Grading the Vols’ Performance Through Five Weeks

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    Tight Ends/Fullbacks

    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    Nathanael: D

    Tennessee has failed to really utilize the tight ends in the passing game much at all this season. A lot of that has to do with the fact that UT has needed the ends to stay and block because of how bad the offensive line has played, but it’s still concerning to see how little they’ve been used. Dominick Wood-Anderson is the only one who’s caught any passes of the true tight ends, and he’s only caught a handful. The unit overall has had their ups and downs when it comes to blocking as well.

    At fullback, it’s almost primarily been Austin Pope at the position, and he hasn’t really impressed. Pope isn’t physical enough to be an effective blocker in the run game, and his gaffe against Florida doesn’t need revisiting. He’s had his good moments, such as a nice block that helped Ty Chandler rip off a huge touchdown run, but he’s had far more bad plays than good this year.

    Ben: D

    Dominick Wood-Anderson has had an up-and-down start to his Tennessee career while the rest of the tight ends have had a rough time adjusting to Jeremy Pruitt’s smash mouth system. Wood-Anderson saw more targets against Georgia but failed to haul in the ball. In terms of blocking, the JUCO transfer has been inconsistent. The offensive line has received a lot of blame this season, but Wood-Anderson and the rest of the group deserve as much blame.

    At fullback, Austin Pope has received the majority of the reps. Pope had a key block in the UTEP game to spring Ty Chandler loose for a long touchdown, but this season has been a struggle for Pope in the run game. He had received at least 13 snaps at fullback through the Florida game, but against Georgia Pope received just one snap, and Tyson Helton almost completely went away from using the fullback.

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