Stopping the Run
One of the themes of Tennessee’s defense over the last two years has been its inability to stop opponents from running the ball. The Vols were really bad at that in 2016, but they somehow got even worse at it in 2017.
Tennessee had the worst run defense in the SEC, and only four other teams in the FBS gave up more yards per game on the ground than the Vols. The 29 rushing touchdowns the Vols gave up in 2017 were tied with Ole Miss and Maryland for 107th in the country, and UT tied with three other schools for the 12th-most runs of 20-plus yards allowed last year (27).
To say the Vols’ run defense was horrid last season would be an understatement.
Maybe Tennessee’s switch to a base 3-4 defense will help with their run defense, and maybe it won’t. But having a defensive-minded coach like Jeremy Pruitt as a head coach should help things regardless. It can’t get much worse for Tennessee when it comes to stopping the run, that’s for sure.