Defensive strategy with the Huepel Offense: Red Zone denial (off season musing)

#1

Powder and shot

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#1
The Kentucky game showed that defense can drain the clock by causing the opponents offense to spend their time gaining yards but not points. Red Zone defense seems to be the best measure of the defense with a Huepel team. Obviously stopping the other team from scoring is the goal, but preventing big plays, make the opponent waste time, win on third down, and a stingy in the red zone defense exemplifies what playing from behind does to the clock without big play ability. Kensucky had to scratch there collective heads over this loss; a vol classic win.

Consider the Kentucky game story. Tennessee possessed the ball for 13:52 and we were out gained 612 to 461. Traditional wisdom would say that such an outcome is not possible. A useful conclusion is that ball control is not a strength in todays football but could be a weakness when facing a team with big play competence. GBO

Tennessee vs. Kentucky - Game Recap - November 6, 2021 - ESPN
 
#5

VFL-82-JP

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#5
We were fortunate to win the game with Kentucky.
I remain unsure if we were the better team.
13:52 TOP will not win many games.
But it DID that day.
Didn't feel that way to me.

To me, throughout the game it felt as if Kentucky was fortunate to keep it close.

It constantly felt as if the Vols were about to break the game loose in an irrecoverable way.

I think we were by far the better team that day; more than the scoreboard indicated.

break/break

Time of Possession is an antiquated metric.

How many people keep time of possession statistics in tennis matches? None, probably. Why? Because how long you hold the ball while serving isn't at all important. What's important is whether you can "break serve" (score while on defense) and go a leg up on your opponent.

With all the advantages accruing to the offense in the modern game of football (mostly for safety reasons), it has become more like tennis. You lose not by failing to control the ball, but by failing to score on each possession.

It's simply a different game today. Josh Heupel's game philosophy recognizes the new reality better than most.
 
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#6

sjt18

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#6
UT's D has to improve and particularly on 3rd down. They were nothing short of awful. I don't think we ever saw the high risk/high reward D that was suggested at the beginning of the season.

If you are going to simplify so guys can play fast... you better have guys with great instincts who can play fast. Without getting into whether UT has enough speed and raw talent... there were times when they looked hesitant and confused.
 
#7

tnutater

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#7
Didn't feel that way to me.

To me, throughout the game it felt as if Kentucky was fortunate to keep it close.

It constantly felt as if the Vols were about to break the game loose in an irrecoverable way.

I think we were by far the better team that day; more than the scoreboard indicated.

break/break

Time of Possession is an antiquated metric.

How many people keep time of possession statistics in tennis matches? None, probably. Why? Because how long you hold the ball while serving isn't at all important. What's important is whether you can "break serve" (score while on defense) and go a leg up on your opponent.

With all the advantages accruing to the offense in the modern game of football (mostly for safety reasons), it has become more like tennis. You lose not by failing to control the ball, but by failing to score on each possession.

It's simply a different game today. Josh Heupel's game philosophy recognizes the new reality better than most.
The offense scored quick, no doubt.
Taylor's pick 6 in the third was the difference in the game.
Defense still matters.
 
#8

ArmchairQB

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#8
We were ranked 121st I think in red zone scoring percentage last year. I can get behind the idea of opponents getting less of a return out of all that extra time with the ball, but we need to get considerably better about making sure they're not winding up with points out of the deal. Otherwise, even if we score every single time we get the ball, and do it in a minute... if the other team scores every time they get the ball and takes 6 minutes to do it, it's still a "last person with the ball, wins" kind of game.
 
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#9

jcvols24

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#9
I've always wondered if an up tempo offense like this needs a defense A and a defense B. With each having completely different personnel so they can rotate drives and stay fresh that way. I wonder if that philosophy would even work with recruiting. It would definitely require offensive recruits to be non busts though
 
#12

SpookyAction

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#12
Lots of good points made about the defense.
The base defense was weak. Weak coverage. Weak rush.
Need quality depth everywhere.
Same story since Fulmer's last SEC Championship appearance, 2007.
Our depth was pruned prior to the Portal. Now it is more problematic to stock the defense and keep it stocked with talent.
That is how we should judge Defensive Coordinators going forward, in addition to scoring defense.
 
#13

AstonRoyal

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#13
I think I read somewhere that the strategy of the defense was to be aggressive about negative yards and turnovers. And that we would be ok having big plays on us because then the offensive could get back on the field and score again. That's why so many people think Tim Banks is doing a bad job because of all the big plays on us. But I could be wrong.
 
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#14

DaddyChad

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#14
I think I read somewhere that the strategy of the defense was to be aggressive about negative yards and turnovers. And that we would be ok having big plays on us because then the offensive could get back on the field and score again. That's why so many people think Tim Banks is doing a bad job because of all the big plays on us. But I could be wrong.
We have no pass rush. Lbers suck. DBs also suck. Banks basically is trying to scheme up generating turnovers.
 
#15

Mccage

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#15
To me in a nutshell they need 2 elite corners, big,fast, and athletic LB's. Plus a couple of headhunting safeties. I would also throw in 2 6'6" 265 edge guys that run a 4.5. Top it off with 4 6'4" 325 lb DL that spit fire.
 
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#16

DaddyChad

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#16
To me in a nutshell they need 2 elite corners, big,fast, and athletic LB's. Plus a couple of headhunting safeties. I would also throw in 2 6'6" 265 edge guys that run a 4.5. Top it off with 4 6'4" 325 lb DL that spit fire.
First and main thing they need is an elite pass rush. It doesn’t fix everything but getting some pressure on the qb routinely is going to help more than anything. Not saying the other positions aren’t needs or important but we have to improve our pass rush or it won’t matter much.
 
#17

Vol8188

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#17
First and main thing they need is an elite pass rush. It doesn’t fix everything but getting some pressure on the qb routinely is going to help more than anything. Not saying the other positions aren’t needs or important but we have to improve our pass rush or it won’t matter much.
Which is why I'd much rather have 280-300lb DT's than 325. Give me a bunch of quick penetrating guys on the inside. More Aaron Donald kinda guys.
 
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#19

JWilly

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#19
The Kentucky game showed that defense can drain the clock by causing the opponents offense to spend their time gaining yards but not points. Red Zone defense seems to be the best measure of the defense with a Huepel team. Obviously stopping the other team from scoring is the goal, but preventing big plays, make the opponent waste time, win on third down, and a stingy in the red zone defense exemplifies what playing from behind does to the clock without big play ability. Kensucky had to scratch there collective heads over this loss; a vol classic win.

Consider the Kentucky game story. Tennessee possessed the ball for 13:52 and we were out gained 612 to 461. Traditional wisdom would say that such an outcome is not possible. A useful conclusion is that ball control is not a strength in todays football but could be a weakness when facing a team with big play competence. GBO

Tennessee vs. Kentucky - Game Recap - November 6, 2021 - ESPN
I hope the defensive strategy is not to allow the other team to score 42 points every game.
 
#23

TucsonVol

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#23
The Kentucky game showed that defense can drain the clock by causing the opponents offense to spend their time gaining yards but not points. Red Zone defense seems to be the best measure of the defense with a Huepel team. Obviously stopping the other team from scoring is the goal, but preventing big plays, make the opponent waste time, win on third down, and a stingy in the red zone defense exemplifies what playing from behind does to the clock without big play ability. Kensucky had to scratch there collective heads over this loss; a vol classic win.

Consider the Kentucky game story. Tennessee possessed the ball for 13:52 and we were out gained 612 to 461. Traditional wisdom would say that such an outcome is not possible. A useful conclusion is that ball control is not a strength in todays football but could be a weakness when facing a team with big play competence. GBO

Tennessee vs. Kentucky - Game Recap - November 6, 2021 - ESPN
We have no defense!
 
#24

Vol524

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#24
We were fortunate to win the game with Kentucky.
I remain unsure if we were the better team.
13:52 TOP will not win many games.
But it DID that day.
Scoring the most points always wins the game. TOP has nothing to do with that. A team that takes 12 plays to score 3 points will lose to a team that scores touchdowns in 4 plays.
 
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#25

1world1love

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#25
I don't care about TOP at all. I think we know we can slow down when we need to, but I think that mostly, CJH has not much appetite for slowing down. He'd probably be happy to score 60 a game.

George Washington once wrote "...offensive operations, often times, is the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defence"

If we can improve our pass rush and coverage by even 10-20%, we can beat almost anybody.
 

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