Tag Archive | Tauren Poole

A Second Chance Not Wasted: Vols Survive Vandy

Tennessee  27  Vanderbilt 21 (OT)
17 November 2011 | Neyland Stadium | ATT: 91,367
Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
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Archibald Barns returned a Tyler Bray pass 100 yards for a touchdown. Eric Gordon returned a Jordan Rogers pass 90 yards for a touchdown.

That’s the kind of night it was at Neyland Stadium in one of the most memorable Tennessee-Vanderbilt games in a generation or more.

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Vols Shutout MTSU with Stingy Defense, Kid QB, and Sober Place Kicker

Tennessee 24  MTSU 0
5 November 2011 | Neyland Stadium | ATT: 88,211
Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
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Looking for something to build on, Derek Dooley wasn’t afraid to put it on the shoulders of freshman QB Justin Worley. Delivering passes to 9 different receivers, Worley racked up 291 passing on a 23-for-33 performance. Da’Rick Rogers was Worley’s favorite target, getting 9 grabs for 137 yards, including a 47-yard TD strike.

Obvious kudos go to the defense for the shutout, only the third since 2003 (the last being last year’s 50-0 opener against UT-Martin), and the first on Homecoming since the blanking of Okie State in 1995.

Concerns still rain down on the running game. Against a poor team, it was atrocious, with only 120 net yards on 45 carries. That’s a 2.7 yards per carry clip.

The most entertaining part of the evening was the 6:10 pm call to a frat house to round up a place kicker in a pinch.

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Can the Vols Finally Have a Good Second Half?

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday 5 November 2011 | 7:00 pm EDT (Homecoming)
Neyland Stadium | Knoxville, TN | Fox Sports South, ESPN3.com
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It feels like a very long time since the Vols last played the MTSU Blue Raiders. It’s not because it was nearly a decade ago (2002), but more that the Vols were ranked fourth in the nation. Tennessee won 26-3, on their way to an 8-win season. MTSU was on their way to losing their first 5 games that season, and ultimately 8.

Fortunes have changes for the Vols, with an 8-win season out of the question. MTSU, at 2-5, could easily be headed for another 8 loss campaign.

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Gamecocks Come a’Calling

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday 29 October 2011 | 7:15 pm EDT
Neyland Stadium | Knoxville, TN | ESPN2
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Recent events have transpired to make this upcoming matchup with the South Carolina Gamecocks a very interesting affair.

Those events surrounding the Vols have been well-chronicled here. Tyler Bray goes down with an injury. Matt Simms in Year 2 is the Matt Simms of Year 1, and is thusly benched. Enter a native South Carolinian, true freshman Justin Worley – whose redshirt was burned during the final moments of Bama’s torching of Tennessee – who will make his first collegiate start Saturday night. There has also been the Vols’ habit of imploding in the second half against SEC opponents. And the slow, ponderous Vol secondary has made running downfield routes by our opponents ever more popular.

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Groundhog Day in Tuscaloosa

Alabama 37  Tennessee 6
22 October 2011 | Bryant-Denny Stadium | ATT: 101,821
Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
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It took Alabama 34 minutes to score their first TD of the evening, thanks to an aggressive and effective first-half Tennessee defense, not to mention a punter’s passing prowess. But for the fourth time this season against an SEC opponent, the Vols got burned early in the second half to lose hard-fought momentum.

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Vol Halfway House 2011

Just before this season got underway, I prepared a preview for the 2011 season.

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LSU Overwhelms Tennessee

LSU 38  Tennessee 7
15 October 2011 | Neyland Stadium | ATT: 101,822
Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
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Stymied by two big LSU Tiger plays in the first half, the Vols were then pummeled into submission in the second half. It was perhaps the most physical beat-down the Vols have ever suffered in the long history of Neyland Stadium.

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Hello, Is There Any Hope In There?

LSU Tigers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday 15 October 2011 | 3:30 pm EDT
Neyland Stadium | Knoxville, TN | CBS
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The Vols host LSU Saturday afternoon at the General’s house. Unfortunately, we’re unable to do what my momma always told me to do: put your best foot forward. Our best QB is injured and out. Our best RB is injured and out. Our best WR is injured and out. Our best DL is injured and out. And, our best CB/S was dismissed from the team.

That’s no way to treat the number one ranked team in the land when they pay you a visit.

That pitiful circumstance notwithstanding, it is still irresistible to revisit last year’s game in Baton Rouge in order to find some solace and hope for Saturday.

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Tyler Bray and the Vols Bury Buffalo

Tennessee 41  Buffalo 10
1 October 2011 | Neyland Stadium | ATT: 87,758
Recap | Boxcore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
 

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Tennessee made quick work against a vastly outmatched Buffalo Bulls squad for an easy win on a sunny, breezy autumn afternoon at home, in front of an announced attendance that was below 90,000 for the first time in what must be decades. This was pretty much what was needed following the loss in Gainesville – a cupcake opponent after an off week.

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Gun or Run?

Buffalo Bulls vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday 1 October 2011 | 12:30 pm EDT
Neyland Stadium | Knoxville, TN | Comcast Sports South, ESPN3.com
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I probably have a most peculiar view of Saturday’s game: I am fascinated to see how Derek Dooley and his staff approach this dud on the schedule.

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Vols Snuffed in the Swamp Again

Florida 33  Tennessee 23
17 September 2011 | Ben Hill Griffin Stadium | ATT: 90,744
Recap | Boxcore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
 

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Tennessee couldn’t take advantage of Florida’s numerous penalties in Gainesville on Saturday, and couldn’t stop the speed of Chris Rainey, in the Vols’ 7th consecutive loss to the Gators. The difference in this year’s version of these two rival squads is greater than the final score spread.

It looked like more of the same from the horrors of the last few seasons against Florida.

Nothing said it more than the first half of the third quarter. Read More…

Taking Stock of Weeks 1 and 2

As we all brace ourselves for the trip to the Swamp this Saturday, let’s have a no-frills look at the separate components of the Vol performances during the first two games. Read More…

Vols Throttle Cincinnati

Tennessee 45  Cincinnati 23
10 September 2011 | Neyland Stadium | ATT: 94,207
Recap | Boxcore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart
 

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A Vol record-setting passing game, two timely defensive stops, and a perfectly-executed onsides kick kept a dynamic Cincinnati offense from making a game of it.

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Right Where We Left Off

Tennessee 42  Montana 16
03 September 2011 | Neyland Stadium | ATT: 94,661
Recap | Boxcore | Play-by-Play | Drive Chart

Tennessee’s superior talent outclassed Montana Saturday night. That was no surprise.

There were no surprises in the other aspects of the game either.

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No One Is Bigger Than The Orange Jersey

Imagine this…

Consider for a moment that you are Derek Dooley.

You inherited a program that was low on talent (at least relative to our history). But you had at least one true star- Janzen Jackson.

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