Turmoil has once again engulfed Tennessee football. As Josh Heupel gets set to begin his first season ever on Rocky Top, he’s got to deal with a program coming off a 3-7 campaign that is in the midst of an NCAA investigation and suffered a wave of transfers this offseason. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things they can control this year.
UT may or may not reach a bowl game, depending on the investigation. They can still give fans a product to accept on the field, at least during Heupel’s first season on the job. Even if it doesn’t always translate to wins, it could at least make for an entertaining season. There is a path to achieve lots of wins, though.
As we get set to break down what the Vols should strive for this year, we’ll leave a bowl out of it since that’s dependent on the investigation itself. However, there are things they could do to at least reach bowl eligibility. Looking at that and providing a good product, these are five solid goals for Tennessee football in 2021. We’re ranking them from least to most ambitious.
top five in SEC in offense
Beat ever non-Power Five team plus vanderbilt and south carolina
finish fifth in the SEC East
Secure a winning record
Crack the top 25
5. Total and scoring offense both top three in SEC
Both years Heupel was offensive coordinator of the Missouri Tigers, they were ranked No. 1 in the SEC in total offensive yards per game. In 2016, they finished fifth in total points with 31.4 per game. That number upped to No. 1 in 2017, as they averaged 37.5 points per game, and that’s what earned Heupel his job with the UCF Knights.
In three years at UCF, he was No. 2, No. 1 and No. 1 in points per game, and he was always No. 1 in total offense. Simply put, offense is Heupel’s calling card, and if nothing else, he should have that side of the ball be entertaining to watch his first year on the job.
Although defense is a major concern for Tennessee football, if the offense can put up points, it could make quite a few games interesting. That could also generate some much-needed national buzz for the program. As a result, this is a crucial goal for the Vols. They should have one of the best offenses in the league, if nothing else.