Dave Hooker audio
Gunslinger? Absolutely. Nick Stephens completed 13 of 30 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions despite throwing into coverage repeatedly and having several balls tipped. Stephens, who held the ball a bit too long early, is emerging as a great deep-ball thrower. He is to be commended for his poise in his first SEC start and first road start.
Running Backs D
Clearly there's no Knowshon Moreno in UT's backfield (or even a Brannan Southerland for that matter). The Vols didn't have a lot to work with up front thanks to an offensive line that couldn't handle a Georgia team that was determined to stop the run. Nevertheless, UT's tailbacks need to break more tackles.
There were times when the Vols got good separation against the Bulldogs, but not enough. This just in: Denarius Moore is fast. But aside from his 60-yarder, UT's receivers only caught eight passes for 115 yards. Gerald Jones dropped a promising screen pass.
Offensive Line F
The Vols rushed 15 times for 1 net yard. UT also allowed five tackles for a loss, including two sacks. Stephens shares some of the blame for holding the ball too long on the sacks, but this certainly doesn't look like the offensive line that was so good in pass protection last season.
Defensive Line D
Considering Georgia's offensive line has been rebuilt several times this season because of injuries, UT should have gotten a lot more done up front. A struggling offense is taking its toll on UT's defense, which looked gassed on Georgia's final drive. End Robert Ayers played a screen pass perfectly for an interception that kept the Vols in the game. Ayers also threw Moreno for a 6-yard loss and had 3.5 tackles for a loss. Gerald Williams was called for another personal foul, his second in three games.
Ellix Wilson led the Vols with 16 tackles despite a sore shoulder. Nevin McKenzie struggled mightily in pass coverage, but had a tackle for a loss. Rico McCoy isn't giving the Vols much, only two tackles. He should be providing more big plays.
It's a good thing the Vols have Eric Berry, whose third-quarter interception kept it from getting ugly. Safety Demetrice Morley was woefully out of position on several plays. Officials added insult to injury with a bad personal foul call. Drops were the only thing that could stop Georgia's receivers against UT's soft coverage. Well, the Vols also tried holding, but that's illegal. DeAngelo Willingham was called for a personal foul.
Special Teams C+
Punter Britton Colquitt's return helped but he was called for a personal foul. Georgia's longest return was only 27 yards. With UT's special teams play this season, take that to the bank.
UT's defense looked overrated against the best offense they've played all year. Still, the Vols aren't doing much of anything offensively. Solid scheme contributed to UT's long passes on offense.
A couple of big plays kept it respectable but Georgia's players were dancing on the sidelines during a timeout - in the second quarter.