The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

September 25, 2013

Vols' defense struggling in third-down situations

(Continued)

The third-down problems caused enough concern that Walls went into the film room to see what he could have done differently in those situations.

"The first thing you've got to do as a defensive guy is look at yourself and see what you did on that play," Walls said. "What could I have done a little bit better? The defensive line, we were very close to impacting the quarterback on those plays. Just a swipe at the ball or the grab of a jersey could impact that throw."

Walls did get to the quarterback in one notable instance. On a third-and-3 play, Walls hit Florida's Jeff Driskel and forced him into throwing an interception that Devaun Swafford returned 62 yards for the game's first touchdown. Driskel broke his lower right leg in the process, knocking him out for the rest of the season.

But more often than not, the Vols haven't arrived in time to make the play.

Part of the problem is that Tennessee has faced mobile quarterbacks the last two weeks in Florida's Tyler Murphy and Oregon's Marcus Mariota. Murphy replaced Driskel last week and ran for the first down in a third-down situation five times, including a 7-yard touchdown on a third-and-6 play.

Although South Alabama has converted only 38 percent of its third-down opportunities, the Jaguars use two quarterbacks who can run. Ross Metheny has 22 carries for 99 yards and three touchdowns, while Brandon Bridge has rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown on 15 attempts.

"We have to do a great job," Jones said. "We have to be ready for anything and everything come Saturday."

Particularly on third down.

Text Only
Sports
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee