Bob Shoop already proving to be right hire at right time for Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Bob Shoop again, after the Florida game, proves he was the right hire at the right time for Tennessee.
In a season that has been Jeykll and Hyde for the offense, Shoop has stayed consistent in fielding a formula for a winning defense.
His unit has been a true definition of bend but don’t break, and it’s due to Shoop getting a feel for the opposition early in games and making adjustments. Making the proper adjustments to play winning football is why he was brought in — and the Vols’ inability to do that last year is why Tennessee dropped games a season ago in the second half.
During the comeback victory against Florida, Shoop’s defense held Florida without a single first down in the third quarter – the perfect remedy coming out of halftime down 21-3.
“There’s talent all across the board,” defensive end Derek Barnett said after the Florida victory. “We have a lot of leadership on our team and a lot of ball players that can play ball.”
Barnett knew as the game went on, with Shoop coordinating the defense and making adjustments while the Tennessee offense was getting back on track scoring points, that the defensive adjustments would make it hard on Florida’s offense.
“Their body language was bad,” Barnett said of the Gator’ lead slipping away. “I think they were worried about talking too much and not focused on playing football. It showed in the end.”
Todd Kelly pointed out the key difference in their halftime adjustments, too.
“We talk about playing hard, playing fast and most importantly playing together,” Kelly Jr. said after the 4-0 start. “The game of football isn’t two quarters, it’s four quarters, it’s 60 minutes. Coach Jones teaches us how to read body language and we looked at the other side and we knew we had them beat. We felt like we took their soul really.”