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.
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.