With Tennessee at #62 we officially reach the halfway point in the 2012 statistical reviews. Also, Tennessee makes the third SEC team; Bob would be proud to hear we've only listed one Big 12 team so far.
Tennessee really was fire-your-coach bad in 2012. They won five games, and they reached that number by beating Georgia State, Akron, Troy (with little room to spare), Kentucky and North Carolina State. When your marquee win came against a 7-6 team, you have only one other win against a top 100 team, and you can fit a moderate size city in your stadium, it's time to consider other coaching options.
Tennessee had talent on offense. We know about the receivers. Bray could have been better, especially with the receiver talent, but he did have an EPA per play better than EJ Manuel among others. And Tennessee had the second lowest sack rate in the country, which might help explain why they were such a tough out for Clowney and the Gamecocks. They were fairly explosive, e.g., 13.3 yards per completion, but this should have been a top five explosive offense instead of top 25. Added explosiveness would have lifted the 2.5 points per possession closer to 3 and made Tennessee a nationally formidable offense. (You know how they could resolve this problem? Go get Cincinnati's coach. Oh, right, they did that, just a season too late.)
The offense wasn't as explosive as it needed to be, but the defense allowed too many explosive plays. Shoddy pass defense in general really held the Volunteers back.
The Statistical Review breaks down teams along a number of performance categories, everything from red zone scoring to field goal percentage, and compares that performance against the rest of the FBS. All 124 teams will be reviewed from 124 to 1 by the hybrid rankings. You can find short descriptions of the stats used in the table below.xxxx
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