely been a big problem. And that’s never more evident than when you look at how badly the Vols have been dominated in the second half over the last three games.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.