Vols Expecting Better Defensive Results

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Updated: 8/01/2013 11:53 pm

Knoxville, TN-(WDEF) Last year, Tennessee fielded perhaps the worst defense in school history. Despite returning basically the same personnel, UT is confident they will have better results in 2013. 

Shouldn’t be too hard for the Vols defense to show improvement, considering they were last in the SEC in both total defense and scoring defense. So what happened? Said safety Brian Randolph,"Last year we had a lot of checks we had to make that often caused some confusion." 

The defensive backfield appeared confused last season with all of the big plays they gave up. Said Randolph,"Every time we get together, we do our little position work. When we come together at the end and break it down, we say just remember what people think about us and how we are trying to prove them wrong."

Maybe switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 alignment will lessen the confusion. Said defensive end Corey Miller,"I'm pretty excited about the 4-3 defense being brought back, especially for my position. Playing defensive end, I feel like it's a little easier for me. But the scheme overall, I feel it's going to be a good deal for all of us." 

Regardless of the alignment, players have to step up. And head coach Butch Jones says it starts with one guy. "I think make no mistake about it, you win up front. It's a line of scrimmage league. I'll say it. We'll be as good as noseguard Dan McCullers goes. It is what it is."

If McCullers improves, he’ll likely become one of the defensive leaders. Said Randolph,"Last year, Herman Lathers was our main leader. I feel like a lot more people have stepped up this year, and we have a lot more leadership on the field. Said Miller,"I feel like the defense is ready to play ball. I feel like going through the spring helped us a lot. It did. We don't like discussing what happened before. That's in the past. Our defense wasn't where it needed to be last year or the previous years. I feel like this year it's on our shoulders."


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