Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tennessee's turnover trend

We like to give John Jancek and Willie Martinez a lot of grief (much of which was earned), but we also need to give some credit where it is due. The Volunteers' defense has been getting to the football and putting it on the ground or taking it out of the air.

via cfbstats
Creating 15 turnovers through five four games is no joke, and can't solely be put at the feet of lesser competition. And what we're not able to see there is that in addition to 11 interceptions on the season, they've caused 11 fumbles, something Wes Rucker points out here ($) with a post on Dawgs247. 

That's impressive. Tennessee was -6 in turnover margin last season, and through just a month's worth of games has nearly matched last season's takeaway total of 17. Even though that margin of +3 will go down further into SEC play unless the offense can improve dramatically, the message is clear: Georgia better protect the football (something it's done for the most part by the way, despite a -1 on the season). Because Jancek has turned around a downward trend for Butch Jones' first defense in Knoxville rather quickly.