Tennessee has forced 15 turnovers this season and nearly half of those points have come from pick-sixes by Justin Coleman, Cameron Sutton and Devaun Swafford.
The others have come in the form of three touchdowns and two field goals by the offense.
The remaining turnovers should have been converted into points, according to offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian.
“We need to do a better job of taking care of the football at all times,” said Bajakian. “As you look at red zone efficiency, points generated off of turnovers, at minimum, in some of those situations we should line up and kick a field goal.”
“When we turn the ball over, we walk away with zero points as opposed to three and not being able to move the ball and get the seven points is something that we stress,” continued Bajakian. “We are always emphasizing getting touchdowns in the red zone, but at the same time, at least have the three points in our back pocket.”
The Vols main objective when they get into the red zone?
“If you go up in our team room, you will see our plan to win,” said Bajakian. “One of our plans to win is score touchdowns in the red zone. Our guys have known not since we just started the season, since training camp, since spring football that that is very important. We spend a lot of time practicing in the red zone and we need to execute better.”
“You have to make your possessions count,” added head coach Butch Jones. “That is the big thing. You can’t become frustrated. Everyone has to do their job and manage it. Offensively you can’t go three and out, you can’t put the defense back on the field. The big thing is just managing expectations and understanding what you are in store for and managing that part of the game.”
The offense, like the rest of Team 117, has a snap-and-clear mental approach to every game. And heads into Saturday’s meeting with Georgia with confidence.
“We are always confident,” said Bajakian. “Sure we have a snap-and-clear mentality. If you have a bad play, clear it and look to the next play. Always look to improve upon all of the details of the pass and run game and executing the offense.”
“Focus on the details. Focus on our habits and our fundamentals. Protect the football. We can’t do anything but stress it, practice it and address it.”
We know we've got our hands full. That's all I can really say."