The Tennessee Vols hired Josh Heupel to replace Jeremy Pruitt as the program’s head coach this past offseason with the hope that UT’s offense would take a massive step forward in 2021 and beyond.
So far, the offense has looked much better under Heupel’s guidance. Tennessee is averaging 36 points per game over the first two games of the season.
The Vols averaged 21.5 points per game under Pruitt last year, so the offense is definitely moving in the right direction.
It’s not just the offense, though, that’s trending up.
Tennessee’s defense has also been solid under new defensive coordinator Tim Banks.
A year ago, the Vols had 55 tackles for loss under Pruitt (in 10 games).
In two games this season, Tennessee already has 21 tackles for loss. That puts the program on pace for over 200 tackles for loss over a 10 game stretch, which would nearly quadruple the total from the 2020 season.
While it’s unlikely that UT will keep up this torrid pace (especially with SEC play beginning soon), it’s still an impressive start to the season for the Vols’ defense.
Tennessee’s 21 tackles for loss is the most for the program over the first two games of the season since 2008, according to UT’s athletic department.
The Vols are currently No. 5 in the nation in tackles for loss and No. 3 in the SEC (behind LSU with 25 and Auburn with 22).
Improved defensive play with an offensive-minded coach isn’t something that was expected, but I’m sure Vol fans don’t mind one bit.
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