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Final Thoughts from Tennessee’s Loss to Florida


Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Tennessee’s defense wasn’t good on Saturday, but it didn’t play as bad as the score indicates. The offense routinely put them in awful situations, giving Florida phenomenal field position on several occasions. When they weren’t giving Florida great field position, the offense wasn’t on the field very long, putting a tired defense back on the field.

Several guys on defense played their best game of the season on Saturday, and Pruitt echoed that sentiment on Monday. Baylen Buchanan, Alontae Taylor, Alexis Johnson, Kyle Phillips and Will Ignont were guys that stood out to me when watching the game again.

Tennessee’s pass-rush generated eight pressures, three of them coming from Alexis Johnson, including a sack. Phillips added a sack of his own and had two pressures. Though Tennessee generated a little more pressure than they had been previously, it still allowed Feleipe Franks too much time to throw the football. On 18 of Franks’ attempts, he didn’t face pressure on 11 of them.

Tennessee’s pass rush consisted of:

Three-man: 2

Four-man: 35

Five-man: 11

Six-man: 4

Seven-man: 1

DB blitzes: 4 (on one, Alontae Taylor forced a fumble)

Florida ran the ball successfully on Saturday night in large part because of missed tackles and poor angles. Tennessee missed 10 tackles, four of which came on the very first drive. It appears the Vols are too worried about making the big hit rather than making the tackle, and that’s something that needs to be fixed in a hurry. This particularly applies to Nigel Warrior, who missed three tackles to lead the team.

Against the run, Tennessee allowed 18 positive Florida rushes while stopping just 16 of them.

The Vols struggled most in coverage on Saturday when they had to defend Florida’s receivers for long periods of time, which is natural and falls on the pass-rush. Tennessee provided good coverage on 11 plays compared to 10 poor coverages.

Buchanan stood out the most in coverage, receiving praise from his head coach about his play, while also helping lead the defense in tackles with five. Ignont also helped lead the team with five tackles.

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