Crompton 'enthused' about getting start

Coleman moves past Stephens to No. 2

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Tennessee will begin its 11th game of the season the way it began its first four.

That is to say junior Jonathan Crompton will start at quarterback.

UT coach Phillip Fulmer said Sunday night that Crompton will start for the Vols (3-7, 1-5 SEC) in Saturday's game at Vanderbilt (6-4, 4-3), six games after being benched in favor of Nick Stephens.

Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. (TV: WVLT).

"I'm enthused," said Crompton, who last started in UT's 14-12 loss at Auburn on Sept. 27. "I'm going to go out here and do the best I can. We've got to go out and win these last two games."

Crompton has played in each of UT's last two games and engineered UT's lone scoring drive in a 13-7 loss to Wyoming on Nov. 8.

Against the Cowboys, Crompton was 11-of-27 for 91 yards and a touchdown.

It's been a quick slide for Stephens, who started the last six games beginning with UT's 13-9 victory over Northern Illinois on Oct. 4.

His first career interception snapped a streak of 106 passes without a pick - and it went 68 yards for a touchdown against South Carolina.

That play landed him on the bench for the second quarter.

Two more interceptions in nine passes against Wyoming, which led to all 13 of the Cowboys' points, cost him more than his starting job.

Redshirt freshman B.J. Coleman passed Stephens on the depth chart as well and will practice with the second team this week.

"Nick had done such a good job for a good period of time of taking care of the football, although there was some plays along the way that could have been intercepted," Fulmer said. "He's had a really bad couple of games as far as the other team getting their hands on the ball."

Coleman, who could see action against the Commodores, completed 22 of 31 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in a UT's junior varsity game Thursday night against Hargrave Military Academy.

"I think everybody's realistic to know that playing against prep school, even though they're a good team and all, is not nearly like playing against a Southeastern Conference defense," Fulmer said. "The speed of the game or the looks or anything. B.J. did a nice job in the JV game, and I was really glad to see that. That certainly helped our confidence in him."

Receiver Gerald Jones expressed confidence in whoever lines up at quarterback.

He also said he hoped Coleman would get a chance under center.

"I think he deserves a chance," Jones said. "He did pretty good - really good - in the JV game. Why not? Give him a chance and see if he can lead this team from here on out. But I'm not the coach, so it's not my call."

Ultimately, though, Fulmer hopes the Vols won't have to make another switch at quarterback.

"Hopefully, there won't be a leash, that somebody will go in there and do very well with what we're doing," Fulmer said. "We've got to go in and be productive at quarterback. Right now, we have a very unusual situation for us that we're just not getting the consistent play that we would like."

Injury Update: Tailback Montario Hardesty (stress fracture), defensive tackle Dan Williams (ankle), tailback Arian Foster (thigh bruise) and defensive end Chris Walker (back) are all expected to be available against the Commodores.

"That's why I said the open date came at a good time," Fulmer said. "Hopefully those guys will all be at 100 percent by the time we get to Saturday."

A Little Different: Asked about the difference between Crompton and Stephens, Jones said there's one major distinction.

"I don't want to say what's different, what's good or what's better, (but) the difference is Crompton's a lot slower with his reads than Nick," Jones said.

'Dogs to Dores: One early line has the Vols as a 3 1/2-point underdog against Vandy.

The Commodores are bowl eligible for the first time in 26 years and could finish 8-4 with wins against UT and Wake Forest.

"(Vandy coach) Bobby Johnson's done a good job since he's been there," Fulmer said. "They've got a good-looking football team on both sides of the ball."

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 304

jcrewvol writes:

i'm not "enthused"

utmdm writes:

Vandy is enthused with his slow reads and our porous offensive line.

tnbigg writes:

Good...now play like you can...

anyonebutfulmer writes:

crompton is gonna tear it up!!!

VOLorado writes:

he's just happy to be improving his draft stock....

that"s right jon, declare for the nfl.

you can do it!

BillsBrother writes:

Let's see if we can get the Crompton that subbed for Ainge. While were at it, we could use a few lineman.

BillsBrother writes:

in response to tnbigg:

Good...now play like you can...

And coach like you didn't get stupid overnight!

thevoice writes:

G Jones = Kelly Washington, Jr.

RealistVolFan writes:

I don't care if he's enthused or not. A lot of people were enthused before they did something, like the Wyoming players before they played us and...

Well there goes that point.

RealistVolFan writes:

Oh, and while I'm on here:

If Greg Adkins still has a job after this year is over, then some people in the Athletic Department should make an appointment at Fort Sanders.

invisiblekid writes:

Sounds like Jones is enthused with this decision. I wonder how the rest of the team feels.

One thing about Fulmer, he has had a deft touch when it comes to handling QB's in recent years. Seriously, he has gotten quicker in his reads though. It took them less than 2 games to throw Stephens under the bus for making the same mistakes Crompton did in the first four games.

TommyJack writes:

"I think everybody's realistic to know that playing against prep school, even though they're a good team and all, is not nearly like playing against a Southeastern Conference defense," Fulmer said. "The speed of the game or the looks or anything. B.J. did a nice job in the JV game, and I was really glad to see that. That certainly helped our confidence in him."

Then why bother scheduling the game? CPF is just way lame.

VOLorado writes:

in response to thevoice:

G Jones = Kelly Washington, Jr.

Maybe he can get the Pats to pay him $1,406,720 too.

txsvol#372416 writes:

Start BJ Coleman! SAVol

miatatom writes:

Crompton will be out of the game by the end of the first quarter. Then maybe Coleman can get a chance. Man, I'd hate to be a QB on the hill.

Is it 09 yet? Glad there's roundball.

xvolx writes:

bet he is the only one enthused.

bigorangeguy writes:

crapton is starting. I say: it's not great to be a Tennessee Vol.

Vandy 30
ut 6

carsontwin writes:

I would like to see Crompton do good..wouldn't we all. But with his record this year its just hard to believe, unless he can change over night play like he is suppose to play. But i really want to see Coleman play. I think he is something to see and Cutcliff thought so too. Give the boy a chance, the season is done just see what we are going to have next year with him. He might be the spark....Good luck Vols!

Grim1 writes:

now...aren't we ALL glade Phil is gone after the end of the year?
Crompton over BJ?
i'm at a loss for words.
it just seems like to me Phil is "working like heck" to finish running this program into the ground to where Chris Peterson (or who ever the new coach is) CAN'T pick it back up

if UT loses this game...Phil Fulmer needs to be escorted off the filed..and NEVER be allowed within 50 miles of Knoxville again and they should take him to court to find out if there is some stipulation in his contract about him throwing the season so he doesn't get his money.

TommyJack writes:

Hey people. This is just Phil's was of flipping us the digit. Plain and simple.

Alwaysthinknnextyear writes:

Same ole Fulmer. Still doesn't get it and don't really care what anyone else has to say. His way or the highway has always been the deal. Don't forget he is TN football afterall. Bye Bye

kb7398#233189 writes:

LOL! I hope all you wolves are happy. The crowning achievment will be the final game when Fulmer walks out through the "T", drops his pants and shows you all what he thinks of you and your football knowledge...or maybe he saves it for just the media and walks out on his final press conference. After the way he's been done I don't blame him at all.

Couchdummy writes:

Wow! What a way for Fulmer to sign out on his career legacy at UT! Rather a classless in-your-face gesture on Fulmer' part.

chbradshaw writes:

After losing by three touchdowns to Vanderbilt - 24-6 seems likely but something around 41-0 does not seem out of the question - the esteemed "Philip Fulmer Day" should be canceled.

Who would have thought that someone who supposedly loved UT so much would treat its fan base and heritage with such disrespect? I am seriously wondering whether the guy has lost his mind.

Will Vicky wear Black and Gold on Sarurday?

The incredible shrinking legacy.

4EST writes:

You could put any qb in the country behind our offensive line and none of them are going to produce! It's impossible to expect great things when the only thing the defense hits on the way to the qb is air! Then, compound that with the "marriage" of offensive playcalling that Fulmer and Clawson have produced and there is no chance of doing well no matter who the qb is!!!!

Hydra writes:

Start Coleman. We have seen what Crompton does and it's not impressive. What has happened to Phil over the years that he would go out in such terrible fashion? Has he made so much money he just doesn't care anymore? 3-8 will be the new record for losses at TN. Way to go, Phil! Congrats on finally breaking a record here! Oh well, Phil, don't let the door hit ya where...well, you know...

CrankE writes:

I wonder why Fulmer was in such a hurry to name a starting QB at The Hecktagon? After the Auburn mess, he refused to be hurried on this waiting until Friday to make such a rash announcement.

What Coleman did was against a JV team. Fine. But he probably has more yards passing than our starting QBs do in the last three games.

If Crompton engineers any scoring drive at all, then he needs to be pulled. Whether the scoring drive is engineered for us or for Vandy through an INT, once that first scoring drive is in the bag, it's all downhill from there.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to kb7398#233189:

LOL! I hope all you wolves are happy. The crowning achievment will be the final game when Fulmer walks out through the "T", drops his pants and shows you all what he thinks of you and your football knowledge...or maybe he saves it for just the media and walks out on his final press conference. After the way he's been done I don't blame him at all.

The way he has been done? He should have been gone 6 or 7 years ago. And he gets 6 million. So I think his fat rear has been treated just fine.

ibvolman writes:

I guess Fulmer couldn't get the Vols bowl eligible, so he is going to work like heck to get Vandy bowl eligible.

Remember, he didn't get stupid overnight...but once he got there, he hasn't been able to find his way back.

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Hey people. This is just Phil's was of flipping us the digit. Plain and simple.

TJ, You don't realy think CPF would 'middle-finger' us on the way out, do you? He might be clueless, and emotionally distraught from his termination, but I do not for a minute think his character would permit him to do anything other than 'try-like-heck' to win these last two games. He'd like to finish with 100 more wins than losses for his Tennessee coaching career. SAVol

c4ftball#399849 writes:

Man fulmer must be suffering from deminsa or maybe he got mugged at walmart last night. crompton is horriableeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee well chalk up another loss we will be 3-8 after saturday.........Word of advice to new coach put JC on the practice squad since he practices sooooooooooo well maybe he could be good competition for our 1st and 2nd string defenses

eb502us#225637 writes:

Unfortunately, starting Crompton won't a difference. We obviously don't have a Div. I QB on our roster and with Clawson and Fulmer calling the plays, it's a recipe for disaster as we've seen thus far.

Only way we have a chance is to put Eric Berry at QB and let him run and throw on instinct. As bad as our QB's are coached and as bad as the play calling is, even Fulmer and Clawson would have a difficult time screwing up the abilities and instincts of Berry. Well, at least one would think so.

rusty_shackleford writes:

"I don't want to say what's different, what's good or what's better, (but) the difference is Crompton's a lot slower with his reads than Nick," Jones said.

Ouch.

Remember how excited the players were when Stephens got the starting nod? Now we know.

If I'm the commode door DC, I'm blitzing every play.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to ibvolman:

I guess Fulmer couldn't get the Vols bowl eligible, so he is going to work like heck to get Vandy bowl eligible.

Remember, he didn't get stupid overnight...but once he got there, he hasn't been able to find his way back.

ib,

I think Vandy already is bowl eligible. UT will make Vandy look like a BCS contender.

vtvol#210290 writes:

in response to thevoice:

G Jones = Kelly Washington, Jr.

That's a slap in the face to Kelley Washington--he had the TALENT to actually back it up on the field.

99gator writes:

the nightmare is almost over.

the final fig leaf for the collapse of 2008 would be a loss to ky, not vandy. it's the one thing tenn has not done in over 20 years. put all the eggs in that basket.

i haven't understood a lot this season and i am just a fan too. but, if the qb's are that bad and the offense is having that much trouble anyway......

why don't you see more of the g-gun or eric berry on offense.....especially now after a bye week? what do you have to lose?

DigUptheGeneral writes:

Ok...did I miss something? Was there a revival, a resurrection or something? How can things come this far full-circle this fast? Crompton was just awful for the first 4 games. Stephens, while not "igniting" the offense (kinda hard to do when you're running for your life) sure did seem to instill some confidence and show some poise. Now he throws two picks and that causes him to get busted down to private again?

Why should I even be surprised??

...and regarding the Gerald Jones comparisons to Kelly Washington... Please, do you guys have that short of a memory? Kelly Washington was a cancer. He was talented, but part of that was because he was much older and more (physically) mature when he got here.

GJ is skilled as an athlete and a leader...and makes a pretty good spokesperson for the team, too. Like much of our talent, he's just not been given the opportunity to show it.

Has the Brandon Warren search party come back yet??

tn_vol_67 writes:

Starting Crompton !!!
Are you kidding. No wonder he got the BOOT!!

BigVolOnBoard writes:

At least Crompton didn't just give any games away like WY. Stephens might as well transfer if he ever wants to throw another live ball, it will never happen at UT.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to invisiblekid:

Sounds like Jones is enthused with this decision. I wonder how the rest of the team feels.

One thing about Fulmer, he has had a deft touch when it comes to handling QB's in recent years. Seriously, he has gotten quicker in his reads though. It took them less than 2 games to throw Stephens under the bus for making the same mistakes Crompton did in the first four games.

Just another star in Phixable's crown.

Delusional, I believe is the word.

Only 11 days till the salvage crews arrive to remove the debris.

xvolx writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Hey people. This is just Phil's was of flipping us the digit. Plain and simple.

staying until the end was his digit showing.

blitzshoot writes:

Lame duck coach, lame duck team, lame duck game.
Worst record in UT history.
"try like heck" Vols.

vol88 writes:

in response to et_vol_fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hilarious!

blitzshoot writes:

in response to et_vol_fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Has to be the best one line I have seen posted. I lost my Cheerios when I saw it. Thanks man.

spencer1989#206886 writes:

So does this mean that Crapton can now get the ball closer to the hands of the receivers (than 20 yards over their heads, 15 yards behind them, or 10 yards before them in the ground). I have just been amazed at his accuracy!!!! He must have been working like heck during the times he has been benched. Oh wait...It didn't show during the last game, so maybe he's dialed it in during the offweek. I see this as nothing more than a "in your face" response by Phil. To be at the bottom of the barrel, why not try something else? We cannot get any worse. On the bright side, at least we have two outstanding basketball teams!!

tennisvol writes:

This seems to be a in-your-face to the fans at UT that I am still the coach and make the decisions around here. I'm going with the QB that was a big help in getting us to 3-7 and Coleman just did well in a JV game. Since ole Phil and Clawson have worked with Crompton for the last two weeks, maybe he will be able to recognize the difference in the colored jerseys and only throw to players on his team.
Vandy must be licking their chops.

blitzshoot writes:

I like Fulmer's compliment regarding Bobby Johnson and the Vanderbilt team. It's like , look what we are not.
Try like heck Vols.

GoVol writes:

This type of decision by Fulmer is the exact reason he was fired...so stupid. He's such an IDIOT. How can anyone feel sorry for someone that week after week makes decisions to not play your best players? Fulmer is a joke and the laughing stock of the SEC...even behind Croom....and that's pretty dang bad!

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

All things being said, the recruitment of QB's the last few years has cost Phil his job.

All you guys blitcing and moaning about ERik or Casey now see the 'why' of 'why they are good college qb's'. Erik and Casey could make their reads and make the throws for first-down yardage.

I only had one problem with Casey: he should have NEVER retracted his statement about UGA. He was right; if he had played, UT would have beaten them. CJ Leak and James Banks are just like the QB's we have now; they made bad reads and can't place the ball to an open receiver.

Well, so much for my 'history lesson'. Fact is, with a decent QB, the vols maybe have eight wins or so. Instead, Phil's gone, and we are losing recruits, and we don't know who the hell we are getting to coach.

The point?? Every recruit matters, ever game matters, and every ocaching hire matters.

sstarnes#216340 writes:

Here's the deal. Guys, well and girls too, have you ever went digging through the dirty laundry trying to find a pair of dirty socks to wear just to get you through the day? You put them on your feet thinking "man these things are funky, I hope nobody finds out I wore stinky socks"! That essentially is what Fulmer is doing here. He's went digging in Tennesse's dirty laundry, found a stinky sock (quarterback-Crompton) and thinks he can lead the team through a southeastern conference game. Fulmer, Crompton is a stinky sock, give the other QB a chance!! Crompton can't even throw the stinkin football!! Fulmer I'm glad you're leaving because evidently you have gotten stupid "overnight" !!

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