Vols finding success in 3-3-5 look on defense

Depth, speed on edge give defense options

Tennessee defensive lineman Jacques Smith (55) tries to get a handle on South Alabama quarterback Ross Metheny (2) during the second half at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee defensive lineman Jacques Smith (55) tries to get a handle on South Alabama quarterback Ross Metheny (2) during the second half at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

On third-and-long, Tennessee is subbing size for speed. Most of the time, it’s working.

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Comments » 5

wilk58 writes:

I would have to call it limited success, Only remember S alabama punting twice.

SummerfieldVol writes:

The best pass defense is the QB on his back, I have not seen that this year so far. When teams have all day to throw that means we are not getting a very good defensive line push are rush. Again the best is QB on his back.

johnlg00 writes:

So much for the promised 4-3 look. I guess the loss of Couch and Saulsberry left the Vols too thin on the line to stay with it. Still, it does seem that the 3-3-5 helps them get their best players on the field, and only having three line positions to fill helps somewhat with the lack of depth.

I agree that the pass rush needs to improve. Maybe more of a zone blitz in obvious pass situations would help. The Vols just don't have enough quality players to play "vanilla" on defense or to play long spells at a time before they wear out. Maybe it would be better to try for a "big-play" defense to produce more turnovers, even it leaves them vulnerable to big plays the other way. Heck, they already ARE vulnerable to big plays, so they might as well try to create a few in THEIR favor. A defensive score or two can also help compensate for an offense that often sputters. However, when you get right down to it, there just AREN'T a lot of clearly better options right now.

BTKidd writes:

I don't consider a 40% failure rate on third down to be a success. I wouldn't use the 3-3-5 this week. Murray will carve it up. To beat Georgia you have to send pressure up the middle because of his diminutive size.

alphadog writes:

I agree that this is being employed more due to limited depth at D-Line. We definitely have had issues with the pass rush, but we look better on it this year than last. Vereen looks really good. He will grow into a beast especially as we get more help. Sapp looks great this year.

It could be a tough day. UT will be competitive for at least the 1st half. Unless our offense does more, then we may not get past that. This is a traditional rivalry for UT, so who knows what may happen.

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