Midseason review: Tennessee


Record: 2-4 (0-3 SEC)

The forecast was that Derek Dooley would be in for a rough ride this first season, and so far, that’s exactly what it’s been for the Vols. Their youth, inexperience and lack of depth across the board has been glaring. They’ve been in some games, but simply haven’t been able to finish them. The exception was this most recent 41-14 beatdown by Georgia. Tennessee was never in that game and didn’t seem real interested in competing once the Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-0 lead. That could be an ominous sign for the rest of the season. The Vols, who’ve allowed more sacks (23) than anybody else in the FBS ranks, have a bye week to regroup before taking on Alabama on Oct. 23. They’ve shown some signs of breaking through, playing Florida tough for most of the game and having that LSU game won had they not committed the substitution blunder at the end of the game. Of course, the other way to look at it is that they could very easily be 1-5 right now had UAB not missed five field goals.

Offensive MVP: RB Tauren Poole. He’s had to fight through some injuries, but is seventh in the SEC in rushing, averaging 79.7 yards per game. Poole has 478 yards and five touchdowns through the Vols’ first six games, and while he’s not an explosive breakaway threat, he’s one of those guys who will fight for yards on every play and will keep fighting the entire game.

Defensive MVP: LB Nick Reveiz. In a lot of ways, Reveiz has been the heartbeat of this entire team. He’s one of the leaders in the locker room and also leads the Vols with 54 tackles, including four for loss. He’s tied for fourth in the SEC with his average of nine tackles per game and is Tennessee’s defensive quarterback on the field as far as making all the checks and getting everybody lined up correctly.