Vols have good reason to beat Vandy

Take nothing for granted.

It's an easy mantra in college football these days, especially the SEC.

It's also an easy reminder for University of Tennessee football coaches who remember losing to Vanderbilt at home in 2005.

"You have to look at the history of this," UT coach Phillip Fulmer said after his team's walkthrough Friday at Neyland Stadium. "When Tennessee and Vanderbilt play, there's all kinds of history that would tell you it's always a tough game and a battle."

The difference is in 2005 the Vols weren't playing with an SEC East title on the line.

"The players certainly understand the implications of the game and continuing to win," Fulmer said. "They've prepared accordingly.

"I've got to really hand it to them. They've done a good job."

Fulmer hopes that continues after a 2 p.m. kickoff today.

Prior to the game, he'll say his traditional goodbyes to 23 UT players making their final run through the "T" at home.

"I just mentioned to them it's the last time the seniors will have a (Friday) practice on this field," Fulmer said. "It's the last time they'll be in that locker room because we'll be redoing that whole thing after the season.

"There are some lasts here. It's the last time they'll run through the 'T' here, and that's always an emotional time.

"I hope the fans will be here early and loud to show their appreciation for what this group of young men has done."

Early exits: Besides 21 listed seniors who will make their final run through the 'T' today, it's the final jog for redshirt juniors Ja'Kouri Williams and Sinclair Cannon.

The players are on pace to graduate in four years and won't return for a final year of eligibility next season. They'll be introduced as seniors and get the handshake or hug from Fulmer.

Williams and Cannon saw most of their time on UT's special teams. Their early departure does create two scholarship openings for the 2008 class.

Fired up early: The Vols have had a bury-'em early and hold-on late mentality the past four games at home.

They've outscored Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas by a combined 93-3 in the first half.

The defense has created turnovers and field position while the offense has converted on 13 of 21 first-half drives in those four games.

The Vols are averaging 410.8 yards and 40.3 points at home this season.

Chart Watching: Senior quarterback Erik Ainge is 16th on the SEC career list of touchdown passes with 58. Former Vol Peyton Manning is second (89) and Casey Clausen seventh (75).

Junior running back Arian Foster needs only six yards rushing to pass Charlie Garner and move into 10th place in the UT career-rushing record book. He has 2,084 yards and 22 TDs on 436 carries.

True freshman defensive back Eric Berry could set a single-season NCAA record if he can get a couple long interception returns. He leads the nation with 207 interception-return yards, just shy of the SEC record set by Joe Brodsky of Florida in 1956 (244) and the NCAA record of 302 set by USC's Charles Phillips in 1974.

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Comments » 80

Coach_Joe writes:

Go Eric Berry! My family and I will be rooting for you to break that record.

I wonder what the record for most interceptions by a Frosh is?

Oenoboy writes:

Damn TouchdownTN. Come on, don't tell me you aren't feeling the Vol love today. It wraps around you like a fuzzy orange blanket...admit it. The weather is perfect for a sea of orange to engulf Neyland and watch our seniors wrap up a perfect home game season. God I wish I could be there for the Vol Walk.

Hey Coach_Joe, are you related to the late great Joe Brodsky?

DennisVols writes:

I posted this yesterday but believe it bears repeating.
The Most Important Game Of The Year
The way it used to be is over in college football. Tradition no longer wins games. Ask a N.D. fan about that. Last night #2 Oregon played an unranked team and walked out knowing their shot at a National Championship was over. This was the 5th time this year that #2 in the country lost to a lesser or un-ranked team. “One game one championship.” This is the playoff system in the BCS division.
Week 5: #3 OU loses, #4 UF loses, #5 WVA loses. Two of those losses came to UN-Ranked teams
Week 6: #2 USC loses, #5 Wisc. Loses. Both to UN-Ranked teams
Week 7: #1 LSU, #2 Cal both lose. Cal to an UN-Ranked team LSU to #17 UK which had tradition in the cellar of the SEC not beating #1 ranked teams in the Nation.
Week 8: #2 USF, #6 USC(the SEC one) & #7 UK all lose. While UK getting beat by #15 Florida Gators may not be an upset, having the #6 team beat by Vanderbilt and the #2 USF going down to Rutgers was.
Week 10: #2 BCU lost to a 6-3 FSU
Week 11: #1 OSU loses at home to Illinois
And now we start week 12 with #2 Oregon going down to AZ.
Each team had their shot at #1 taken away from them, even though LSU has managed to regain it. Dream seasons for UK, USF, USC (both of them), Cal and others were lost during “The Most Important Game of the Year”. What is the most important game of the year? Ask a UT fan and you will get most to claim the UF games, an equal amount of traditional fans will shout it’s “the 3rd Sat in Oct” the Bama game, and some the UGA game. Yet here we stand at week 12 and UT faces a stronger Vanderbilt team and a win will place UT just one win away from a trip to ATL and a chance at a SEC Championship. Is the Vandy game not the most important game of the year for UT? Or if they win is the UK the most important game of the year?
The fact is that in the BCS division every game is the most important game you play. There will always be rivalries, UM-OSU, UT-Bama, GA-Auburn, winning the big SEC game against UF will be high on the list for UT. You cannot take any game for granted. They are all “The Most Important Game Of The Year”

invisiblekid writes:

TDTN, I suggest a round of Ipecac followed up by a shot of Jack and Coke.

invisiblekid writes:

Scratch that, forget the Coke.

invisiblekid writes:

Highly perturbed that I got stuck doing photos this morning with the missus and the family unit instead of making the drive to Knoxville for the game. What the hell was I thinking?

DennisVols writes:

Is UT in the decline? Are we no longer one of the elite? I compared UT to the 5 coaches everyone thinks is out coaching Fulmer. Meyers, Richt, Saban, Miles and Spurrier
Over the last 7 games how has UT compared to other SEC EAST, Bama and LSU
DEFENSE
(1) UT Average Points Per Game Allowed: 21
(2) LSU Average Points Per Game Allowed: 22.85
(3) UA Average Points Per Game Allowed:24.28
(4) UGA Average Points Per Game Allowed: 25.14
(5) USC Average Points Per Game Allowed: 28.86
(6) UF Average Points Per Game Allowed: 29.14
OFFENSE
(1)LSU Average Points Per Game Scored: 36.57
(2) UT Average Points Per Game Scored: 36.14
(3) UF Average Points Per Game Scored: 35.14
(4) UGA Average Points Per Game Scored: 33.74
(5) USC Average Points Per Game Scored: 27.71
(6) UA Average Points Per Game Scored: 25.86
Record:
UT, UGA & LSU: 6-1
UF: 4-3
USC& UA:3-4
UT has the lowest scoring defense over those 7 game, the 2nd highest scoring offense and tie for the best record.

Oenoboy writes:

Enjoy the game TDTN. I'm in a city that could care less and I don't own a TV. I guess I'm listening to Kessling...oh joy.

thesavageorange writes:

Oenoboy:If you can get Vandy's radio broadcast, Joe Fisher (Van.radio guy) is much better than Kesling.I have to work so I'm stuck to the radio , and for my sanity I'm listening to Joe.

threehundredbowler writes:

now we know why TDTN spewes his anger on this board.He is not allowed to do so at home.I believe you,TDNT, invited someone to meet you at your tailgate party where they would miss the kick-off from being at the hospital getting aid for the wounds you would instill upon them.What a man.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Kessling, whew boy! Snore!

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Has anyone seen our defense today?

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Anyone watching on PPV? How bad was that pass by Ainge?

bshell12 writes:

id like to see Crompton start the second half....send a message to ainge that he sucks and needs to play like a senior instead of a scared freshman....defense is ok tough to be on the field the whole time. How bout not throwing another pass cause vandy can't stop foster or hardesty.

VolunteerTroy_24 writes:

I have to say i figured UT would look past Vandy and end up getting surprised in the process. Either they are going to have to step it up in the second half or say hello to the chic-fil-a bowl.

Ainge looks terrible today. First drive looked all SEC from then on he has looked like a second rate JV player.

Its do or die 30 minutes to right the ship

GOOOOOO VOLS

kesterja#235578 writes:

Wow...this could be a real train wreck! I really can't figure out Cutcliffe's play calling. The running game is working, so put the game in the hands of an extremely cold quarterback. What is going on?

TommyJack writes:

bshell12: Message to Ainge? May be a little late...

kesterja#235578 writes:

I think it may be time to play Crompton. Ainge hasn't really had a good meaningful game since GA...

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Forget about Ainge, is our defense capable of stopping anyone right now?

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

We need nothing short of a TD, or this one's over!

kesterja#235578 writes:

You're right...defense is pathetic! We've got to keep them off of the field, though. We're pitiful on both sides of the ball.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Another punt... not mailing it in just yet, but....

yeavols#228407 writes:

24-9 third qtr..Vandy..I can only imagine what is going through everyone's minds

yeavols#228407 writes:

not much time left in the 3rd and Candy Vandy is smelling something sweet

kesterja#235578 writes:

I wonder how bad Ainge needs to be to give Crompton a chance. Is Ainge really our best chance to win at this point? He can't handle a pass rush at all.

jonesboroughvolfan writes:

Did anybody read the first sentence of this article? "Take nothing for granted." Well, it's happened again.

kesterja#235578 writes:

I love it. Our defense has the PPV folks comparing Vandy to the old Green Bay Packers of the 60's!

socalvol writes:

another choke in progress: deja vu

kesterja#235578 writes:

Another career day for the opponents' quarterback. How can we play like we did against Ark., and then look like this against Vandy?

Pitiful...

thesavageorange writes:

MY GOD PLEASE TELL ME THIS ISN'T HAPPENING.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Ok, I'm with kester, put in Crompton, this is just awful! May be too late as it is.

bshell12 writes:

ainge sucks...awful.....terrible....Crompton please or stephens or colemon or jones or berry or taylor or anybody

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Seems the only good plays we get are stupid Vandy screwups.

tnbanker_govols writes:

Ainge should sit out the rest of the season. He 's not putting forth any effort whatsoever!!!! Horrible play calling, players are not ready to play at all!!! It's clean-up time in Knoxville!!!

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

TD Tennessee! Now let's shut down Vandy!

kesterja#235578 writes:

With as much blitizing as Vandy is doing, it's amazing we haven't given them a steady diet of the screen. Especially considering it's about the only pass Ainge can deliver.

SavDawg writes:

Go Dawgs!

kesterja#235578 writes:

Now let's see if the defense can do ANYTHING...

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Hey, you see that?! There's been a defense sighting!

imnotwithphil writes:

As much as I want a coaching change - I DO NOT want to lose to Vandy for 2 out of the last 3 years... Hope they can pull off another 4Q miracle...

Go Vols! And just go, Phil....

bshell12 writes:

ainge sucks....thank goodness he is gone after 2 or 3 more games

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

3-and-out! Just when I though we had the momentum!

utvols1 writes:

Ainge just plains sucks when he has the smallest amount of pressure. We're toast.
How embarrassing 2 in a row to Vandy. Pathetic.

kesterja#235578 writes:

This is what I call a high-octane offense. Why not another screen?

jonesboroughvolfan writes:

Who's calling the offensive plays, Ronnie Milsap? !!!!!!!

picchic913#459936 writes:

Seriously?! Vandy?!?!?! You have GOT to be kidding me. One of my friends is at the game and said he won't leave cause he wants to be there for the end of Fulmer. If only....

VolFan4Life writes:

Probably only 2 possessions left -- must score on both or its over.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

okay, let's put 10 on the line and BLOCK THAT PUNT!

bshell12 writes:

Ainge made a good throw to briscoe and another one to taylor...wow!!!

kesterja#235578 writes:

Wow...Dr. Jekyll is back! When will Mr. Hyde rear his ugly head?

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