Putting the Zips to Bed Before Heading Toward the Hedges

Some interesting factoids from Saturday night’s win over Akron…

Tennessee made eight visits to the Akron red zone. All eight resulted in scores, but only four were TDs. Derrick Brodus’ four FGs were the other results. The Vol defense allowed Akron into the Tennessee red zone only four times and limited the Zips to only 3 field goals (a 75% scoring mark allowed). The fourth resulted in Byron Moore’s interception near the goal line, a key play when it looked as if Akron was going to score on the opening drive of the second half.

The Senator over at Get the Picture indicates that in 2011, Georgia’s defense was last in the SEC in opponent red zone conversion percentage, allowing scores over 90% of the time, and the Dawg offense was also last in TD percentage. So far this season, the Bulldogs are 7th in score percentage and 2nd in TD percentage.

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The Vols had an astounding 98 plays from scrimmage Saturday night (does not include kicks but does include penalties before the snap). The first-half tally was 64, enough for a full game; 34 plays were registered in the second half. The Zips also had a healthy number of scrimmage plays: 79. It was a game for the offensively minded.

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Each team had 15 possessions in the game. The Vols scored on 9 of their possessions: 5 TDs and 4 FGs. The 6 possessions that ended scoreless included 1 INT (which Akron ran back for a TD); 1 lost fumble at the Vol 29 yard line (which the Zips converted for a FG); 2 punts; and, two turnovers on downs (one was followed by Akron’s 70 yard TD run and the other resulted in no Zip score).

The Zips scored on only 6 of their 15 possessions: 1 TD and 4 FGs. Their other TD was scored without an official possession — the early INT returned for a TD. The 10 possessions in which the Zips did not score ended in: 3 INTs, 5 punts, and 2 running out the clock of each half.

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Tennessee tallied 7 big plays to Akron’s 4 (A Big Play = 20 or more yards gained on a play from scrimmage). The Vols’ 7 big plays were gained during 4 separate possessions, each ended in a score: 3 TDs and a FG. One was a score in itself: Jacob Carter’s 24-yard TD reception in the final quarter.

Akron’s 4 big plays occurred during 3 separate possessions, each of which ended with a score: 2 FGs and a TD. The touchdown was the biggest of all the big plays by either team — the 70-yard run by Quentin Hines near the end of the second quarter that made everyone in orange feel quite uncomfortable about the future.

Big plays, once again, proved important. All of them.

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