In general, game analysts and sportscasters play a lot of following the leader, opinion wise. If you listened to Volunteer Football on national broadcasts in 2015, at some point in every game you heard that Josh Dobbs needed to become a better passer. Do that, and he would be a well rounded dual-threat quarterback, like Deshaun Watson at Clemson.

No kidding! If the quarterback becomes a better passer, he will be a better quarterback.

Wow! What great analysis! Sorry, just kidding.

I'm not trying to throw stones at these guys--for one thing they make a heckuva lot more money than I do--because the numbers do back up what they are saying. Tennessee ranked #92 in passing in the country in 2015. But what isn't included in the rankings, is the lack of help Dobbs got from the receiving corps.

There were a lot of drops on passes that should have been caught throughout the 2015 season.

Of course, that istrue with most teams and in most games. But overall, the UT quarterback is much closer to where he needs to be than conventional wisdom may lead you to believe.

Volunteer run game ranked #20

His running ability makes the defense cover him on every play. That creates one on one blocking on most run plays. It also makes it easier for the lineman to know who to block on particular plays.

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Both things are what offenses strive to do. The numbers back this up also. The Tennessee run game jumped from averaging 146 yards per game in 2014 to 224 yards in 2015, which ranked #20 in the nation.

Dobbs also takes care of the football. Both when running and in his throws. I can give examples from every game but here are a couple of good ones from the Florida game:

At the 5:35 mark of the 3rd quarter with UT leading 20-14, Tennessee had just returned Florida's kickoff to the Vols 40.On first down, Josh Smith ran a wheel route out of the backfield.Dobbs correctly recognized that Smith was open but--also correctly--he knew the safety on that side of the field had no one to cover but Smith as he progressed in the route.

If he led the receiver, Florida's safety would be able to make a play on the ball. So, he threw the ball short and high--again, the correct play--so his receiver was the only one who could make the catch. Smith went up and let the ball slip through his hands.

A successful catch and it's first and ten at the Florida 38. Instead, Tennessee lost four yards on the next two plays and punted from their 36.Smith dropping the ball isn't world shattering; players drop passes. Still, a catch surely would have helped to know the eventual game outcome, but so it goes.

Dobbs shorted by TV analyst

What is inexcusable to me was the game analyst, a former college and pro player who has 20 some odd years of being an analyst, called the whole thing wrong. The play by play guy--correctly--said the ball went through the receiver's hands. The analyst jumped in and said if Dobbs had thrown the pass properly, Smith likely catches it in stride and makes a big play.

If Dobbs had led the receiver, the Florida defender--clearly in the picture--either breaks it up or intercepts the pass.

If Smith had made the catch where he was, it was a 22 yard gain and a first down inside the Florida 40 before he tries to elude the defender. That is a big play.

Example two is when Tennessee ran the same play to the other side to Kamara with 50 left on first and 15 from their 37 and the Vols behind 28 - 27. This time, the receiver slowed and made the catch at the Florida 44 for a first down. Again, if Dobbs leads the receiver, it is an interception or breaks up. In this case, the receiver made the catch, and it was the biggest play of that drive.

On the first play, instead of correcting himself on the spot, the analyst decided to roll with the quarterback making a bad pass. As a result, everyone watching was led to believe what was an excellent decision and play the quarterback was instead a bad throw.

That analyst assessment stuck and was repeated by others throughout the year.

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