Improvement Needed on 3rd-and-1

Third-and-one. Time to put that Farmhouse steak dinner to use and win the line of scrimmage.

Short distance third downs are one of the more exciting and important plays for an offense. The first goal of creating such opportunities has been achieved, but it's a lost cause if the chains aren't moved.

Because it's such a critical down, I went back and took at look at last year's performance on 3rd-and-1.

The Breakdown
Attempts: 24
First downs: 17
70.8% success rate.

This is actually about the same conversion rate Tennessee's offense had in such situations last year. I checked Stanford's numbers and I tallied 25-of-30 (83%).

As Vols head coach Derek Dooley said, "We really need to be 100%."

And he's right. You've got at least five guys who know the snap count and should have the advantage over their opponents.

So what did Tech do with the football on 3rd-and-1 last year? All 24 attempts were rushes, and here's how it was distributed:

Darren Evans: 6-8 (75%)
David Wilson: 3-7 (43%)
Tyrod Taylor: 5-5 (100%)
Ryan Williams: 2-3 (66%)
Logan Thomas: 1-1 (100%)

So Tech is obviously without three of those players, who combined to go 13-16 (81%).

David is the low scorer here. So obviously that's one area he can improve his game this fall. And by the looks of him in camp, I expect nothing less than 100% and at least three opposing deaths by staring straight into his biceps and/or abs.

Josh Oglesby is a tad bigger than Wilson and I think he has no qualms about running in between the tackles, so I'm expecting him to be a viable option this year.

If all else fails, I suppose we could just punt it on third down to take some wind out of the defense's sails.

24 days.


From Your Stats

It looks like if we give it to the QB, it'll be 1st and 10 everytime. Good read!


i think I remember that particular 3rd and 1. LT got the ball and immediately leapt the line. I think he pretty much jumped 4 yards or something haha

That needs to happen a lot this year.

I'd like to see some option and QB sneaks from under center on short yardage downs. You'd have to believe with LT3's size he'd be able to muscle through any crack in the line and be able to stretch out for the necessary yardage.

i'd like to see plays in any yardage situations where LT3 has the option to pitch it to david. because as soon as he tosses it out to him, he can act like a tight end (as i recall he was a pretty good one in high school) and throw a mad block. and we all know that on any given play david is just one block away from the end zone.

also: found the clip. it was in the wake forest game. if you check it out on espn 3, it happens around 3:03:30. i'll rip it in the morning. i'm too tired right now


I just went to ESPN3 to check out that play and that was impressive. If he can get 3-4 yards every time that should just be our first down play. I think we'd take 2nd and 6 every time.

lol #newhoos