The Tennessee Vols’ search for a new offensive coordinator appears to be focused on former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze.
Most fans/analysts view the potential hiring of Freeze as a grand slam for the Volunteers, but there are some folks who don’t view him as a good fit at Tennessee.
Putting all the other stuff aside, can someone explain to me the fit with Hugh Freeze and Tennessee? He could be a good OC for someone, but is Pruitt really going to commit to playing that way? Seems totally opposite of his philosophy.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 30, 2018
Freeze’s offense is an up-tempo attack that is pass heavy.
Pruitt, however, has said he wants to be a team that can run the ball and dominate the line of scrimmage. Freeze, during his time at Ole Miss, never had a 1,000 yard rusher (though that’s not that crazy, there had only been 139 1,000 yard rushers in the SEC entering the 2018 season).
For that reason, some folks feel Freeze wouldn’t necessarily gel with Pruitt’s philosophies. After all, the head coach is the one who determines the team’s offensive and defensive identities.
But I don’t think that’s something Pruitt or Tennessee should worry about. If they think Freeze is the guy, they need to give him autonomy in the offense and let him do his thing.
Freeze obviously knows what he’s doing. He’s one of the few coaches in the country that’s been relatively successful against Nick Saban (he’s 2-3 against the Crimson Tide as a head coach and his team scored 43 in a loss to Bama in 2016).
When a guy has the blueprint for beating Alabama, you let that guy do his thing.
And if the Vols hire Freeze, then Pruitt (and Phillip Fulmer) need to get out of his way and let him go to work.
By the way, it’s not like Ole Miss never ran the ball under Freeze.
The Rebels rushed for at least 2,200 yards in three of Freeze’s six seasons in Oxford.
Obviously you’d like to see that total a little higher, but Freeze put his team in a good position to win.
Freeze is very much a “flow of the game” and “tempo” type coach. He has an idea of what he wants to do during a game, but he’s willing to adapt on the fly.
That ability to adapt is what could make him a better fit at Tennessee than some folks realize.
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