Tennessee football report card: Grading the Vols in loss to BYU Cougars

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the outside of Neyland Stadium before a game between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the outside of Neyland Stadium before a game between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images /

Special Teams

Place-Kicking: A+

Brent Cimaglia continues his superb play. He is now 7-for-7 on the year with three field goals of 40 yards or more, one of 50 yards or more, and he hasn’t missed an extra point. On Saturday, he was 4-for-4, nailing a 51-yarder at one point and also a 40-yarder in overtime to prove just how clutch he is. Tennessee football can take pride in the fact that it has an elite kicker. The only problem at this point is that they are using him too much.

Punting: B+

Vols fans are more than happy with Joe Doyle averaging 45.7 yards per punt on three punts and nailing a 52-yarder. But his first punt was only 34 yards and did not pin BYU inside the 20. That kept this grade from being an A. Still, he had two punts beyond 50 yards outside of that one, and his final one nailed the Cougars inside the 20 with a minute to go and no timeouts. So he did his part on that front even if the secondary collapsed.

Return Game: D

With all the offensive issues, the Vols could have used more help from the return game. But Marquez Callaway’s only punt return was for minus-four yards, and Ty Chandler’s one attempt at a kickoff return only got the Vols to the 21-yard line. So the unit as a whole was not helpful, and that’s what gives it a D grade.

Overall Special Teams Grade: A-

Place-kicking is the most important part of the special teams unit, and it was enough to give Tennessee football an A- for its play overall. If the Vols can get more help in their return game, this unit could be the reason it steals a few wins going forward.