October 14, 2012
Offense good, but not good enough
Starkville, Miss. -- In the world of college football, where so much is at stake every single week, losses are always tough to handle. They're even tougher to stomach on those Saturday's when you offense cracks 30 points on the scoreboard and 200 yards rushing on the stat sheet. Which was the unenviable position Tennessee found itself in on Saturday night.
Tennessee's struggles on defense are well documented and apparent to anyone paying attention this season. Poor tackling, blown coverages and missed assignments have all been par for the course this season and all were in evidence once again in a 41-31 loss to Mississippi State.
The fact that Tennessee's offense, for the second straight game, continues to play at a high enough level to compete only highlights the defensive shortcomings.
Tonight's game was the first time in almost seven years, since the 2005 loss to Vanderbilt, when the Vols rushed for over 200 yards (213 to be exact) and still came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
The 213 yards is the most Tennessee has gained against an SEC opponent in Dooley's three seasons. The previous mark was 197, set in the last game against Georgia. So obviously, there's a theme developing here.
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