Tennessee Volunteers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Volunteers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Tennessee Volunteers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players


Tennessee Volunteers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Tennessee Volunteers: Key To The 2022 Offense

Run the ball effectively against the better teams.

The Vols will probably be last in the nation in time of possession again – partly by design – and the strong line will likely still have problems in pass protection. However, the difference between the offense going from fantastic to truly unstoppable might be the ability to grind it out a bit against the better defenses.

Granted, no one ran well on Alabama and Georgia last season, but those were the two games Tennessee failed to hit the 100-yard mark and averaged under 2.5 yards per carry. It’s that last part that matters.

The offense doesn’t have to rip off over 200 yards, but the team went 6-2 when it did.

The difference in the losses when it hit two bills were the yards per carry, failing to get to five yards per pop in the losses to Purdue and Ole Miss and rolling for over five when the ground attack worked against the FBS teams.

Tennessee was 6-0 last year when running for five yards per carry and is 9-1 over the last three seasons when it was able to do that.

Tennessee Volunteers: Key To The 2022 Defense

Third down stops – the Tennessee defense needs a lot more of them.

The Vols will always get hammered in the time of possession battle thanks to the style of the offense, but the defense has to do whatever it can to get that high-speed attack back on the field as much as possible.

The D was the second-worst in the SEC at coming up with third down stops.

There were times when it did a good job – beating Vanderbilt, South Alabama, Tennessee Tech, and Bowling Green when allowing then to hit fewer than 30% of their chances – but it allowed teams to convert 40% of the time or more eight times.

On the plus side, the defense was better at this than it was in 2020, but get to around 35% on a regular basis and everything will be a whole lot easier.

Tennessee Volunteers: Key Player To The 2022 Season

RB Jabari Small, Jr.
Can he keep up the momentum from a hit end of the season?

He was a good part of a rotation at running back all year long, but he took off for 103 yards in the regular season finale against Vanderbilt and hit Purdue for a season-high 180 yards on 26 carries.

The offense will be about Hendon Hooker winging the ball around the yards, but if Small can become even more of a workhorse – and if he can keep averaging close to six yards per carry – he’ll be the perfect balance for the attack.

Tennessee Volunteers: Key Transfer

WR Bru McCoy, Soph.
McCoy was a superstar recruit who signed with USC, left for Texas, came back to USC, was suspended from the team after an alleged off-the-field incident, and now he’s looking to start over at Tennessee.

Talent-wise he’s got everything. 6-4 size, deep speed, and the NFL skill set to go off in the Tennessee attack. He caught 21 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns in his six games at USC.

If everything shakes out and he’s able to go, he should be the No. 2 target next to Cedric Tillman on the outside.

Tennessee Key Game To The 2022 Season

Florida, Sept. 24
Tennessee losing to Alabama was hardly anything to get into a twist over, and struggling against Georgia was totally forgivable.

As grouchy as the base might have been, losing to last year’s Ole Miss team was acceptable, and dropping the date to eventual ACC champion Pitt was more than okay.

But getting dropped by a mediocre Florida team by 24 – that hurt.

The Vols have lost five in a row to the Gators and 16 of the last 17. This year’s it’s the SEC opener and it’s in Knoxville – and it’s really, really big.

Win, and they’ll be at worst 3-1 going into October – they have to go to Pitt – and possibly 4-0. Lose, and with at LSU, Alabama, Kentucky, at Georgia the next four games on the SEC schedule, it’s uh oh time.

Tennessee Volunteers: 2021 Fun Stats

– 1st Quarter Scoring: Tennessee 190 – Opponents 51
– Fumbles: Tennessee 20 (lost 10) – Opponents 9 (lost 3)
– Time of Possession: Opponents 35:30 – Tennessee 24:30

Tennessee 2022 Preview
Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
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