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Final Thoughts from Tennessee’s Loss to Georgia

Offensive Line

Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Tennessee’s offensive line was a nightmare once again on Saturday. This very well may be the worst offensive line the Vols have ever fielded, and that’s really saying something considering some of the units that have taken the field over the past five years. Right now, there isn’t an offensive lineman playing good football. Yes, that even includes Trey Smith. However, I do firmly believe that Smith is still rusty from everything he went through during the summer and will get back on track at some point.

Here’s what I saw from the offensive line against Georgia:

Allowed pressure: on 9 drop backs

Positive run-block: 8 rushes

Negative run-block: 17 rushes

Tennessee struggled in pass-rush throughout the game, but it was even worse in run protection. Each one of the linemen up front had at least one play where they completely whiffed or appeared to carry out the wrong assignment and block the wrong defender. The group was consistently blown off the ball, providing very little running lanes for the backs or providing very little time for Guarantano.

As you might expect, Guarantano was at his best when Helton dialed up plays that required him to get the ball out almost immediately. Likewise, the positive runs from the backs were almost always a result of a back making a guy miss at the line of scrimmage rather than effective blocking.

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