Tennessee Stat Book
For those of you that think first-year Tennessee offensive coordinator Dave Clawson is in over his head, think again.
Despite the fact that the Vols (2-3, 0-2 SEC) are ranked 97th in the nation in total offense and 106th in the nation in scoring offense, Clawson maintains that X’s and O’s are not his main challenge.
“I have not found the game-planning or preparation or play-calling to be any more difficult,” said Clawson, who was the head coach at Richmond (2004-07) and Fordham (1999-2003) and an assistant at Villanova (1996-98), Lehigh (1993-95), Buffalo (1991-92) and Albany (1989-90). “If anything, I’ve found overall the defenses do less.”
“I find this to be less of a schematic challenge and more of a match up challenge.”
That means losing one-on-one battles is the primary reason that the Vols have dropped their first two SEC games. The Vols play at No. 10 Georgia (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday.
“Probably the three SEC defenses I’ve coached against so far — Florida, Auburn and now Georgia — are probably schematically as basic and simple as I’ve seen in eight years, but it’s the most talented,” Clawson said.
Clawson isn’t criticizing UT’s opponents and their defensive philosophies. He’s just describing the differences he’s seen previously in his career.
“They are extremely well coached,” Clawson said of SEC defenses. “They do what they do; they’re good at it. You know where they’re going to be, you know where the match-ups are, and you need to win ’em.”
That hasn’t been the case so far this season.
The Vols lost to Florida 30-6 thanks in part to offensive mistakes and turnovers. UT dropped its second SEC game to Auburn 14-12 despite plenty of second half chances near midfield to take the lead.
“I think the challenge has been finding ways of creating mismatches and consistently winning them,” Clawson said. “In that regard we’re still working hard and trying to find the best way to exploit those