KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s offense ranks No. 100 nationally in yards per play (5.11), and now second-year coordinator Mike DeBord must devise a gameplan to exploit the country’s saltiest defense.
The Gators rank among the national leaders in a bevy of categories, including scoring defense, total defense, 3rd down defense and sacks.
The Volunteers have flashed at times offensively in 2016, but consistency has plagued the unit.
Earlier this week, DeBord acknowledged the challenge of scheming against Florida. He also discussed opening up the playbook, the pressure on quarterback Josh Dobbs and more.
What makes Florida’s defense so difficult to exploit?
DeBord: “That’s a great defense because of the personnel. They have a great defensive line. Great linebackers, great secondary. That’s why they’re ranked so high right now. That’s why they play at that level. They have great players. … I don’t want to take anything away from last year’s defense, but I believe this year’s defense is a lot better. I believe not only do they have great players but they are playing more physical. It’s why I think that they’re better.”
Will the playbook open up this week?
“We’ll add little wrinkles this week. The playbook continues to go. We’ve continued to talk as coaches. We’ve got to execute better. It doesn’t matter what you call up or what you have in the gameplan, it’s what you can execute. That’s the thing that we’ve got to continue to work at.
Does this game ultimately fall on Josh Dobbs’ shoulders?
“I don’t think all the pressure is on Josh Dobbs. I think pressure is on all of everybody. All 11 guys. Because we’ve had plays in these first three games that could’ve been made by tight ends, receivers, backs, quarterbacks. Whatever. For whatever reason we’re only 10-for-11 on the play. We’re not 11-for-11, so that’s where we’ve lacked in the execution part of it. I don’t believe the game just falls on Josh Dobbs’ hands. It falls on everybody that’s playing offense.
Are you cognizant to get Dobbs more touches running the ball?
“I’m not going to talk gameplan stuff. That’s a great question. I understand the question, but we’ve set our gameplan up and we’ll go attack them that way with what we have. But I don’t want to get into what we’ll be doing and things like that. To protect the program and the players.”