Vols Report Card For Arkansas State Game


Tennessee pushed the 2014 record to 2-0 with a 34-19 victory over Arkansas State today in Knoxville. Here is the Vols report card for the Arkansas State game.

QB – B+ Worley had a very solid performance for the second week in a row. Not only is he managing the game well, but he is making throws that he just couldn’t make last season. He hit Marquez North in the end zone twice with two beautiful throws where only North could make the catch. This would have been an A if it were not for a pick he threw while on the run, and the continuing issue of not being able to throw the deep ball well. He had receivers behind defensive backs and either under throws badly or over throws so much it doesn’t give these receivers a chance. Still needs to keep more in the read option.  Solid Performance today from Justin. 22/38 for 247 and 2 Touchdowns

RB – B- The Vols running game managed 168 yards on 45 carries for a 3.7 yard per carry average. That is not winning football, but it is an improvement over last week. Freshman Running Back Jalen Hurd got the lion share of carries again (I think Lane should split these carries until Hurd establishes he is clearly the better runner) with 23 carries for 83 unexciting yards. Lane had 54 on 13 carries. The most exciting run came from a reverse to Josh Smith who hurdled a Red Wolf for a highlight film moment. Hurd ran hard and was physical. He just has nowhere to run as the offensive line just can’t get him to the second level of defense.

Receivers – A I love these guys. The worst thing that happened during this win was injuries to Von Pearson and tight end Ethan Wolf. Tennessee can not lose these two, and with Oklahoma looming next weekend, that is terrible news. Marquez North picked up the slack and is showing why he is becoming a premier receiver in College football. He made two acrobatic touchdown grabs. Jason Croom, Josh Smith,  Pig Howard and Josh Malone were all involved and played well. Pearson was the leading receiver with 71 yards before he left with a bad looking ankle injury. These guys are good.

Offensive Line – C Pass protection was just ok. Arkansas State was able to get pressure on Worley in the first half, but the Vols adusted better in the second half to the rush. However, for the second week in a row against a pretty bad defensive line, they could not punch a hole to get the backs to the second level. I thought they looked a little better today, and again do not hurt themselves too much with penalties. Getting Better.

Defensive Line – B The defensive line got off to a horrible start in the first quarter.  State quarterback Fredi Knighten proved quite hard to catch, and the line could not set edges on the Junior quarterback. Knighten ended with 65 yards on 15 carries. The Vols stuffed the run game enough later in the game to make them pretty one dimensional. The Williams boys played well and Maggitt added 6 tackles.

Linebackers – B The Red Wolves had a very good scheme to confuse the linebackers for Tennessee early. With a two back set State would send both backs out in routes. This made the backers give chase, and let Knighten run free against the slower defensive lineman. This was adusted for later in the game. AJ Johnson continued his torrid streak toward All American and All SEC status with another stellar game and 9 tackles. Reeves Maybin was great as well adding 6 tackles. The linebackers did a good job against the tight end Griswold as well. He was a non factor.

Secondary – B+ – This group is getting better by the day. Welcome Todd Kelly Jr! He is going to be a force and played well at Safety. I thought it was Justin Coleman’s best game in a while. He tackled well and was in position to make plays. They stayed away from Cam Sutton for the most part, but still managed 4 tackles. Randolph had 6 tackles and was his steady self. The disturbing thing is that there were no takeaways, nor many challenged pass break ups. Randolph had the best play on a ball early in the second half.

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  • Kicking – C- Matt Darr had a good day with 6 punts averaging 40 yards. He would get an A, but the place kicking is terrible. It will cost Tennessee a win this season. They young kicker Medley has the leg and the technique, just too much nerves as well. He will be a good one when he gets over being intimidated by the huge crowd. Tennessee must get the kickoff in the endzone more consistently as well.

    Coaching – B- I give the Coaches a B-. They get good marks for getting this team turned around on a short week to play fairly well. However, I was not knocked out by the offensive game plan. I hope Bajakian is holding something back against these weaker opponents, and that  this is not what we are going to get out of him consistently. The running game scheme is just bad. I hate to see such a powerful back get the ball running horizontal to the line of scrimmage. I just miss power football and the I. There, I said it. Defensively I thought the adjustments were fantastic in the second half. It is apparent that Coach Jones preaches and teaches discipline in taking care of the ball, and in making mental errors. Tennessee is playing well, and they are not shooting themselves in the foot with stupid mistakes. That is discipline.