DG's Thoughts on Vandy and Next Season

#1

DiderotsGhost

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#1
Who would've thought we would be 7-5 after that BYU loss? Or the Florida loss? We didn't even really show signs of life till that Georgia game, but here we are ... probably the most improved team in America over the second half of the season. While the schedule was certainly easier, Mizzou, Kentucky, and South Carolina are also much tougher outs than Georgia State and BYU. We were definitely a much improved team by November.

Here are my thoughts on the game, the season, and next year. I'll keep this version shorter than most.


Vandy

JG. Not a great performance by JG. It does seem like he has a tendency to struggle against the same teams. He struggled against Florida 2 years in a row. He also struggled against Vandy 2 years in a row. That said, JG found a rhythm in the 2nd half. I think he started 0 for 7 and then went 6 for 10 for 120 yards. Maybe we should still be starting Maurer and bringing JG off the bench; he does seem to have a weird tendency to struggle at the start of games. I do wonder if he picks up some things on the bench that he doesn't immediately see on the field. In any case, we won the game and JG played well in the 2nd half after a difficult start.

O-line. Give credit to the O-line for some great run blocking. That was the biggest reason for our near 300 yard rushing performance. Still, it wasn't perfect. While we finally got a huge push in the run game, we struggled with pass protection at times, and got too many penalties. I'll give the OL a solid "B".

Gray. 25 carries for 246 yards. That's the 5th best performance in UT history. If Gray had gotten 5 more yards, it would've been the 2nd best performance in UT history. Great game by Gray, even if a lot of credit goes to the O-line for giving him some huge holes to run through.

Defense. Once again we did an excellent job shutting down a good rushing attack. We've gone from one of the worst rush defenses in the country in 2017 to one of the best at the end of 2019. Pruitt, Rocker, and these defensive coaches deserve a lot of credit for turning this around. It's crazy to think that D-line was considered one of our weakest position groups at the start of the season; Rocker has done an A+ job coaching them.

Jennings. JJ was visibly frustrated much of the game, but glad he got one big catch, finishing with 2 receptions for 56 yards. Just short of scoring the touchdown on the 50 yard catch, but a huge play to seal the game.


Bowl Game and Next Season

Destination unknown. Seems like there are a lot of possibilities for bowl games, but I'll go on the record as saying I'm excited no matter who we play. Some possibilities include Minnesota, Louisville, Michigan, and Indiana. Think some people are putting too much stock into the opposing teams laundry (Michigan isn't necessarily "better" than Minnesota), but I'm just happy to have another game to watch!

Tougher schedule in 2020. It's easy to say we should continue our upward trajectory next season, except we will likely play 4 top 10 teams (with a very tough OOC trip to Norman, OK). We're going to be in a similar situation to Texas A&M this season in that it's tough to show improvement because we play so many elite teams. Maybe we can pull off 1 big upset, however, out of the 4. If we go 7-5 or 8-4 next season, I think that would still be a very positive result. 9-3 and Pruitt deserves COY.

Defense. In 2 seasons under Pruitt, we've gone from the #71 defense in the country (based on defensive efficiency ratings) to #36. We lose our best player next season with Daniel Bituli. Also some big losses with Darrell Taylor and Nigel Warrior. Nevertheless, I think we'll continue to see improvement on D. While we'll have to find some answers at LB, we bring back most of our secondary and virtually our entire D-line; we should also get back Gooden next season. So I think we should continue to see improvement on D.

Losses on offense. I'm more worried about the offense next year. Losing Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway will be difficult to compensate for. Jennings brings intangible quaities that very few WRs in CFB will be able to match. Also very likely that we lose Trey Smith, who has been an absolute beast out there on O-line this season. Even with the blood clot issues, I think he's easily a top 3 round draft pick. There are no sure things in the NFL draft, but Trey is about as close as it comes, so some team is going to be willing to deal with the blood clot risks knowing they are getting a potential top 5 O-lineman in the league.

Running game. The good news is that we probably won't lose any RBs. We'll likely get back Chandler and Jordan. Eric Gray should also be back with a nice breakthrough performance on his resume now. Carlin Fils-Aime redshirted this season, so he'll be back for a RS Senior year next year as well. We also add 3-star Tee Hodge, who looks more like a 4-star right now. So hopefully, we see improvement in the running game to compensate for some of the big losses in the receiving game.

QB play. It's been uneven this season. JG had great games against South Carolina, Mizzou, and Miss State. He had poor games against BYU, Florida, and Vandy. Maurer had a stellar performance against Georgia in the 1st half, but hasn't been able to replicate that since then. The good news is that all 3 of our QBs should improve next year with a 2nd season under Chaney. We should also add Kasim Hill (who's already on the team, but ineligible this year) and Harrison Bailey (our blue-chip recruit). So while WR play may not match this year, we'll hopefully see improvement at QB.

Improvement under Pruitt. See my other post on this. We've improved from 99th to 54th on offensive efficiency and 71st to 36th on defensive efficiency in 2 years under Pruitt. That's pretty amazing. Let's hope it continues!

Recruiting. The next month will be very crucial. We'll probably land a top 20 class regardless, but how we fare in the next few weeks recruiting may be the difference between a 20-ish an top 10-ish type class. Pruitt has not been recruiting quite on the same level as Butch was, but he's certainly been better at player development and talent evaluation. Pruitt seems to consistently hit on 3 stars that are underrated. That gives me some hope, but I do think we have to take the next step in recruiting to be able to compete with the Alabamas and Georgias of the world.


Self-Promotion

I will put in a plug for myself if that's alright. I feel like after 3 years of service with my material often being stolen without credit by some other websites, I deserve that ;)

I've been looking for a job as a Data Scientist for several months. If anyone is recruiting for Data Scientist / Quant Researcher type positions in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, or really anywhere in the Southeast / Texas / Florida, feel free to reach out to me. I'm a Python programmer with experience with SQL, R, and Scala. I also have a lot of expertise in finance and accounting.

It's been a frustrating search; I got rejected after 13 rounds of interviewing with a company in Miami a few months ago and rejected after 6 rounds of interviews with another company here in Atlanta. I was one of the best investment managers in the US for several years before I switched over to data science. I also managed my own startup for 2 years.

Don't think we have private messaging here on VN, so contact me at dg.volnation@gmail.com .

So yeah ... that's my plug! Sorry to do that, but really just want to find a good job soon. :)


Hectic week for me, so I have to keep it shorter than usual. I look forward to the bowl game!

GBO!
 
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#3

DiderotsGhost

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#3
If we played Bama, UGA or LSU in the bowl, what would the lines be? -10, -14, -28 IMO.
If you want to find out, just go to Sagarin. That'll give a reasonable estimate.

All you have to do is take the "Rating" for the 2 teams and see the difference; that'll tell you the estimated line for a neutral site game. For home game, add about +2 3 and for a road game, you subtract 2.3.

So we'd be about a 20 point underdog to Bama right now; however that might fall a few points due to Tua being out in reality.
 
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#5

GTBATV

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#5
Props on the report.

I think that has been my biggest frustration with JG is the inconsistency. Or as you framed it, his consistency to play bad in certain games. He played lights out last week, then on Saturday he played, meh...

My coach drilled it into our head to play every down the same. I hope next year, he becomes more even on his game play
 
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#8
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#8
Good job DG, although I do think everyone is forgetting it was pouring down rain Saturday which really hurts both passing and running game. Especially passing, when the camera was close you could see visibility was rather poor at times, coupled with a wet ball and I can really see why JG wasn’t at his true potential.

Good luck on the job search!
 
#9

Carp

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#9
I was saying before the game that, given Vandy's struggles with run defense and the forecasted weather conditions, we should pound the ball 30 times or more. I think JG's performance Saturday was a combination of good scheming by Vandy and the poor weather conditions. Once we realized they couldn't stop our running game, we basically took the ball out of JG's hands.
 
#11

njvols

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#11
Good read! My favorite part...
Destination unknown. Seems like there are a lot of possibilities for bowl games, but I'll go on the record as saying I'm excited no matter who we play. Some possibilities include Minnesota, Louisville, Michigan, and Indiana. Think some people are putting too much stock into the opposing teams laundry (Michigan isn't necessarily "better" than Minnesota), but I'm just happy to have another game to watch!
 
#12

GTBATV

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#12
Who would've thought we would be 7-5 after that BYU loss? Or the Florida loss? We didn't even really show signs of life till that Georgia game, but here we are ... probably the most improved team in America over the second half of the season. While the schedule was certainly easier, Mizzou, Kentucky, and South Carolina are also much tougher outs than Georgia State and BYU. We were definitely a much improved team by November.

Here are my thoughts on the game, the season, and next year. I'll keep this version shorter than most.


Vandy

JG. Not a great performance by JG. It does seem like he has a tendency to struggle against the same teams. He struggled against Florida 2 years in a row. He also struggled against Vandy 2 years in a row. That said, JG found a rhythm in the 2nd half. I think he started 0 for 7 and then went 6 for 10 for 120 yards. Maybe we should still be starting Maurer and bringing JG off the bench; he does seem to have a weird tendency to struggle at the start of games. I do wonder if he picks up some things on the bench that he doesn't immediately see on the field. In any case, we won the game and JG played well in the 2nd half after a difficult start.

O-line. Give credit to the O-line for some great run blocking. That was the biggest reason for our near 300 yard rushing performance. Still, it wasn't perfect. While we finally got a huge push in the run game, we struggled with pass protection at times, and got too many penalties. I'll give the OL a solid "B".

Gray. 25 carries for 246 yards. That's the 5th best performance in UT history. If Gray had gotten 5 more yards, it would've been the 2nd best performance in UT history. Great game by Gray, even if a lot of credit goes to the O-line for giving him some huge holes to run through.

Defense. Once again we did an excellent job shutting down a good rushing attack. We've gone from one of the worst rush defenses in the country in 2017 to one of the best at the end of 2019. Pruitt, Rocker, and these defensive coaches deserve a lot of credit for turning this around. It's crazy to think that D-line was considered one of our weakest position groups at the start of the season; Rocker has done an A+ job coaching them.

Jennings. JJ was visibly frustrated much of the game, but glad he got one big catch, finishing with 2 receptions for 56 yards. Just short of scoring the touchdown on the 50 yard catch, but a huge play to seal the game.


Bowl Game and Next Season

Destination unknown. Seems like there are a lot of possibilities for bowl games, but I'll go on the record as saying I'm excited no matter who we play. Some possibilities include Minnesota, Louisville, Michigan, and Indiana. Think some people are putting too much stock into the opposing teams laundry (Michigan isn't necessarily "better" than Minnesota), but I'm just happy to have another game to watch!

Tougher schedule in 2020. It's easy to say we should continue our upward trajectory next season, except we will likely play 4 top 10 teams (with a very tough OOC trip to Norman, OK). We're going to be in a similar situation to Texas A&M this season in that it's tough to show improvement because we play so many elite teams. Maybe we can pull off 1 big upset, however, out of the 4. If we go 7-5 or 8-4 next season, I think that would still be a very positive result. 9-3 and Pruitt deserves COY.

Defense. In 2 seasons under Pruitt, we've gone from the #71 defense in the country (based on defensive efficiency ratings) to #36. We lose our best player next season with Daniel Bituli. Also some big losses with Darrell Taylor and Nigel Warrior. Nevertheless, I think we'll continue to see improvement on D. While we'll have to find some answers at LB, we bring back most of our secondary and virtually our entire D-line; we should also get back Gooden next season. So I think we should continue to see improvement on D.

Losses on offense. I'm more worried about the offense next year. Losing Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway will be difficult to compensate for. Jennings brings intangible quaities that very few WRs in CFB will be able to match. Also very likely that we lose Trey Smith, who has been an absolute beast out there on O-line this season. Even with the blood clot issues, I think he's easily a top 3 round draft pick. There are no sure things in the NFL draft, but Trey is about as close as it comes, so some team is going to be willing to deal with the blood clot risks knowing they are getting a potential top 5 O-lineman in the league.

Running game. The good news is that we probably won't lose any RBs. We'll likely get back Chandler and Jordan. Eric Gray should also be back with a nice breakthrough performance on his resume now. Carlin Fils-Aime redshirted this season, so he'll be back for a RS Senior year next year as well. We also add 3-star Tee Hodge, who looks more like a 4-star right now. So hopefully, we see improvement in the running game to compensate for some of the big losses in the receiving game.

QB play. It's been uneven this season. JG had great games against South Carolina, Mizzou, and Miss State. He had poor games against BYU, Florida, and Vandy. Maurer had a stellar performance against Georgia in the 1st half, but hasn't been able to replicate that since then. The good news is that all 3 of our QBs should improve next year with a 2nd season under Chaney. We should also add Kasim Hill (who's already on the team, but ineligible this year) and Harrison Bailey (our blue-chip recruit). So while WR play may not match this year, we'll hopefully see improvement at QB.

Improvement under Pruitt. See my other post on this. We've improved from 99th to 54th on offensive efficiency and 71st to 36th on defensive efficiency in 2 years under Pruitt. That's pretty amazing. Let's hope it continues!

Recruiting. The next month will be very crucial. We'll probably land a top 20 class regardless, but how we fare in the next few weeks recruiting may be the difference between a 20-ish an top 10-ish type class. Pruitt has not been recruiting quite on the same level as Butch was, but he's certainly been better at player development and talent evaluation. Pruitt seems to consistently hit on 3 stars that are underrated. That gives me some hope, but I do think we have to take the next step in recruiting to be able to compete with the Alabamas and Georgias of the world.


Self-Promotion

I will put in a plug for myself if that's alright. I feel like after 3 years of service with my material often being stolen without credit by some other websites, I deserve that ;)

I've been looking for a job as a Data Scientist for several months. If anyone is recruiting for Data Scientist / Quant Researcher type positions in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, or really anywhere in the Southeast / Texas / Florida, feel free to reach out to me. I'm a Python programmer with experience with SQL, R, and Scala. I also have a lot of expertise in finance and accounting.

It's been a frustrating search; I got rejected after 13 rounds of interviewing with a company in Miami a few months ago and rejected after 6 rounds of interviews with another company here in Atlanta. I was one of the best investment managers in the US for several years before I switched over to data science. I also managed my own startup for 2 years.

So yeah ... that's my plug! Sorry to do that, but really just want to find a good job soon. :)


Hectic week for me, so I have to keep it shorter than usual. I look forward to the bowl game!

GBO!

And I work in Alpharetta, will see if I can help you network. I am on the manufacturing side, but know a few in IT.
 
#16

MadWorld

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#16
I've been looking for a job as a Data Scientist for several months. If anyone is recruiting for Data Scientist / Quant Researcher type positions in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville,
I tried to DM you, but don't have permissions to. I work for a very large healthcare company in Nashville and we have a large IT dept that does Data Science. I'm going to put the link that I looked up, but you can search for this on the net. Maybe a sniff of something here? who knows.

HCA Heathcare
 
#17

savannahfan

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#17
Appreciate your insights. Appears that JG had other issues on his mind and heart saturday. May explain his lackluster play. Otherwise every thing else was spot on. Hope all goes well in the job search.
What issues? Guess I have missed something.
A later post explained. It would have messed with me also.
A grandmother is just that "GRAND". Especially if you have one (or two) close when you are growing up. In my case I had one inhouse and the other just minutes (like 2-3) away. They were a guiding light as time has shown. I like most youngsters just didn't see it at the time even though they had an impact even then.
JG remember the good time..... I am sorry for your loss.
 
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#21

GTBATV

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#21
I tried to DM you, but don't have permissions to. I work for a very large healthcare company in Nashville and we have a large IT dept that does Data Science. I'm going to put the link that I looked up, but you can search for this on the net. Maybe a sniff of something here? who knows.

HCA Heathcare
How do you DM someone on here? Didn't even know that was an option.
 
#23

Shades

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#23
Thanks DG, always appreciate your informative posts. I'm in VA on the east coast, might be a little to far for you, but will keep an ear open for you.

Out of curiosity, what are the other websites that are bootlegging your material?
 
#24
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#24
Who would've thought we would be 7-5 after that BYU loss? Or the Florida loss? We didn't even really show signs of life till that Georgia game, but here we are ... probably the most improved team in America over the second half of the season. While the schedule was certainly easier, Mizzou, Kentucky, and South Carolina are also much tougher outs than Georgia State and BYU. We were definitely a much improved team by November.

Here are my thoughts on the game, the season, and next year. I'll keep this version shorter than most.


Vandy

JG. Not a great performance by JG. It does seem like he has a tendency to struggle against the same teams. He struggled against Florida 2 years in a row. He also struggled against Vandy 2 years in a row. That said, JG found a rhythm in the 2nd half. I think he started 0 for 7 and then went 6 for 10 for 120 yards. Maybe we should still be starting Maurer and bringing JG off the bench; he does seem to have a weird tendency to struggle at the start of games. I do wonder if he picks up some things on the bench that he doesn't immediately see on the field. In any case, we won the game and JG played well in the 2nd half after a difficult start.

O-line. Give credit to the O-line for some great run blocking. That was the biggest reason for our near 300 yard rushing performance. Still, it wasn't perfect. While we finally got a huge push in the run game, we struggled with pass protection at times, and got too many penalties. I'll give the OL a solid "B".

Gray. 25 carries for 246 yards. That's the 5th best performance in UT history. If Gray had gotten 5 more yards, it would've been the 2nd best performance in UT history. Great game by Gray, even if a lot of credit goes to the O-line for giving him some huge holes to run through.

Defense. Once again we did an excellent job shutting down a good rushing attack. We've gone from one of the worst rush defenses in the country in 2017 to one of the best at the end of 2019. Pruitt, Rocker, and these defensive coaches deserve a lot of credit for turning this around. It's crazy to think that D-line was considered one of our weakest position groups at the start of the season; Rocker has done an A+ job coaching them.

Jennings. JJ was visibly frustrated much of the game, but glad he got one big catch, finishing with 2 receptions for 56 yards. Just short of scoring the touchdown on the 50 yard catch, but a huge play to seal the game.


Bowl Game and Next Season

Destination unknown. Seems like there are a lot of possibilities for bowl games, but I'll go on the record as saying I'm excited no matter who we play. Some possibilities include Minnesota, Louisville, Michigan, and Indiana. Think some people are putting too much stock into the opposing teams laundry (Michigan isn't necessarily "better" than Minnesota), but I'm just happy to have another game to watch!

Tougher schedule in 2020. It's easy to say we should continue our upward trajectory next season, except we will likely play 4 top 10 teams (with a very tough OOC trip to Norman, OK). We're going to be in a similar situation to Texas A&M this season in that it's tough to show improvement because we play so many elite teams. Maybe we can pull off 1 big upset, however, out of the 4. If we go 7-5 or 8-4 next season, I think that would still be a very positive result. 9-3 and Pruitt deserves COY.

Defense. In 2 seasons under Pruitt, we've gone from the #71 defense in the country (based on defensive efficiency ratings) to #36. We lose our best player next season with Daniel Bituli. Also some big losses with Darrell Taylor and Nigel Warrior. Nevertheless, I think we'll continue to see improvement on D. While we'll have to find some answers at LB, we bring back most of our secondary and virtually our entire D-line; we should also get back Gooden next season. So I think we should continue to see improvement on D.

Losses on offense. I'm more worried about the offense next year. Losing Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway will be difficult to compensate for. Jennings brings intangible quaities that very few WRs in CFB will be able to match. Also very likely that we lose Trey Smith, who has been an absolute beast out there on O-line this season. Even with the blood clot issues, I think he's easily a top 3 round draft pick. There are no sure things in the NFL draft, but Trey is about as close as it comes, so some team is going to be willing to deal with the blood clot risks knowing they are getting a potential top 5 O-lineman in the league.

Running game. The good news is that we probably won't lose any RBs. We'll likely get back Chandler and Jordan. Eric Gray should also be back with a nice breakthrough performance on his resume now. Carlin Fils-Aime redshirted this season, so he'll be back for a RS Senior year next year as well. We also add 3-star Tee Hodge, who looks more like a 4-star right now. So hopefully, we see improvement in the running game to compensate for some of the big losses in the receiving game.

QB play. It's been uneven this season. JG had great games against South Carolina, Mizzou, and Miss State. He had poor games against BYU, Florida, and Vandy. Maurer had a stellar performance against Georgia in the 1st half, but hasn't been able to replicate that since then. The good news is that all 3 of our QBs should improve next year with a 2nd season under Chaney. We should also add Kasim Hill (who's already on the team, but ineligible this year) and Harrison Bailey (our blue-chip recruit). So while WR play may not match this year, we'll hopefully see improvement at QB.

Improvement under Pruitt. See my other post on this. We've improved from 99th to 54th on offensive efficiency and 71st to 36th on defensive efficiency in 2 years under Pruitt. That's pretty amazing. Let's hope it continues!

Recruiting. The next month will be very crucial. We'll probably land a top 20 class regardless, but how we fare in the next few weeks recruiting may be the difference between a 20-ish an top 10-ish type class. Pruitt has not been recruiting quite on the same level as Butch was, but he's certainly been better at player development and talent evaluation. Pruitt seems to consistently hit on 3 stars that are underrated. That gives me some hope, but I do think we have to take the next step in recruiting to be able to compete with the Alabamas and Georgias of the world.


Self-Promotion

I will put in a plug for myself if that's alright. I feel like after 3 years of service with my material often being stolen without credit by some other websites, I deserve that ;)

I've been looking for a job as a Data Scientist for several months. If anyone is recruiting for Data Scientist / Quant Researcher type positions in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, or really anywhere in the Southeast / Texas / Florida, feel free to reach out to me. I'm a Python programmer with experience with SQL, R, and Scala. I also have a lot of expertise in finance and accounting.

It's been a frustrating search; I got rejected after 13 rounds of interviewing with a company in Miami a few months ago and rejected after 6 rounds of interviews with another company here in Atlanta. I was one of the best investment managers in the US for several years before I switched over to data science. I also managed my own startup for 2 years.

Don't think we have private messaging here on VN, so contact me at dg.volnation@gmail.com .

So yeah ... that's my plug! Sorry to do that, but really just want to find a good job soon. :)


Hectic week for me, so I have to keep it shorter than usual. I look forward to the bowl game!

GBO!
I sent you an email.
 
#25

robow

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#25
Good job DG, although I do think everyone is forgetting it was pouring down rain Saturday which really hurts both passing and running game. Especially passing, when the camera was close you could see visibility was rather poor at times, coupled with a wet ball and I can really see why JG wasn’t at his true potential.

Good luck on the job search!
Another factor on the QB play (I didn't realize until today) JG's Grandmother passed away also. I feel sure that contributed to some of the lackluster performance.
 

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