Report card: Tennessee vs. Georgia

Quarterbacks B

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.

Receivers C

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.

Linebackers D

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.

Secondary D

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.

Coaching D

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.

Overall D-

A couple of big plays kept it respectable but Georgia's players were dancing on the sidelines during a timeout - in the second quarter.

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Comments » 94

CRFVols writes:

Oh well....we're gonna look at some film and work like heck!

30233vol writes:

Hooker stop grading on a curve! COACHING - F

sbgovols#218409 writes:

Coaching D - are you crazy? The sucker punch alone should have made this an F.

FedUpVolFan writes:

D- is being to nice!
Great article.

rusty_shackleford writes:

Creer would start at 80% of the SEC teams. But then again, if the line can't/won't block, even Herschel Walker couldn't run effectively.

stormblast writes:

in response to CRFVols:

Oh well....we're gonna look at some film and work like heck!

Well. we know the season's not over yet. This is fixable. I'm eager to get back to work on monday. I know the players are too. We're optimistic about possibilities of rest of the season. We're still in this race, a win here and a loss there by the other teams and we right in the middle of it.

Is it me...but have we heard this before?

graphpro#231211 writes:

Why I hate Phil Fulmer
1. Mismanagement of team since 1998 ...
The hiring of Sanders (Would you hire your marketing director to be your CEO with no experience?)
The result has been bad offensive recruiting
16 players on offense since 2000 (6 offensive lineman)
30 players on defense since 2000
The rehire of Cut. He fixed Ainge but yet another recruiting class gone
After Cut left and hired another OC yet another recruiting class gone
Starting less talented people just because of class (i.e. crompton over Stephens, foster instead of Creer or Hardesty)

2. Lack of Discipline, Accountability, Lack of aggressiveness and demanding excellence
Fumbles, penalties, no penalty for mistakes (Fosters fumbles and personal foul penalties)
How many games has Fulmer took the blame for... many? What's the consequence... NOTHING
Fulmer is an absolutely embarrassing physical specimen. ( Shows is own lack of personal discipline.

3. Lack of Consistent special teams play

4. Fulmer is a spin Doctor..... great for car salesman and politicians

5. Poor Character
Questionable issue with Majors
Contributed $1m after poor talent
Lied about deposition

I feel better. Can't wait till basketball season.
Mike Hamilton you've taken our basketball to new heights but also have taken the football to new lows.

GREEKDAWG writes:

I wonder how sales are for the pay-per-view Miss.State?

VolinCalif writes:

Vols didn't look very good, but the last two min's were very bad. The QB looked like he was all alone trying to make a game of it. a pass right in the rec. hands and no one really closing to cause a problem. So just drop it and get this over with.

boomer writes:

where is the athlete on the offensive line?

what a joke..big, fat, and ugly...who coaches these suckers? ...if this is the best we've got...wait 'til next year when we will really terrible..

fat and ugly, slow and clumsy, and chicken...

josh mcneil likes to lay down in piles...he ducks his head...watch the tape and puke...

watch those tackles, pull, stumble, look around and watch those tacklers smash the ball carriers...then watch those tackles...hands on hips, huffin and puffin

ubershamu312 writes:

For the first 5 games, the only player who came ready to play was Eric Berry. Today, it was Berry and Robert Ayers. The rest of this team just isn't very good. I've been pro-Phil all along and I gave him a lifetime pass after last year's run, but this is just ugly. And why are more people not calling for Clawson's head? There are only 10 teams that have scored fewer points than us, IN THE NATION. Jeez, Randy Sanders is laughing at this. And how about what Troop is doing in Stillwater? And Cut? Good thing we got rid of all those guys.

orangecountry21 writes:

Stay the course and maybe Florida and Georgia and Vandy will choke.

TimboVols writes:

Give me WILL MUSCHAMP

rblakeh writes:

Overly critical on all positions other than O-Line.

murrayvol writes:

in response to ubershamu312:

For the first 5 games, the only player who came ready to play was Eric Berry. Today, it was Berry and Robert Ayers. The rest of this team just isn't very good. I've been pro-Phil all along and I gave him a lifetime pass after last year's run, but this is just ugly. And why are more people not calling for Clawson's head? There are only 10 teams that have scored fewer points than us, IN THE NATION. Jeez, Randy Sanders is laughing at this. And how about what Troop is doing in Stillwater? And Cut? Good thing we got rid of all those guys.

Stay that course. Ole Phil is gonna need all the support he can muster.

DennisVols writes:

Chart time

FedUpVolFan writes:

FL 51- LSU-21
I don't think we are going to Atlanta this year!

CoverOrange writes:

"Officials added insult to injury with a bad personal foul call"

Thanks Dave for actually taking a position.

Did anybody else see McKensie actually help Georgia score their first TD?

stormblast writes:

in response to TimboVols:

Give me WILL MUSCHAMP

Here, here.

Wave this set of coaches off into the sunset.

Contact Muschamp immediately...immediately. Not this week. Not tomorrow. Now. Right now. Give him the job. We need someone who can light a fire into the this program. Muschamp is the one who can do it.

MUSCHAMP... Trade in the burnt orange for the "real" orange.

30233vol writes:

in response to TimboVols:

Give me WILL MUSCHAMP

Amen!

06143831 writes:

The coaching should have been an F. The offensive line done a bad job, but what can you really do when 5 guys are trying to block 6. Georgia used the same scheme that NI and Auburn used against us. Blitz the he!! out of us. It amazed me that we ran the ball so much in the first half on 1st down. We line up in a 3 wide set and try to run on a 4-3 with at least 6 blitzing most of the time(at that trying to run right into it.) Why it took so long for the adjustments, I have no idea. This is more of a coaching loss than an O-line loss. The O-line played bad, but the coaches didn't try to help them out and adjust to what was going on until the 2nd half.

Knoxobserver writes:

Hey Mikey,
Better do something now or you could be joining the Great Pumpkin on the unemployment line. Loyalty at this point will buy you both the pink slip. Do it now while the choice is still yours

06143831 writes:

The coaching deserved an F this game. I would like to know why in the 1st half we tried to run the ball multiple times on 1st down up the middle directly at the blitz. When there are 8 in the box and at least 6 of them are comming at you(think we would have figured that out by the 2nd series), why do you run the ball up the middle in a 3 wide set up the middle with only 5 O-linemen blocking? Poor gameplanningby the coaches.For 3 weeks now exact same scheme ran against us defensively. Sure fulmer I have not ever played football before, but I think that I could figure out the odds of this working. Give the O-line a break, sure they done bad, but the coaches done nothing to help them out. This is what happens when you have 5 people blocking 6 or 7 people rushing.

06143831 writes:

are my comments being posted?

tenuscvol writes:

in response to 06143831:

are my comments being posted?

yes...why?

TNVolsFan writes:

All TN has to do is Stay on course and Work like heck and they still have a chance.

VolinCalif writes:

Pappy! Why are you watching this game? You know who is going to win. Your team has to score to win and they don't knon how to score.
The words of my 8 year old grandson, tonight. He plays little L. football here in calif. Good night guys I have to Pu@@ before I go to bed.
Volincalif

bluechip68 writes:

How the hell can Georgia rush 3 and get to Stephens? Thats just embarrassing. Elix Wilson just gave up on one play when the receiver ran past him. Just started jogging. Pathetic.

Stephens is WORLDS better than Crompton. Crompton couldnt throw it in the ocean off a pier.

Eric Berry is a freaking BEAST. Shame his talent is being wasted on this team. He could go pro after this year.

The lack of discipline is simply alarming. Thats been a trademark of Fulmer's teams for years though.

stormblast writes:

WHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm hitting the Jack like a UT punter after this one!!!!

VolinCalif writes:

PS He was with me at the UCLA game and we watch each week they are on any TV.
What now?

bigexecutiveguy writes:

Give me a liberty, or give me a doomed program that is circling the vomit-stained toilet!

VOLinGA writes:

Who cares anymore...please continue to lose so we can get a new coach. Sorry Eric Berry...you're the real deal. Sorry we don't have a coaching staff to support your talent.

xvolx writes:

coaching d. you kidding. they must get extra credit for breathing.

DekanGator writes:

I hate to tell you I told you so ...... but I told you so ....
Stan Drayton is not the answer!

MrBamSeydu writes:

We're only 93 plays from being 6-0.

thevoice writes:

in response to TNVolsFan:

All TN has to do is Stay on course and Work like heck and they still have a chance.

A chance? A chance to what, finish 3-9?

bobbarbilly writes:

This Tennessee offensive line couldn't open a hole in a doughnut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mike_d writes:

Roll up that window...your lettin the stank out.

UrbanCryer writes:

all comes down to coaching. f-. they suck out loud. players can only do what they are coached to do. no fire from the great pumpkin. ut has some good players they NEED a staff that knows what to do with them. dont try to put 40lbs on a great h.s linebacker and make him a defensive tackle, dont tell a great h.s. defensive tackle that youre going to move him to the o-line(former LSU great, dorsey), dont make youre depth chart by experience. put the best players on the field, etc. put these kids in a position to succeed. run schemes that might have a chance. dont call plays that i can see coming from my couch at home. if i see it coming dont you think a guy getting paid millions can figure out what youre doing. thats who i feel bad for the kids that trusted foolmore & company to come to UT. looks like they got a bad bill of goods

nightxtr4in#451385 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

We're only 93 plays from being 6-0.

LOL That's funny!!! I think they should fire Dave Clawson just like Auburn did!!! I'm sick and tired of the "Crawlfense". I am embarrassed!!!!!!!!

rockytopflash writes:

PHIRE PHAT PHIL NOW!

rockytopflash writes:

How sad that Mike Hamilton and the UT Athletic Department are actually asking us to purchase 10th anniversary memorabilia for the PERFECT SEASON and 1998 BCS Championship. You have got to be KIDDING...we actually want to draw attention to the fact that UT has done NOTHING since 1998. Look at USC, OU, and OHIO STATE...they have not only won championships but have back to the BCS Title Game several times. LSU has won two championships and Florida has backed up their 1996 championship. UT...what a joke!

hippie60 writes:

Changing coaches is a double edge sword Michigan getting beat by Toledo proves that. If your going to change get someone besides Muschamp. Pilot Oil can afford the very best coach in the world. The fans deserve that. Not someone that's never coached a play as a head coach. Think about it!

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

It's obvious that all of the rejects which read these articles and post don't seem to know that sportswriters are usually on the take. Like little birdies riding the big rhinos backs. They are leechs, playing off of the fans passions. The only reason they want is their gravy trains to continue. Just like the regular news media who thrive on disaster, these people will never be pleased no matter if we win 6 National Championships in a row. After a while even Bruce Pearl will be boring to them. It's all a just another fresh start and fresh adreline. Pray for our team, it's a cometitive thing, and make vows to your Lord and pay on them for your Team , the Volunteers, and let God work in your favor. We have been trying it too long with our own strength.

vol98champ writes:

From what I see the best offensive players were second teamers when the season started. Can you imagine how good we would be if the HC and OC could evaluate talent and put all second teamers in the game and send these other loosers packing.

vol52 writes:

in response to TouchdownTenn:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It does bring up who is on the bench and should be starting. I have no confidence in what the coaches say or do.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

in response to stormblast:

Here, here.

Wave this set of coaches off into the sunset.

Contact Muschamp immediately...immediately. Not this week. Not tomorrow. Now. Right now. Give him the job. We need someone who can light a fire into the this program. Muschamp is the one who can do it.

MUSCHAMP... Trade in the burnt orange for the "real" orange.

Tennessee is off to its worst start in 20 years. That’s not good news for Phillip Fulmer. Saturday’s game at Georgia was billed as a “must win” for Fulmer. His Vols fell to the Bulldogs 26-14, are now 2-4 and in danger of having their second losing season in three years. The future for Fulmer does not look good. One more loss probably does the Fat One in. Barring an upset of Alabama and a running of the table, it’s very likely the Vols will have a new coach in 2009.
Early names include Duke Coach David Cutcliffe, Tampa Bay Bucs Coach Jon Gruden, North Carolina Coach Butch Davis, UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel and Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville are two names that have been tossed around over the past month. Both seem to be extreme long shots at this point. Spurrier seems to have fallen out of favor due to his age, although he is still younger than Bobby Bowden when he won his first national title. Tuberville has his own problems at Auburn. The Vols are trying to escape mediocrity – not make it a permanent situation, which would seem to eliminate Tub.

IMAVOL2 writes:

well , you should grade eric berry individually from the rest of the team and coaches . (every game) he is really special and we have nothing else !! i would not blame him if he decides to get the h___ out of this mess , which will take years to recover from.

ps / this "defense" is the worst 3rd and long "defense" in the history of the world !!

invisiblekid writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Stay that course. Ole Phil is gonna need all the support he can muster.

Appears that this year's sacrificial lamb is primed and ready. It never occurs to some what the common thread is between 2005 and now.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to TouchdownTenn:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"If he got hurt, you guys would say, 'Why the hell did you play him on offense?' " Fulmer said to the assembled reporters on Tuesday.

Why would you want to try Berry on offense? He might get hurt playing football, that couldn't possibly happen on defense. Besides, depth at the safety position is really what's ailing this team right now, not offense.

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