The Tennessee Vols are scoring a lot of points under new head coach Josh Heupel.
UT currently has the No. 10 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 40.8 points per game.
There’s a perception that a Heupel-led offense scores points by mostly throwing the ball.
That’s not the case.
While Heupel loves to stretch the field vertically with the passing game, his offense relies heavily on the run.
And that’s what makes it so hard for opposing defenses to defend against.
South Carolina first-year head coach Shane Beamer told reporters this week, ahead of his team’s matchup with the Vols this weekend, that prepping for Tennessee’s tempo while also preparing for UT’s physical run game is a unique challenge.
“Tennessee’s a challenge because I think sometimes there’s a misnomer about all these teams that go fast — they want to go fast and throw the football,” said Beamer on the SEC Coaches teleconference this week. “Tennessee wants to run the football. If I’m not mistaken, there’s no team in the SEC that has ran the ball more than Tennessee has this year, so you’ve got to be able to handle the tempo, but then still handle the tempo, get lined up and play physical, because they want to line up fast and then run the ball down your throat.”
Beamer is correct — the Vols have 240 rushing attempts so far this season, which is the most in the SEC.
Heupel is going to change his offensive attack weekly based on the opponent.
If Heupel feels like he can win the game by running the ball, we’ll see the Vols take an offensive approach like they did in wins against Bowling Green and Missouri.
Other weeks, we’ll see the passing game more involved.
That’s the great thing about Heupel — he quickly adapts. He creates a unique game plan for each opponent and makes adjustments on the fly.
Tennessee doesn’t have an expansive playbook under Heupel, but this offense is far from one-dimensional. The Vols can attack defenses in multiple ways — dependent on the looks they’re getting from the defense.
In less than a year, the Vols’ offense has gone from an easy week of prep for an opposing defensive coordinator to a nightmarish week of preparation.
Featured image via Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services