Poole the Bright Spot for Tennessee Versus Oregon

Marcus Lattimore is getting a lot of headlines for his performance against Georgia, and for good reason. He wasn't the only SEC back to have a great game.

Tauren Poole sliced and diced the Ducks' defense early in the game, largely driving the Vols to their 13-3 lead over their top ten opponent. Sure, Oregon wasn't completely awake for a lot of it, but Poole took full advantage. By my count, he had 144 yards on 17 carries, good for 8.47 yards per carry. In the second half, he had just 18 yards on six carries, but Tennessee went from a rushing team to a passing team as the Oregon lead grew.

He also was impressive in the way he fought through contact. The Vols' offensive line allowed seven tackles for loss, including two sacks, but Poole was stopped behind the line of scrimmage just twice and for a loss of one yard each time. In other words, he accounted for 29% of the team's lost yardage plays despite having 64% of the team's carries.

Poole will need a repeat performance when the Gators come to Knoxville, and it appears that he'll have some opportunities. Florida allowed 137 yards on 22 carries (6.23 YPC) to South Florida's running backs last Saturday on top of allowing a similar YPC number to QB B.J. Daniels. Matt Simms has been okay but not great, and Florida's passing defense has snared eight interceptions in its two games. Poole will need to carry the offense.

Based on his performance against Oregon, I think he'll be able to cause all kinds of problems on Saturday. Give Lattimore all the credit he deserves (which is a lot), but don't sleep on Tauren Poole while you do it.

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