This past offseason, players were told to keep a wrinkle in the Vols offense on the down low until its debut it during week one.
As reporters asked quarterback Tyler Bray if the offense was the same over the summer, he would answer by saying "Yes", knowing in the back of his mind that he was telling the truth, it's just that they're doing things a little faster now. Now, going into their match up on Saturday with Georgia State, the fact that they're no huddle is no longer a big secret.
The added wrinkle allowed them to get in 79 plays (2.51 per minute), which is the first time they had run over 70 plays in a single game since 2007. The top 25 from 2011 consisted of only three teams (Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, and Southern California) who didn't average 70 plays per game.
In it's debut for the Vols, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney enjoyed the advantages it provided.
"The argument is that you can simplify the defense's calls. You can't do a multiplicity of calls. I would counter that if I'm on their side I can't do a bunch of shifting and motioning."
"The game of football still gets down to when it says, 'Set, hut!' can we block them, can they tackle us, can we throw and can we catch? What happens when you're going fast-paced is it distorts some of those values of the game a little bit. You see that once in a while: They get a little fatigued, and they miss a tackle where they routinely might make that play."
For his quarterback, Chaney noted that the no huddle allowed him to just focus on playing ball and playing pitch and catch with the open guy.
"He don't have to get in a huddle and verbalize a lot, which he'd rather not do. I think sometimes he just has to look for a signal and throw it to the open guy. Simplifies the game for 11 people.
"What's in vogue in college football now is staying in it throughout the game, and what's becoming a little more in vogue is moving personnel groupings while you're doing it. We've had it that way. It's been going on for a long time. We think it helps us, so we're going to continue to try do it better."
Derek Dooley noted that while they may hit some growing pains with it throughout the season, it is something that they have committed to as an entire coaching staff.
"We're all together on it as coaches, and there's going to be times probably where it's not helping the defense. But we think over time the points you can generate is what matters." Dooley explained.