September 5, 2012
Good & bad to be found in run game
Tennessee's season opening win over NC State last Friday was almost a perfect scenario from a coaching standpoint. The Vols got got a definitive victory against a quality opponent, something that was huge for the players from a confidence standpoint. But the staff also got their hands on a game film that contained evidence of plenty of areas where improvement can be made.
Without question one of those areas that's getting a great deal of attention on the practice field this week is the run game. Tons of preseason speculation centered on whether Tennessee could make drastic improvement from the squad that finished last in the SEC in rushing in 2011, and while it's safe to say the Vols looked better against NC State, it's just as safe to say it wasn't a totally satisfying experience.
Tennessee finished the night with with a more-than-solid 191 yards on the ground and a robust 5.0 yards per carry. But 109 of those yards came on a pair of big runs--which still count as many are quick to point out--that skewed the numbers a bit.
In short, there were more than a few positives to feel good about, but also the real need to find more consistency in the rushing attack. Particularly, to keep down-and-distance situations in sync, some of the negative or net-zero plays have to be eliminated.
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