Site-Wide Activity

  • After delving into the stats and comps this week, we emerge with what appears to be another put a phonebook in your pants game for the Vols this week against Alabama. But hey, if it’s looking like the Georgia […]

  • Gameday

     

    The noon slot this Saturday offers an appetizer for Vols fans in the form of a Top 25 matchup between No. 6 Michigan and No. 24 Michigan State on Fox.

    Tennessee then hosts No. 1 Alabama at […]

  • The Vols are in the middle of The Gauntlet, but so far, many of their national stat rankings are holding up pretty well.
    Offense

    When they pass, they are good at it, but the Vols aren’t really putting up a […]

    • If there is good news on the TFL allowed front, last year we were averaging fewer TFL’s allowed per game but more yards given up: 7.4 per game at an average loss of -4.1, as opposed to 8 per game at an average loss of -2.9 this year. Seems like there are more runs for -1 this year, but fewer passes behind the line for -4.

    • By my count (sandwich in one hand at lunchtime), we have 22 TFLs on 1st down, not counting an alarming number of no-gain, 1 yd, and 2 yd runs. That’s almost half…not good. Looks like a pretty significant portion of our 1st downs too.

  • Scott Jackson‘s profile was updated 3 days, 6 hours ago

  • A big win for the Vols this weekend not only made you feel better about the team for a moment but also has an impact on what to expect going forward and when to expect it.

    My new expected win total:

    This […]

    • 6.35 for me this week.

      I think Missouri is actually the most winnable game after Vandy and of course the 49ers. SC is definitely an easier opponet but coming off a bye and on the road after we play Bama is rough. If we can snag that SC game then we’re going bowling no question this year. Also I think we have a good chance to beat a UK team that has to play an angry UGA the week before. Still curious if the cats can sustain their momentum over the back half of their schedule.

    • I’ve come up to 6 .00 even. I dont know though. Maybe I’m that old dog that cowers and pees a little every time my master raises his hand because of the years of abuse, but I still feel like we are in the 5 win range. This win makes me hope I am wrong and we are turning the corner, but my gut feeling is that the win is more of Auburns problems and less that we are good enough. I definitely think we are getting better, I can definitely see it, but I’m just not yet convinced the stink of the last decade is gone. We just need more pretty smelling soaps (another big win) in the shower to get rid of the Kiffin, Dooley, Jones stench. But I do think Pruitt may be that sweet smelling soap we need. (Sorry for all the bad analogies)

    • I’m at 5.95. I’ve got Bama at 5 and Charlotte at 100, so the real question now is what chance do we give ourselves to split the other four. And I think all of them are between 40-60. Should be fun.

    • Pre-season: 5.12
      Post-WVU: 4.98
      Post-ETSU: 4.84
      Post-UTEP: 4.65
      Post-Florida: 4.01
      Post-Georgia: 4.20
      Post-bye: 4.63
      Now: 5.58

      Fairly obvious increase. I’m now at 50-50 on Vandy and that may be for a bowl bid. Things are definitely more interesting now. Just need to be sure not to give one back.

    • I’m at 5.6.

      Auburn was a pure bonus win from the 10-15% probability range. My gut wasn’t that far off the closing spread. Based on Vols +14.5, teams with that spread have won 17.7% of the time since 2003. Source: https://www.teamrankings.com/ncf/odds-history/results/ …. By the way, the starting spread of +18.5 had us with a 10.9% chance to pull that one out

      Like all of you, probably, I am more optimistic in general than I was before the Auburn game. Bama went from a 1% to a 2% chance.

      More seriously, I’ll need to see how we do against teams we should have a reasonable chance of winning before I give us enough for a bowl. Sakerlina is a key game for me to adjust probabilities against lesser opponents.

    • I’m at 6.0. Something that I like is that playing stiff competition early (5 ranked teams including Bama) actually seems to be toughening these Vols and making them better and stronger for the back half. That’s something Jones’s teams never did. They’d get worn out in the front half of the season and then fall flat against softer competition on the back end. I don’t think that’s as likely this year, and this team should only continue to get better week to week.

    • I’m up to 5.41…it still feels more likely the Vols miss a bowl than make one, but it should be close.

      By the numbers, a bowl is still going to require one they “shouldn’t” win. They’ll be favored against Charlotte and possibly against Vandy given current trends, but they’ll be underdogs in the other 4 games.

      Can they emerge from Alabama not physically and mentally broken and steal one against USCe, Mizzou, or UK where they’ll be, I’d guess, 5-10 point underdogs? That’s the question.

    • 6.3 for me… Charlotte at 100, Vandy 70… and 50/50 for the rest. Not sure when we will hit the “improvement ceiling” or if there are going to be any “let downs”… this will be crazy difficult to forecast. The Vols are a very dangerous team now, so watch our SEC 🙂 Go Vols!!

    • I’m up to 6.13. So nice to see the improvement!

    • Up to a 6.12
      Great win on Saturday
      I absolutely loved our second half defense, I haven’t seen a VOLS defense that were swarming like this in a long time!

  • A few more observations on this fine Sunday:

    This was Tennessee’s biggest win as an underdog since Florida in 2001. Covers.com has the closing line from that night in The Swamp at +16.5. The line closed at […]

    • Whoa… nice analysis… I am feeling even better that we won. Still a lot of areas to work on, but it is hard to beat aggressiveness and perseverance that Pruitt is instilling in the attitude. Go Vols!

  • After a late-game collapse made a close Georgia loss a virtual runaway a couple of weeks ago, Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt nearly was moved to tears talking about how much better his guys were getting when […]

    • A great read… many of the long downfield passes JG threw were to the back should away from the defender. You may recall that was a drill being specifically worked on during the off week… good coaching and good execution are working hand in hand. Lets keep the momentum and improvements going. Go Vols!

  • So I allowed myself to dream this week, and went back to read what we wrote when Butch Jones and the 2013 Vols beat #11 South Carolina in his first season. Much has changed since then: the full buy-in language of […]

  • It’s time for this week’s edition of the Gameday on Rocky Top Guessing Game. If you are wondering what that is exactly, you can find out everything you need to know here. Latest results are here.
    Let’sa go! […]

  • It’s been ten years since the Vols played at Auburn, one of the best arguments for policy change in SEC scheduling. We faced the Tigers every year from 1956-1991, the series becoming Tennessee’s second-biggest […]

    • An interesting (and unfortunately dormant) rivalry with a lot of personal memories for me. The first time I ever stormed Shields-Watkins Field was the 1985 game. In high school a friend had a party to watch the 1990 game and her parents were afraid we were going to destroy the house when Greg Burke’s kick sailed left. The 1997 SEC Championship Game was the last time I ever got to see Peyton play in person and a buddy in the athletic department scored me front-row seats on the 50-yard-line behind the Tennessee bench. In 1998 I listened to John Ward and Bill Anderson call the near-disaster from the parking lot of my (future) wife’s cousin’s wedding. The last time we beat them (1999,) the realtor who sold us our first house gave us primo tickets in what would now be East Club seats. No happy memories since then… maybe that will change tomorrow.

      • Some of my first and best Neyland memories are Auburn. The Reggie Cobb win in 89 was the first big one I saw in person. I remember in 91 how important it was to my dad and all his friends that we beat them the last time. The 97 SECCG is still the best environment I’ve ever seen for football with the 50/50 split. And I was a freshman in the student section right in front of Deon Grant’s interception on the first play in 99. I miss these guys.

        • 89 Auburn was the first one I remember seeing in person, but I was dragged along to sit in the snow at the 86/87 Peach Bowl. Still have the 89 game sitting around on tape somewhere.

    • My memories of the Auburn rivalry go a bit further back to the days of Pat Sullivan and Tennessee coaches Dickey and Battle. They were our only blemish in 1970. Those were the days the Auburn home games were played in Birmingham at Legion Field.

      Go Vols… bring back the Good ‘Ole Days!

  • The official NCAA stats for both the Vols and the Tigers confirms that points are likely going to be at a premium this Saturday. Look for Tennessee to lean on the run game, Auburn’s defense to wreak havoc in the […]

  • The Auburn Tigers kicked off the 2018 season with a solid win against No. 6 Washington, but after that, results have been mixed. They lost by one point to a ranked LSU team and lost by two touchdowns last week to […]

    • Auburn’s thus far mediocre run game will find some success against Tennessee, but not enough to become reliable. They gain something like 120 with a YPC of ~3.2. Stidham continues to get hit, a lot, with Tennessee picking up three sacks and continues to rattle Stidham into a solidly mediocre 14-30-1-1 for 180 yards.

      Tennessee gets solid yardage at the edges but little up the middle. Ty Chandler averages a solid 4.2 for around 85 yards, London has a couple of 6+ yard runs but also several for <1. They put the ball on the ground once and are twice forced to take field goals from inside the ten due to failed short yardage runs. Guarantano finally gets an opportunity to go downfield semi-regularly and breaks the double-century mark going 16 of 26 for 212 yards and two TDs. One comes on a busted coverage deep while the other is a catch and run from Wood-Anderson.

      The game ultimately comes down to turnovers and field goals. Cimaglia stays perfect with two makes while Auburn's Anders Carlson goes 2 of 4 with several long attempts.

      Vols win 27-24 and the "less than bright" folks set themselves up for disappointment against Abalamaba.

  • So the ingredients are there, right? Sleepy 11:00 am local kickoff, preseason Top 10 team sitting at a disappointing 4-2, offense looking sluggish…plus the underdog Vols coming off a bye, new head coach with […]

  • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    Once again, there’s not a lot of good options prior to Gameday this week.
    Gameday

     

    This Saturday at noon on the SEC Network, the Vols take on the Auburn Tigers, who are […]

  • Football behind-the-scenes:

    It’ll always be about the people in this room knowing what to do, executing all the time.

    Keep fighting.#PoweredByTheT pic.twitter.com/Noa6q7f78Y
    — Tennessee Football (@V […]

  • If you read only one thing about the Vols today . . .
    . . . make it this, from 247Sports’ Wes Rucker:

    Rucker: Open-door policy benefits Vols basketball, fans

    Other Vols stuff worth reading today […]

  • Congratulations to C_hawkfan, who finished first in the Gameday on Rocky Top Pick ‘Em contest this week with a 16-4 record and 184 confidence points. He or she gets a Gameday on Rocky Top t-shirt from our cu […]

  • The Vols were off this past weekend, but their past and future opponents were not, so let’s take a look at how those results might have impacted our expectations for the back half of the season for […]

    • The math says 4.58 so let’s round up to 5-7. After watching Sakerlina and Missouri battle, I think less of each – although I don’t think we could score 37 points against any SEC team in 8 quarters… Auburn looks less imposing than Georgia or Bama – not that I have us favored but it looks less like a 30 pt blowout now. Even Kentucky looks human. Vandy looks beatable after they fared worse against UGA than we did. My heart says the guys will be rewarded for fighting hard enough to elicit more tears from CJP and we pull off a couple of upsets for 6-6, plus a bowl. Feels like I am talking myself into better outcomes because I love the way these guys are playing. But GBO anyway!

      • I’m with you. Mine add up only to 5, but there are enough games close enough to toss ups that I just figure enough of them will go our way to get to 6. We’ll see, I guess.

    • I’m at 4.95, down just a hair from 5.00 last week.

    • I’m at 5.05. I am less optimistic than Pete and Joel about getting to 6 wins. I still see us at 4-5 but agree that there are enough remaining games that could be a toss up to get us to 6. Maybe it’s the last 10 years that makes me too gun shy to get optimistic, but I’m still saying we drop too many toss ups to get there.

    • Up to 5.16 from 4.65 last week

    • 5.00 this week, up from 4.66… still need to see some consistency in improvement to take to the next level. Injuries with the lack of depth will be a big risk going forward. Go Vols!!

    • Pre-season: 5.12
      Post-WVU: 4.98
      Post-ETSU: 4.84
      Post-UTEP: 4.65
      Post-Florida: 4.01
      Post-Georgia: 4.20
      Now: 4.63

      Amazing what a bye week can do for your confidence! I know I didn’t really alter my Auburn expectations based on their poor showing, so it wasn’t that. It may have just been “out of sight, out of mind” for all of our glaring problems. Kentucky, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt all look much more beatable to me now.

  • The rumor mill hasn’t been kind to the Vols this week as there are whispers that freshman safety Trevon Flowers has a collarbone injury and is walking around campus in a sling after getting hurt in practice.

    It […]

  • It will not surprise you to find (via data from Sports Source Analytics) the Vols are still near the bottom in running the football in the first quarter: 46 carries for 74 yards, a robust 1.61 yards per carry. […]

    • Will, great insight and analysis… enjoyed reading. It seems teams will key on our first down run and we will surprise every now and then. My bet is that we will start opening it up against Auburn and the Tide so we are not predictable down the stretch. We need to be careful that we don’t get in a hole quickly and have multiple “3 and outs”. It will be interesting to see after the off week.

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