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Previewing South Carolina at Tennessee: Topics for Discussion on the Vols' Defense

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  • You'll be hearing a lot about Monte Kiffin and his famed Tampa Two scheme this week. Learn more about it here. The Tampa Two is in general a zone-based scheme with an aggressive edge. That may sound good for us, as we've had success against zones this year. However, I think we'll find that UT's defense doesn't play us as softly as, say, UGA did. Having guys like Eric Berry allows you to do things with this scheme that other teams just can't do.
  • In case you needed proof of the preceding, the Vols haven't given up more than 23 points this year. (Strangely enough, that came against Ohio.) The low points against average is all the more staggering considering that Tennessee has been turnover prone at times, meaning the defense has often had its back to the wall.
  • You will be relieved, though, to hear that Tennessee ranks 90th in the country in sacks. This is somewhat to be expected, as Monte Kiffin doesn't blitz a whole lot, preferring to beat passing attacks with good coverage rather than pressure. It'll be interesting to see how that works against us, as Stephen Garcia has shown a penchant for picking apart defenses when given time. As stated above, though, having Berry ranging the field changes the game in many ways.
  • All of that said, the key to beating Tennessee's defense is to be patient, and that's exactly what we've seen our offense do well against zones this year. The big plays are hard to come by against the Vols, but the five-yard gains might be there if we play smart. We'll see how well we can find them.