Before the Missouri Tennessee game this weekend, Truman’s Tales interviewed Zach Ragan. Mr. Ragan is the editor of Allfortennessee.com, and was kind enough to spend some time with us and answer these questions. Go check out his website for more coverage of this week’s SEC matchup. The questions from Truman’s Tales are in bold, and the responses from Mr. Ragan are below.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of this Tennessee team?
The most obvious strength is Tennessee’s offensive line. They’ve played well all season and protected the quarterback pretty well. The most glaring weakness would be Tennessee’s defensive line. The Vols have struggled to generate very much of a pass rush. They’ve been giving the opposing quarterback way too much time in the pocket.
Josh Dobbs, a true freshman, will start for Tennessee against Missouri. What is the scouting report on Dobbs, and what can we expect?
Dobbs is a brilliant kid that’s majoring in aeronautical engineering, so you could definitely conisder him a cerebral quarterback. We’ve seen very little of Dobbs, as he made his first appearance last week against Alabama. Dobbs has a stronger arm than previous starter Justin Worley and he’s more dangerous with his legs, although he’s not going to set any rushing records. He’s still primarily a pro-style QB. The biggest problem for Missouri with Dobbs will be the unknown factor. There’s very little tape for Gary Pinkel and his coaching staff to digest, so the Vols may be able to catch Missouri off-guard since Dobb’s running ability will open up the playbook some for Tennessee.
What has been the difference for this team between its upset wins over South Carolina and some of its close losses against Georgia and Florida?
Experience has been the main factor in Tennessee’s improvement. The Vols lost nearly all of their offensive production from 2012. All of the skill position players (except running backs Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal) are first year starters.
Tennessee struggled to move the ball effectively earlier this season, even against opponents like South Alabama.
The strides this team has taken on offense is what has made them be able to compete with teams like Georgia and South Carolina.
Who is one player on either side of the ball that Missouri fans haven’t heard about, but could impact the game on Saturday?
There’s a good chance you haven’t heard about true freshman CB Cam Sutton.
Sutton has developed into one of Tennessee’s top players in their secondary. This kid’s a ball hawk and always finds himself in the middle of the play. He’s definitely a guy Missouri will have to watch out for on defense.