Shedding and fighting off blocks is a stable of any fundamental defensive work. Throughout this fall camp for the Vols, it's taking on a different level of intensity thanks to their season opening opponent, Georgia Tech.
The option offense of Paul Johnson is plenty unique. It starts up front where defensive linemen are often turn loosed and the Yellowjackets offensive linemen cut block routinely at both the defensive line and linebacker level.
It's why Tennessee worked on Georgia Tech in the spring, they watched hours this summer and this pre-season camp they are spending a lot of extra time on their season opening opponent.
“It's just sprinkling some things in there and getting into the fundamentals and details taking on their offense,” Jones said of the practice plan.
“They are a very explosive offense and they cause you mismatches and match up problems. The thing that is really a challenge is being able to really simulate the speed of that offense.”
Linebacker Colton Jumper said the early jump start on game prep is really a must when an offense that's very different from what you see week in and week out.
“It's invaluable getting a start on it because it's something so different than you see every week. They have sprinkled stuff in throughout camp. Today (Tuesday) was another good day on Georgia Tech stuff. We have been working on it for a while getting our fits down. It's something that's very different. You need a lot of reps of it.”
Tech's Paul Johnson has said his offensive staff won't focus on watching film of the Vols defense because they will play a defense they haven't shown on film. Jumper said because it's a different defensive attack having the game as the season opener is a blessing.
“I'm glad it's the first game. You have that defense once and we won't use it the rest of the season. I think playing them first and getting that extra time in camp is a strength for us.”
IGNONT CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
With Darrin Kirkland and Daniel Bituli out to start fall camp in week one, true freshman Will Ignont has taken advantage of his opportunities and has left an impression.
“Will Ignont is a young guy who has come in an done really well. He's caught everyone's attention,” Jumper said.
Jumper said Ignont is far beyond where he was as freshman.
“In setting up the front and knowing where to line up, he's way past that,” Jumper explained. “He's starting to get coverages down and pass patterns down. I think he recognizes the game really well and that's helping him a lot right off the bat.”