Tennessee Vols Football: 3 Keys To Turn the Season Around for Vols

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIISeptember 23, 2011

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tyler Bray #8 of the Tennessee Volunteers attempts a pass during a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It's difficult to believe that the Tennessee Volunteers are actually 2-1 following a 31-21 loss in their SEC opener against Florida last week.

After the loss, there is a lot of pessimistic opinions among fans and analysts concerning the team.

It's clear that there are some things that are looking good for Tennessee, but it's also obvious that there are some glaring problems.

There are many who suspect that the Vols will fall victims to Georgia, LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas over the stretch of their SEC play.

Here are three keys to turn that outlook around for Tennessee.

1. Lean on Tyler Bray

Tyler Bray is off to a fantastic start to the 2011 season.

Over three games, the sophomore has completed 68 percent of his passes for 986 yards, 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

It's fairly obvious that the Vols have found a star quarterback for the next few years.

There will be growing pains, and Bray will still make some mistakes that will be hard to overlook.

However, at this point, he is the star of the offense, and the team needs to lean on him to get the job done.

2. Find a Running Game

I know I said to lean on the performance of Bray, but the kid can't do it all.

Tennessee needs to find some sort of a running game to help him out. In the week three loss against Florida, the Vols finished the game with minus-nine rushing yards.

At this point, it appears that Tauren Poole is still the best option at running back, but if he continues with his inconsistent play, the team needs to look in another direction.

It doesn't really matter what direction that is. You can't do too much worse than minus-nine rushing yards.

3. Stop Kicking and Punting

Yes, I realize this is a ridiculous request, but the Vols might as well consider it (not really, but you get the point).

Michael Palardy is off to a very rough start this season, struggling with some very make-able kicks in key situations.

The punting hasn't been any better. Palardy had one blocked and followed it up with 37 and 39-yard punts.

The team may be better off just going for it on fourth down and hoping for the best if this is the result they are going to get.