August 6, 2007

Fixing Run Game a High Priority

As far as clichés go, the one about needing to 'run the football to win in the SEC' is about as well-worn as 'good things come to those who wait'. But the simple fact that it's a familiar phrase doesn't make it any less true. For Tennessee, shoring up a run game that hasn't measured up to program-standards in a couple of years is a main priority of fall camp.

The Vols offense ranked tenth in the SEC last year, averaging a paltry 108 yard per game on the ground, a number that fans have a hard time reconciling with Tennessee teams of the past.

Last year's struggles were well-publicized at the time, highlighted by a minus-11 yard effort on the ground against Florida in a game the Vols lost by one point.

But last year was hardly an anomaly. The ground game has been slipping for a couple of seasons now, and somewhere in there, Tennessee went from a team that could line up and run the ball at you on third and short with the likelihood of success, to a team that more often than not, had to resort to tricking people to get tough yards those situations.

Will 2007 be any different?

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