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By the Numbers: Tennessee Football’s Regular Season Production

Tennessee Football
The Tennessee Volunteers football stadium. Photo by Ric Butler/RTI.

While Josh Heupel and the Tennessee Volunteers wait to see what bowl game they will be selected to, it’s as good of a time as any to go back through the regular season and find the most telling statistics from the 12-game stretch.

All in all, the Volunteers went through a revolutionary season in Knoxville defeating the likes of Alabama and Florida for the first time in a long time. Tennessee did experience some growing pains though as the newly-founded Heupel-era team suffered two losses in the final four games of the season.

Here’s a look at some of the most stand-out numbers from Tennessee’s attendance totals, final record, offense, and defense.

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Attendance

Tennessee did a remarkable job at selling out six of the seven home games in Neyland Stadium this year including each Saturday game. The Vols’ lone non-sellout (92,236) in Neyland was for the season opener against Ball State on a Thursday night. The Vols’ new sellout number for 2022 was 101,915 after the off-season renovations ended up removing 540 seats from the stadium.

In total, Tennessee finished the home season slate in front of a total of 703,726 ticketed spectators.

As far as Tennessee’s road slate goes, the Vols drew a sold-out crowd from the opposing stadium in four out of their five games. The only stadium that Tennessee played in this season that wasn’t an announced sellout was Pittsburgh’s Acrisure Stadium at 59,785 spectators.

While Vanderbilt wasn’t actually filled to the brim, likely because of the weather, it was still an announced sellout beforehand. Tennessee’s SEC games against LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina were also sold out, with the Gamecocks environment coming in well above capacity. In total, Tennessee played regular season games on the road in front of 374,243 ticketed people.

In total, Tennessee played in front of 1,077,969 announced spectators according to ESPN and Tennessee’s combined numbers.

Record

Tennessee found its first 10-win season since 2006 after shutting the door on Vanderbilt last Saturday night in Nashville. The Vols took down Ball State, Pittsburgh, Akron, Florida, LSU, Alabama, UT Martin, Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt en route to an eventual New Year’s Six bowl game. Tennessee was defeated by Georgia and South Carolina in two of the final four games of the season.

The Vols ended the regular season with a 6-2 record across conference play. Tennessee also achieved an undefeated 7-0 record at home with a 3-2 record in road games.

During Josh Heupel’s inaugural 2021 season, Tennessee ended the regular season with a 7-5 record, a 4-4 SEC record, 5-3 at home, and 2-2 on the road.

Offense

The Tennessee offense began to emerge during the 2021 season.

The Tennessee offense dominated the college football landscape during the 2022 season.

Josh Heupel and Hendon Hooker’s Volunteer unit finished the regular season as the No. 1 offensive team in the country in terms of yards (6457), yards per play (7.35), yards per game (538.1), and offensive touchdowns (74).

  • 1st ranked red zone rushing touchdowns (34)
  • 1st ranked rushing touchdowns (39)
  • 1st in team passing efficiency (181.60)
  • 1st ranked scoring offense (47.3 ppg)
  • 1st ranked touchdown scores (75)
  • 1st in PATs (71)
  • 3rd ranked passing offense (332.2 ypg)
  • 5th ranked team completion percentage (.688)
  • 5th ranked red zone offense percentage (.937)

Prior to his injury, Hendon Hooker was on the path to the Heisman ceremony in New York City early in December. Hooker was ranked No. 1 in average yards per pass attempt (9.53) and was the nation’s second-ranked quarterback in terms of passing efficiency (175.51).

Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt ended the season with the second-most touchdowns in the SEC (15) while running back Jabari Small was only one spot behind him as he found the endzone 14 times. Hyatt also led the SEC in receiving yards at 1,267 – the conference’s lone thousand-yard receiver.

Defense

Tennessee used a “bend-but-don’t-break” defense for a strong portion of the year, which was really highlighted in games such as Pittsburgh, Florida, or Alabama. While injuries did start to really become common late in the year, Tennessee’s defense did take a massive hit against South Carolina in the second-to-last game of the season.

In total, Tennessee came away with the 86th-ranked total defense in the country at 398.8 yards per game.

  • 28th in 3rd down stop percentage (58-of-171 attempts succeeded)
  • 50th in 4th down stop percentage (14-of-30 attempts succeeded)
  • 19th in red zone defense (.771 opponent success rate)
  • 54th in team sacks (27/2.25 sacks per game)

Tennessee safety Trevon Flowers and cornerback Kamal Hadden each ended the season with two interceptions. That is also good to tie them at 3rd in the SEC rankings. Tennessee linebacker Aaron Beasley had the most Volunteer tackles at 64, which placed him tied for 19th on the conference leaderboard. Defensive end and pass rusher Byron Young ended the season with five sacks and was tied for 8th among SEC competition.

*All stats via the official NCAA website and the official SEC website

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One Response

  1. WAS–“W”hat “A” ” S” eason!!! If anyone would have told me that the VOLS would be 10-2 at the start of the season…I would have said not probable. I was hoping for 8-4 or 9-3 at best. This has been a fantastic season–the best one in 19 years!!! If we have to wait another 19 years for another season like this one…I probably will not be here to see it!! Hopefully Coach Heupel can keep it going and start an era of good football. We have sure had enough bad football in the last several years. Us old timers say the if you are 1-11 and the one win is against Alabama–it has been a good year. Being 10-2 and beating Alabama makes it a great year!!!

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