Fixing A Hole in the Ocean
That great line comes from John Lennon, who was murdered 30 years ago during a MNF game between New England and Miami. We’ll soon find out if it is an apt description for what the coaches face in rebuilding the Vols. Saturday’s game against the ‘Cats, with a streak and a bowl on the line, will speak volumes, very loudly.
And speaking of Lennon, if you are so inclined, be sure to watch the special on Lennon to be aired Monday night at 9 pm on PBS’ American Masters series.
Now for some odds and ends concerning that hole…
Coach Dooley had a lot to say about the Vandy game. He indicated that the turning point was likely after Bray opened the game going 12-for-14 passing (172 yards), and after Tennessee intercepted a pass in Vandy territory, there were three consecutive bad passes (the last two of the first half and the first of the second half) that got everybody out of sync players and coaches. But, his bottom line assessment was that four things held us back: (1) the two interceptions; (2) penalties (including the pick-six that was called back due to roughing the passer); (3) the struggles of the OL in blocking Vandy’s defensive front; and (4) the dropped punt. Dooley’s players of the week were named as Gerald Jones, Gerald Williams, and Janzen Jackson. Real good news were that nothing major in terms of injuries came out of the game.
One thing Dooley was dead-set against talking about was The Streak and the bowl bearth that will await the Vols if The Streak stays intact after Saturday.
The Streak and a bowl is all I can think about…
Here are the latest national rankings for Tennessee’s various departments…Rushing offense: 95th
Passing offense: T44th
Total offense: 76th
Scoring offense: 59th
Rushing defense: 65th
Pass efficiency defense: 31st
Total defense: 71st
Scoring defense: 63rd
Net punting: 61st
Punt returns: 110th Kickoff returns: 92nd
Turnover margin: 34th
Pass defense: 76th
Passing efficiency: 41st
Tackles for loss: 45th
Sacks allowed: 114th
Wow. For the hell of it, let’s give them all equal weight. That puts us ranked 67th in the country. With a 5-6 record and near the bottom of the SEC, that’s just about right.
A season that started with great expectations for Montori Hughes will end with him on the sideline. Coach Dooley announced on Monday that sophomore DT Montori Hughes, who’s struggled with injuries this year, will miss the Kentucky game due to an academic suspension. Certainly not great news for the young man, and not good news for the team – only because the squad is so short on depth in the middle of the defensive line. Dooley added that Hughes’ suspension is ”similar to what Kevin Cooper went through early in the year.” Coach D also indicated that players have been warned about their academic standing and how that affects their privilege to play: ”Everybody has freedom of choice, but nobody has freedom of consequence and at some point, you can’t play.”
Frankly, the Vols won’t be missing too much. Hughes has only tallied three total tackles over the last six games, and none during the Ole Miss and Vandy games.
What do a glass onion and a hole in the ocean have to do with one another?