Josh Heupel has proven that he has the offensive recipe for success, as Tennessee transformed from the fourth-worst scoring offense in the SEC before his arrival to the top-scoring offense in the nation last season. Heupel keeps a tight lock and key on his offense system and operation that’s not become coveted in the college football landscape, which offensive coordinator Joey Halzle explained on ‘Vol Club Confidential’.
“What we do, like if you just watch us on camera and watch the game film of it, it’s like okay it’s nothing that crazy different. It’s all about how we do it,” Halzle said.
Halzle was a part of Heupel’s staff at UCF and served as Tennessee’s quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator this offseason on January 5. But he isn’t the only Volunteer coach to have been promoted within, a method Heupel likes to practice that comes with the perk of keeping his offense under wraps.
“And that is kind of the insider information that if you’re teaching somebody new it’s a big process and also you got to trust that that information isn’t going somewhere else here in the next year or two that someones looking for like a stepping stone,” Halzle explained.
Like Halzle, Alec Abeln was promoted and named the Vol’s tight ends coach this offseason after serving under Heupel for multiple seasons and multiple stops as an assistant and an offensive analyst. Wide receivers coach Kelsey Pope was also promoted in 2022 after serving as an offensive analyst under Heupel.
“So he likes to promote guys that have been loyal to him, that have been around him,” Halzle said. “It’s like man I trust him, he knows they’re already good people, he knows they’re already good coaches, so they make perfect sense for him to move into that role.”
Heupel keeping his circle small and relying on the trust of those close to him is admirable, and it also keeps the secrets of his offensive attack that not many could slow down last season a secret. The Volunteers led the nation in points and yards per game last season, averaging 46.1 points and 525.5 yards per contest versus their opponents.
The Volunteers had their first 11-win season since 2001 last year, and there’s no doubt that Heupel’s offensive wizardry had an impact. And it’s clear that the Volunteers’ head ball coach would like to keep as many tricks up his sleeve for as long as he can going forward.
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