Vols tackle major challenge in improving defense

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Nov. 1, 2014 (Image 1)
JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Nov. 1, 2014 (Image 1)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee is focusing on fundamentals in its attempt to improve a defense that statistically ranked among the worst in school history last season.

The first area of concern is tackling, something the Volunteers didn't do often enough or well enough a year ago. After Tennessee's last practice before taking this week off for spring break, new defensive coordinator John Jancek said the Volunteers have “a lot of work to do on our tackling.”

Tennessee allowed the most points (35.7) and yards (471.4) per game of any Southeastern Conference team last season. The Vols hadn't allowed that high a scoring average since 1893. Tennessee hadn't given up that many yards per game since at least 1950, the earliest year its sports information department has that statistic on file.

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