KNOXVILLE — Former UAB offensive coordinator Kim Helton was in attendance for Tennessee’s game against Florida.
Kim’s son, Tyson, is Tennessee’s offensive coordinator and served as quarterbacks coach for his father at UAB and had his philosophies part of the Blazers’ offense.
Throughout the first four games in 2018, the Vols’ offense is on pace to run the ball 169 more times on first down than the Helton’s did in their final season at UAB in 2011. Tennessee’s offense is also on pace to throw the ball 40 fewer times on first down this season compared to 2011.
Overall, Tennessee in 2018 is on pace to throw the ball 185 fewer times than UAB did in 2011 and run the ball 156 more times.
The difference in styles could be due to different player personnel and Helton coaching under Jeremy Pruitt who may want more of a presence in the ground game.
At UAB, the Blazers had NFL talent throughout the offense in 2011.
Two UAB offensive linemen continued on NFL rosters in 2018, Matt McCants (Bears) and Chris Hubbard (Browns). Wide receiver J.J. Nelson is playing currently with the Arizona Cardinals. Tight end Kennard Backman was drafted in the sixth round by Green Bay and running back Darrin Reaves played for the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Here is a look at Tennessee’s stats this season and UAB’s in 2011.