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Previewing the Opponent Offense: Tennessee Volunteers

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They low down.... Really low down

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll be frank, this is an offense that is 108th of 130 teams in points per game. They’ve had an unsettled QB battle all season. And the head coach is on the verge of being fired.

So there’s that.

The passing game is the real real woeful part here. Quentin Dormady has been the long-time back up to Josh Dobbs, and has been given first nod and the lion’s share of the snaps this season despite freshman Jarrett Guarantano technically being considered “in the quarterback battle.” Dormady has rewarded the team with 925 yards on 55% completion, a paltry 6.8 YPA, and a 1:1 TD to interception ratio.

In the last game against South Carolina, Guarantano was finally given the main body of work and performed minusculely better, though it was nothing to really get excited about.

Slot receiver Brandon Johnson has been the only receiver to consistently get targets this season. He’s pulled in 21 catches for 251 yards and a touchdown. Marqeuz Calloway is the only other to have made an impact, as the big-play specialist has 235 yards and 3 touchdowns of his own, despite only 12 catches.

Tight end Ethan Wolf has been reliable, hauling in 10 balls for 90 yards and a touchdown. But the biggest threat in the passing game has been dynamic all-purpose running back, John Kelly. He leads the team with 24 catches and 250 yards. At 5’9” 205, he’s an explosive, compact back with an all-around game that keeps him on the field almost all game.

His 113 caries are 90 more than than the next back on the depth chart. As a rusher, he’s ground out 552 yards and 6 touchdowns this season, good for a workman-like 4.9 yards per carry.

So, I won’t mince words and try to paint a pretty picture here. The Volunteer offense has been a clunky, disjointed thing all season, with the only constant being all-purpose back John Kelly keeping things moving along in both the running and passing games. The quarterback situation seems to have been poorly managed, though Butch Jones may have finally settled on freshman Jarrett Guarantano, who has shown much more promise and upside than the older Normady.

In all honesty, I’ll be surprised if they get any touchdowns this game that weren’t gifts of an Alabama turnover.

Roll Tide.