It is the Tennessee Volunteers that are running an up-tempo, no-huddle, blitzkrieg offense instead of the Florida Gators whose offensive strategy is to slow the tempo down and milk the play clock as much as possible.
A shift in the balance of offensive weapons.
In this age of instant gratification, the life of a head football coach, especially in the SEC, is filled with the stress of having to produce W’s, regardless of the circumstances.
I have written about this topic, on this site, a few times.
That brings us to this Saturday Night. Read More…
Contemplating the Vols’ visit to Gainesville this Saturday made me think about the last visit to The Swamp. Many predicted the No.1 Gators would destroy Tennessee that day and give Lane Kiffin the spanking that he deserved.
After you subtract the 55 yards the Vols lost by Jonathan Crompton getting sacked six times, Tennessee was left with 5 net yards rushing on Thursday night. Five. Thank goodness Montario Hardesty was able to get all 39 yards, or we would have been deep into negative numbers.
Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin was quoted as saying “I was surprised we weren’t able to run the ball better.”
You and the entire Vol Nation, Lane.
Tip your orange hats to the Hokies, because they handed the orange arses back to the Vol players. Especially to Tennessee’s offensive line.
The Hokies were known as a great defensive squad against the pass, but known as a vulnerable unit against good running teams. The Hokies were known as one of the worst pass rush protection offensive lines in Division I, and the Vols were highly recognized as one of the nation’s best offensive lines against the dreaded sack.
I guess the magnetic field of the earth switched poles while everybody was busy unwrapping Christmas gifts last week.
It was the night of a blue moon after all… Read More…
Welcome back, Vols, to the bowl game scene.
A one-year layoff seems like a decade. That sentiment seems like it was motivation for Vol defensive tackle Wes Brown and company. “It’s all been about hard work and pulling together under coach Kiffin and really believing in each other,” Brown said upon arriving in Atlanta on Christmas. “We had a year last year where we were sitting at home for Christmas, and it was terrible to be honest with you. None of us wanted that again. We all went to work and made a promise to each other that wasn’t going to happen again. We were going to go somewhere, we’re going to end up somewhere and have a good time in January or December.”
Indeed it is good to be back playing in December/January. Considering our season’s performance, I think the opponent, the venue, and the date (a New Year’s Eve night) is a great way to end our season. We are fortunate to be where we are right now, and I’m looking forward to the challenge that the Hokies will give us. The matchup is terrific in many aspects. Here are my views on what should be a very entertaining game. Read More…
One of the aspects of college sports that distinguishes it from its professional counterpart is that your team’s players are generally more ephemeral and on a more predictable basis. And one of the great traditions is saying goodbye to the seniors. It is always their team. And saying goodbye, in the proper way, is important. Tennessee does that. This year’s Vanderbilt game was Senior’s Day, where each senior player was allowed to go through the famous “T” individually rather than as part of the team. I just got chills writing that sentence.
So here is my tiny salute to our seniors, the leaders of this year’s version of our Tennessee Volunteers. I’m thankful we will have one more look – at least at most of them – on New Year’s Eve. Admittedly, preparing this list introduced me to a couple of you them the first time.
So here’s to the seniors. From Brown to Williams.
Goodbye. It seems like we hardly got to know them. A list follows the jump. Read More…
The self-proclaimed biggest game ever played for a generation of Kentucky football fans in front of 70,981 turned into more of the same Saturday night:
- A dog-fight of a Boarder-State Rivalry War; and
- A Tennessee victory.
With a win on Saturday, Kentucky would have fulfilled a string of significant accomplishments for their improving program under coach Rich Brooks.
- An 8-4 regular season, the first 8-win regular season since 1984.
- A second place finish in the SEC East for the first time since the realignment of the conference in 1992 and best SEC finish since 1977 (when they tied for first with Alabama).
- A likely New Years’ Day bowl date for the first time since the 1998 season (Outback Bowl, Jan 1, 1999 vs Penn State).
- And perhaps, most importantly, an end to The Streak – 24 consecutive losses to their bitter, long-time, border state rival.
But, would have didn’t materialize. Read More…
” the Vandy UT rivalry is all about pride. And about what is best for Tennessee.. and shows the best for Tennesse”
And a gentleman dressed in Orange standing next to him replied:
“And that was a damn good answer”
But above all, appreciate the performer you saw on the field, even though he wore blue and gray.
Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster carried the ball 25 times. He gained 282 yards. That’s an average of over 11 yards a carry.
He scored 4 TDs on runs of 15, 23, 32, and 77 yards.
He also gained 42 yards on 4 pass receptions. That’s 324 all-purpose yards.
Dexter broke the all-time Ole Miss records for most rushing yards in a game (formerly 242 yards by Dou Innocent in 1995) and most all-purpose yards in a game (formerly 317 yards by Deuce McAllister in 1999).
If Ole Miss had been playing anybody else, that would have been exciting to watch. Another performance showing the excitement of college football.
But it was against the Vols. And it was the most rushing yards ever given up by Tennessee to an opposing rusher. Ever. He busted it by 65 yards, formerly co-held by Mike Prichard (Colorado 1990) and Bobby Humphrey (Alabama 1986), both with 217 yards. And according to Knoxville’s Jimmy Hyams on the radio, McCluster became only the second opponent to rush for 4 TDs against Tennessee, equaling the mark of Southern Cal great Marcus Allen back in 1981.
Oh, and Dexter McCluster’s 282 rushing yards on Saturday were more yards gained on the ground than any team against the Vols this season.
A humbling end to a very bad week.
WARNING: After the jump, there are a lot of photographs of Dexter McCluster enjoying open-field running. Read More…
As game day approaches, usually beginning Wednesday afternoon like a scratchy throat signaling the ultimate chest-flim fest, paranoia starts to seep in, no matter who the opponent. It starts to settle in on Thursday like a relative who lost his job and just moved in with you and the Misses. By Friday, it’s a full-fledged 103.5-degree fever, with night sweats and up at 2 am to vomit your Orange Confidence.
No matter how well your team has been playing, there is Potential Death standing right around the corner. “This might be the game the wheels come off” you tell yourself. “This might be the day that the New Year’s Day Dream vaporizes into a mist with a foul odor that hangs around well into December” you say to yourself while cutting yourself shaving.
So, to say the least, I’m worried. Read More…
Memphis must have read my pre-game post, because they obviously expected what I thought Tennessee would do – run baby run. I’m glad I have found a role to help the Vols – I play the red herring – for Memphis stacked the box much of the first half waiting for Montario Hardesty to run.
Instead, Tennessee went aerial and bombarded the Tigers for 300 passing yards in the first half alone on their way to a convincing Homecoming victory, setting them up for the critical final stretch run.
This is an aggressive coaching staff and the aggressiveness paid big dividends tonight. Memphis played the run and paid the price.
Just use the tip jar on your way out. Blog Master Fred appreciates your support.
We are now eight games into this 2009 season and the Vols are even for the season at 4-4. With Memphis coming to town this Saturday night – the weekly pre-game buildup will be a bit on the sluggish side – it’s an excellent opportunity to sit back and take stock in where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. I’ve invited the charter members of the Vols in the Fall commenters to answer a series of questions on the Vols, the SEC, and the national scene. I throw my two cents in as well. We all provided comments without seeing each others’ musings. A blind tasting if you will.
Since none of us know what we’re talking about when it comes to Tennessee Football, or anything else for that matter, this should rank right up there with the professional media. As somebody once said, some things are far too important to be left to the professionals.
MAXIM #2: Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – SCORE!
Mission accomplished on Saturday. It was simply the difference. Three induced fumbles by the Vol ball hawks in the first half and an interception in the second were quickly turned into 24 points on All Hallow’s Eve down by the river. That’s right – 3 TD’s and a FG immediately after 4 turnovers. These weren’t turnovers that killed Gamecock drives. Instead, they happened in USC’s own half, allowing the Vols to start their drives from the C27, the C43, the C22, and the C47 because of the 4 Gamecock turnovers. Yes indeed – make the breaks and when one four come your way – SCORE (EVERY TIME)!
However, in years to come, this game will not likely be remembered for the turnovers and resultant scores, but for the black jerseys.