Gators not as tough out of Swamp

Fulmer and players respond to Spikes' comment

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UT head coach Phillip Fulmer addresses the media Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008.

UT head coach Phillip Fulmer addresses the media Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008. Watch »

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — If Tennessee is going to end its latest losing streak against Florida, Neyland Stadium is the place to do it.

The Gators are 21-1 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Urban Meyer’s three-plus years as head coach.

But in Florida’s last five games away from The Swamp, they’re 2-3. That includes a 41-35 loss to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl, a 42-30 loss to Georgia in Jacksonville and a 28-24 loss to LSU at Tiger Stadium.

Meyer has a simple explanation for that.

“To win on the road, you have to play great defense,” Meyer said. “You have to be tough. And you have to take care of the ball.

“Last year, we were not a tough football team, we didn’t take care of the ball and we didn’t play great defense. In the games on the road, we got out-toughed.

“If you want to beat Tennessee, you better play tough, you better play great defense and you better take care of the ball.”

Florida, which enters Neyland Stadium on Saturday with a three-game winning streak against the Vols, lost only one road game in 2006 when it won the national championship. But even when Florida has won on the road under Meyer, it rarely has looked as dominant as it has at home.

In Meyer’s first season at Florida, the Gators were 3-3 away from home, including a bowl victory. Two of those three victories were by seven points or fewer. In 2006, all four of the Gators’ regular-season road victories were by seven points or fewer.

Florida’s biggest road victory under Meyer came when it mattered most. The Gators beat Ohio State 41-14 for the national championship.

No Big Deal: Although Florida defeated Tennessee 59-20 last season, that doesn’t appear to have had a carryover effect with the Gators.

“We can beat them bad one year, and they could beat us bad one year,” Florida sophomore linebacker Brandon Hicks said.

Said quarterback Tim Tebow: “If you play well one week, big deal. You’ve got to play well every week.”

After routing the Vols last season, Florida lost three conference games, and UT won the SEC East.

Same Old Vols: Although UT has a new offensive coordinator in Dave Clawson, Meyer doesn’t see a big change.

“They’re really not that much different,” he said.

“Our defensive coaches think their running back (Arian Foster) is one of the best we’ve seen. Their offensive line is a strength, and they like to take shots downfield (passing).

“I think they will want to try to establish the run and pound the ball. It has been that way for quite awhile.”

In an overall assessment of his past encounters with the Vols, Meyer said, “They’re as talented a team as I’ve coached against.”

Extra Points: Since Meyer’s first team at Bowling Green in 2001, his teams have had fewer offensive turnovers than any team in the nation. That includes two teams at Bowling Green, two at Utah and three at Florida. … Although Florida is known as a passing team, the Gators have outrushed 35 opponents under Meyer. … Twelve different Florida players carried the ball in the first two games, and 10 players had pass receptions.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 68

pammyvol1000 writes:

Come on guys smash em in the mouth!!
and I really mean SMASH EM..

Vol4Ever writes:

It's time for UT to get back to truly having a home field advantage. Neyland should be feared and it needs to start on Sat! Protect the House!

pammyvol1000 writes:

oh. and lets show the gators we CAN run the ball.
Just reading up on some stats on the gator site and they say we have never rushed more than 6 yards on them.. so

Arian and Hardesty.. come on baby..let's make somebody know that " We are gonna take it this time in Our House!!!!!!!!

pammyvol1000 writes:

oh. and PD.. if we win. I will take a week vacation in your marvelous Dixie Bell river cruise..

gohawks1 writes:

Play to the whistle on every down for 60 minutes and give 100%. If we do that and still lose, I can live with it. I just don't want another debacle like last year.

And Chavis, for pete's sake, don't play 8-10 yards off the line of scrimmage and let them dink and dunk us to death. That ticks me off. BLITZ, man!

pammyvol1000 writes:

yeah.. what IPOrange said!!

hcjournals#206623 writes:

I love it! A real article and real comments! Let's see how long this lasts!

Go Vols.....................................

Madkels writes:

Pammy, the problem with that is they expect us to run, run, run. If we don't have a balanced approach, we become one dimensional and then play catch up with the passing game....just as we have the last 3 years. I say we have to mix it up and keep their defense off balance with different looks. This way, they will make some mistakes we can take advantage of in coverage and on the line. In order to run, you have to be successful with the pass to loosen up the d-line and make the linebackers play a little deeper. Then holes open up for your backs.

ncvol17 writes:

Beware of those who heap false praise on pregame foes. You know Tebow and co are sharpening their spikes for us. Kick away, run hard, blitz, & DON'T telegraph passes. Pray to the GODS of ORANGE for assistance for 3 1/2 hrs Saturday.

bcm4ut writes:

I wouldn't even start twinkle toes Foster for this game. His style of running just does not work against a sure tackling fast defense. I would let Hardesty and Creer handle the ball carrying for at least the next two games.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

wow, lost to Michigan (?), Ga and LSU. One wound up #1, the other #2. Not exactly chopped liver.

But wait till they face the 2-9....

gohawks1 writes:

And pammyvol (you go, girl) is right... RUN THE FREAKIN' BALL! Foster and Hardesty aren't getting enough carries. We have a heckuva set of running backs, but eight or nine carries each isn't enough. Statistics will show that the team who rushes for the most yards in this series usually wins.

But then again, you know what Mark Twain said about statistics: "There are lies, d#m* lies, and statistics."

UTchange writes:

If the Vols start the season 1-3, can we finally get a change?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

pammyvol, 6:37- that looks like the real fun deal, doesn't it. What accomodations.

How about the pair of beauties on deck?

(Daughter "the Gator" emailed me a chance at a cruise on the Dixie Bell which is a 10' 1960's era travel trailer on a homemade raft with a 15hp outboard in a swamp)

pammyvol1000 writes:

Madkels.. I know we have to mix it.. I just want to show Fla we can run on them. Arian and Foster are pretty big fellas. Let em rip some gator tail up.

Did you know?
Fla has 60 of their 87 scholarships to Freshman and Sophomores.

Did you know?
6 of the last 10 games was decided by 4 points or less. and ..
16 of 37 games were decided by 7 points or less.

yes, I have been reading..It calms the nerves until Sat.

IP. thank you! were on the same page.

pammyvol1000 writes:

pdhuff, :) how bout them cup holders.. and did you get the Little Phil pic?

Urban_Weiner writes:

Not sure if Meyer is just bs'ing or what to suck up to the press and UT fans about our team, coaches, and talent...but he is right. Our offense does seem pretty much the same, we have great running backs which we hope to establish the run with, and once that has been done, we have a good deep ball with Crompton's good arm. So i think for once in my life I agree with Urban Meyer. So Vols, please listen to him, ESTABLISH THE RUNNING GAME!! PLEASE!! ITS OUR ONLY CHANCE! O, and one last thing, everyone says how UAB is a pop warner and all this stuff but to Florida, our D is going to be a little bit of a surprise aswell!!
GO VOLS

snowvol writes:

- “We can beat them bad one year, and they could beat us bad one year,” Florida sophomore linebacker Brandon Hicks said. -

That's not been true for a long, long time. Florida DOES beat Tennessee badly. But when the Vols win, it's close.

As for the Gators not being as dominant at home, that's true. But a quick check of the series shows Florida having won five of the past seven games in Knoxville. Forget about everywhere else...they've been dominant in Neyland.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

pammyvol1000 - have already forwarded liitle Phil to several. What a kid! Big Fletch said looked like him when he was 2.

We take life very seriously here on the creek.

Adult beverages have been okayed for Saturday.

Always....

bcm4ut writes:

Establish the running game? Anyone who has seen at least two games in this series knows that Tn will attempt three runs on the first drive, punt, fall behind 7 points, then entirely abandon the run game. Please listen to yourselves. This game will not be close, maybe worse than last year. Thats's real as it gets.

bcm4ut writes:

2001 was an exception. Little Travis Stephens went crazy. Line play on both sides of the ball was outstanding. I miss those days.

flstf writes:

If Foster is to slow, dances to much, is a mad fumbler how is it again, that with just a few more hundred yards he becomes the all time UT rushing leader? And how in the world did he get into the top five all purpose yard gainers?

Man he must really suck. I guess its just all luck. No, wait, somebody must be altering the records.

ZR writes:

Auburn is next. Tennessee needs to save plays for Auburn. If Tennessee manages to get up by 7-9 points, Clawson needs to reign it in and execute 2 or 3 running plays and 2 different passing plays. Let Creer get rolling and Crompton zero in on one main guy like Austin Rodgers.

pammyvol1000 writes:

pd..yes. I've got to make a run to hwy 29 before Sat. for my famous rita's..:)

Look for a big surprise on Sat... you might just see a goal post come down.. just kidding.

Guys.. look for more Orange sundresses..:)

ok..For all you serious tailgaitors, here's a TIP. Looks great on the deck for grill'in and chill'in for Sat. Go now and buy your orange lights. They are everywhere for Halloween. Even my dawg neighbors say they look good.!!!

Musicman74 writes:

For all of the people who want to get rid of Fulmer, I want you to tell me who you would get to replace him. The man has the second most wins in UT history.

With the NCAA only letting each school have 85 scholarships, it is getting harder to recruit the top players. The top players can go somewhere where they can play right away, instead of sitting on the bench for two or three years before playing.

So lay off Fulmer. He is one of the best coaches in the country.

GO BIG ORANGE!!!

pammyvol1000 writes:

oh.. and I emailed a question to Urban tonight. I'm on a roll.........................

el_duderino writes:

For the life of me I just have no confidence in us to win this game. I know we like to play that one game each year where we just play out of our minds, but I really don't think this will be the one. We need this win so bad it's scary, I pray we can pull it out. GO VOLS

bcm4ut writes:

Saban isn't having a hard time finding good recruits. Meyer and Pete Carrol seem to be doing pretty well also. I think Mark Richt has done ok for hisself. The Truth is Fulmer could win when the league was filled with average coaches(i.e. Donnan, Bowden, Dubose, Shula, etc etc..) But now all these current coaches can out recruit Phil and vastly out coach him as well. I think Butch Davis might be a good fit for our program.

pammyvol1000 writes:

Dude, if prayer is what it takes.. I'm jumping on that train.

bcm4ut writes:

Foster has started since he was a freshman. Everyone he has passed didn't play that long and played in a deep and talented backfield. Jamal Lewis would have had 5000+ yards if he hadn't lost a year and played safe his junior year.

1manningfan writes:

Vols fans i expect everyone who is going to this game to be louder than they have ever been! Im driving from Tampa/FL to watch my beloved VOLS skin some Gators!!! Im not driving that far just to see an @$$ whopping from UF, it just not in the script for me. Everyone who is crying or scared of the jean short !ussy @$$ gators keep your sissy @$$ off this board and away from Neyland Stadium come Sat b/c im not having it. If there is anyone who is going to the game i am sitting Section R, Row 21, Seats 13 and 14 lower level. I know they are some kick @$$ seats.

I live in FL and let me tell ya im tired of hearing about the Gators. So when im at the game this saturday all i want to see and hear is VOLS fans feeling confident and ready to commit yourselfs to screaming and making noise and chanting fight songs at the game. All sissy's stay at home. Im pissed, its rivalry week and i want some gator skin, if any of you Gator boys wants some of this VOL BRING IT! you know where im sitting!

P.S. NO FU*KING BOOING AT THE GAME!!! THE TEAM DOSENT NEED IT.

I WILL GIVE MY ALL FOR TENNESSEE TODAY AND ESPICIALLY SATURDAY

GO VOLS!!!
GO BIG ORANGE!!!
FU*K FLORIDA GATORS!!!

bluetick writes:

Nice manningfan! And bcm4ut Foster was also out most of his freshman year being plagued with injuries so make sure and get it right. He has had 544 carries, 2590 net rushing yards and 3,374 all purpose yards. Thats averaging almost 5 yards a carry. I wouldn't say that is BS. He describes himself the best by saying he's like water...he just flows. The guy is good no question about it. Creer and Hardesty will get their opportunities as well. Our RB coach was Florida's RB coach remember for the past 3 yrs.
On other positive notes the Vols still lead the series 19-18, and we're 11-8 in Knoxville. Tennessee also leads the SEC in total offense and 23rd nationally with 457 ypg. We are tied for 2nd nationally with 7 interceptions and that is only after 2 games. Lucas Taylor is tied for the SEC lead with 84.5 ypg/avg and has caught a pass in 17 consecutive games which ranks him 8th on UT's all time list.
Cheer up you naysayers! Let the team feed off of the crowds energy. We have a LOT going for us! Let's stomp some gator @ss this Sat!

GreenDevilVol writes:

I dont know what gator team most have seen,but they are not the world beaters they are hyped to be. Hawaii High and the U,not two teams to be overly excited about beating. Hawaii was a turnover game and the gators scored 28 on the rainbows miscues.Miami showed you can run the ball and different looks on D confused tebow and co. as well !! I look for UT to open a can of whoop AZZ this sat and put the gators in the losing column for one of many more L's this year,THEY ARE NOT THAT GOOD !!!!!!!!!! 1manningfan,my thoughts exactly !!!!!

bcm4ut writes:

Best I remember Foster took over in the bama game of '05 when Riggs got hurt. Maybe I'm wrong, but I dont think so. Water ususally flows downstream not side to side. Hardesty is our best option at tailback.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

IPO's first post is the exact gameplan we need.

IPO, can you forward your resume to Mr. Hamilton? He might need to look at it in a few weeks.

kilovol writes:

I like being underdogs. Tennessee never dominates in the big games. We tend to play to the level of our competition. That being said, I hope Florida comes in all "rah, rah!" and we smack them in the mouth and the fans rock the stadium so that it disorients the Gators. We can win this game. Anybody thats been a Vols fan for a long time knows Fulmer pulls out these kind of games from somewhere. Let's get pumped for our SEC opener! ITS FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!!!

pammyvol1000 writes:

I remember the 21-20 in Knoxville. It's time to beat the Gators!

sameolvolalum writes:

1manningfan, your enthusiasm is contagious and an appreciated positive addition to this site. There are those (and you know who you are, touchbackTn is one) who may as well wear faux gator heads and cheer for Florida this Saturday (gator chopping away) while claming to be fans of the big orange nation. We CAN win this game and I, for one, think Fulmer will pull it off. By the way, when I tried out for UT's jr. varsity team in '69 I was acquainted with Phillip Fulmer. To a person, everyone admired and respected him for his personality, intelligence and his kindness as a human. Not to mention he was one of the best offensive linemen in the SEC. I'm sure none of that has changed, except for his athletic prowess. In my humble opinion, You losers can just keep p*ssing in the wind 'til you drown. Go Vols

govols22231 writes:

i cant wait till saturday
i want to kill florida
GO VOLS!!!!! beat those gators

BNR10 writes:

Beat that Gators....no respect

Reasonavol writes:

Flstf -- Foster played as a freshman, he was competing with Riggs. There were no other significant backs at UT to share snaps. Hardesty is good, but injury prone. Foster is good enough to not get drafted and come back for his senior year. He is in the top 10 backs at UT but no way is the best bakc we have had. His yards per carry is lower. Look at the other backs on the list. Cheese was at UT the same time as Stephens and Lewis. UT's lack of good backs and Fosters inability to get drafted are why he will be number one. He is probably a good kid, but he is not the best back at UT. Anyone disagree?

Reasonavol writes:

grvol - I noticed that too. But I believe we can win this game. IF for nothing else Florida is coming in too confident. Go Vols

rootin4volz writes:

LET'S DO THIS!!!!

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

Jamal was Heisman Candidate, Vick wouldv'e been Heisman if he'd stayed, Vince Young was Heisman if he'd stayed. Wouldn't it be fun if some of these kids would just stay and play out their four years and see just how good they could be. What do you want? Fame or money? I believe that we can beat Florida, who will believe with me?

TNfaninMS writes:

Someone give me a damn break. Some bad plays and some bad play calls and we suck beyond all understanding. STFU all you idiots. If you are embarassed to say that Tennessee will win Saturday and they lose then you all need to become fans of another team. I for one will cheer my A@@ off until the final whistle blows and if we lose, then it sucks but I am still a Tennesse Volunteer and noone can take that away from me no matter what. So all of you saying that we are going to lose can go to hell and those of you saying we are going to win, even if we end up losing, you all are TRUE TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS! GO VOLS! Stomp that gator a@@

TNfaninMS writes:

Im there WELOVE!! im not sure how many are with us but IM THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

swampbuggy writes:

1manningfan acts like a bammer. It's people like you that I love to know because you are all mouth and when the game is over and your team loses, we don't hear anything out of you for another year.

43-13 Florida!

bluetick writes:

NO its people like you polesmokinswampbuggy that we never hear from again. It's obvious you have an interest in us Vols or you wouldn't be here contaminating our boards.

If we use all 3 of our backs.. Creer, Hardesty and Foster we can tire them out, no question about it. We'll get the offensive push we need I believe. It's that one DE that I'm more concerned about. Dude is a beast.

gnm53108 writes:

Count me in with the pro-VOLS!
I believe we do have a chance saturday.It will depend,not all but an absolute must,on our defensive effort.Stopping their ability to run the ball(Tebow included). Limmiting big plays.Three and outs.Picks from the best secondary in the SEC.Getting our d@mn ball back!
Believe,Believe,BELIEVE!
GO VOLS!!!

MidTennVol writes:

Well, he's daring us to try it again: run the ball. After the running numbers we've put up the past three years, why wouldn't he dare us to run it again?

Think Fulmer/Clawson will take the dare? Think our offensive line can get a push and open some holes?

Think we'll finally, on our fourth try in as many years, be able to establish a running game against these swine?

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