The Tennessee Vols weren’t perfect on Saturday evening, but they still managed to beat the Vanderbilt Commodores convincingly.
Over the last several weeks, the Vols’ offensive success has mostly come through the air.
In rainy conditions against Vanderbilt, however, the Volunteers relied on the ground game to beat the Commodores 28-10.
Eric Gray led the charge with a true freshman rushing record of 246 yards, including a 94 yard score.
Hat trick for the Freshman! 👌 pic.twitter.com/1SZjZATlmE
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 1, 2019
While the Vols didn’t necessarily look their best against Vandy, the win should be incredibly encouraging for fans.
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney recognized early in the game that the passing game wasn’t the way Tennessee was going to win the game. Chaney pivoted to the rushing game and it paid off in a big way. The Vols racked up 297 rushing yards and possessed the ball for 31 minutes.
Tennessee’s willingness to adapt has been impressive this season. Without that approach, there’s no way the Vols finish the season with a 7-5 record. In fact, they probably don’t win five games.
Stubbornness can be a big problem for college coaches. Always thinking you’re the smartest man on the field can be detrimental to a program’s success.
UT’s staff, however, leans on each other. They’re open to scrapping their game plan when it isn’t working. And I think we saw a perfect example of that in the Vols’ win against Vanderbilt.
Players make plays, but Pruitt and his staff deserve a lot of credit for putting Tennessee’s players in great positions in the second half of the season.
The Vols are going to have a lot of momentum going in 2020.
Especially if they win their bowl game and finish the season with eight wins.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today