Coach For A Day:Tennessee As They Host Vanderbilt

Greg Arias

When the final horn sounds Saturday in Knoxville, win, lose or draw the Vanderbilt Commodores return to Nashville, pack up their equipment and begin preparing for the 2020 season. 

On the opposite sideline the Tennessee Volunteers will begin their wait to find out their destination for their bowl game.

The Vols are riding a four game win streak and would like nothing more than to make it five, oh and of course number five would put an end to a three game losing streak to the Commodores that has dogged their fan base for the last 1095 days. It's an unusual feeling for Vol fans to have to listen to the team from across the state bragging that long.

For the Vols, what will it take for them to snap said streak?

Here's this weeks look at what we would do as coach of the Vols for a day. 


Run, run and run some more. That's been the achillies heal of the Commodores defense for the majority of this campaign. 

Twice this season-Ole Miss and Kentucky- topped 400 yards on the ground as they rolled past Vanderbilt without much need of a passing game. 

The Volunteers have a passing game, better than either the Rebels or Wildcats, but they shouldn't really be a big need to throw the football alot in this one.

 A wise old coach told me years ago, there are three things that happen when you throw the football and two of them are bad. So why take chances when you have backs like Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan.

Keep it simple, keep it on the ground and use the pass if things get tough. 


Vanderbily has been a run dominated team with Ke'SHawn Vaughn, so forcing them to pass, something they've shown is tough for them to do with regularlity is what I would force them to do. 

RIley Neal has struggled with consistency,  though he has flashed at times, but could he flash enought this time to win against a defense that has a solid front seven and a good secondary.

That same front seven should be able toproduce enough pressure to affect him when the Commodores have to throw the football, which, if their running game is stopped would be regularly. 

Getting the Commodores behind the chains is a death sentence, so keeping them there and forcing them into passing situations is a win for UT.

The formula is kinda simplistic here, but when a team has struggled as much as Vanderbilt has this season in passing the football, it makes coaching a tad bit easier, especially for a media guy who is coaching the Vols for just one day.