40-second clock helps no-huddle Gators

Florida's no-huddle offense is certainly a concern for Tennessee's coaches - and their players' conditioning.

"What no-huddle people would like to do is wear you down," UT defensive line coach Dan Brooks said, referring to Saturday's matchup with Florida in Neyland Stadium.

It seemed to work last season as Florida pulled away from the Vols with a 59-20 win in Gainesville.

Thanks to an offseason adjustment to the game clock, that might be even easier for the Gators this season.

"With the new rule, it makes it a little bit better for those no-huddle teams," Brooks said. "They can snap the ball as soon as it's put on the ground if they don't substitute."

Under the rules that were revised this offseason, the 40-second play clock begins as soon as the ball is placed on the ground following a play. That means the ball can be snapped almost immediately.

Under the old rules, a team had to wait for a signal from the official before the ball could be snapped and the 25-second play clock began.

In order to fight off fatigue, Brooks would like to play as many as six defensive tackles.

That seems unlikely since Brooks admitted he's only comfortable with UT's top tackle trio: Demonte Bolden, Dan Williams and Walter Fisher.

Donald Langley, Victor Thomas and Andre Mathis are battling for playing time behind the top three.

"Somebody needs to stick their head out of the pack," Brooks said.

Willingham Injured: Starting cornerback DeAngelo Willingham, who has started both games and recorded an interception in each, practiced Thursday with a large wrap on his left hand.

UT coach Phillip Fulmer did not provide specifics on Willingham's injury, although the wrap covered all but his index, middle finger and thumb.

Fulmer and defensive coordinator John Chavis said that they expect Willingham to play against Florida.

Safety Demetrice Morley continues to wear a cast on his right hand, and is expected to play Saturday.

Captains: Fulmer named six captains for Saturday's game: linebacker Ellix Wilson, defensive tackle Dan Williams, offensive tackle Ramon Foster, tailback Arian Foster, defensive end Robert Ayers, offensive guard Anthony Parker and wide receiver Austin Rogers.

Crompton OK: Offensive coordinator Dave Clawson said that quarterback Jonathan Crompton has not been limited by a sore right ankle since missing practice Tuesday.

"We've been able to do everything with him," Clawson said. "Been able to roll him out and throw on the run and run him a little bit, so I think Tuesday really helped him."

Clawson's Call: Clawson confirmed what many saw last Saturday against UAB: tight end Brandon Warren was open on at least a couple of pass plays in which Crompton decided to throw elsewhere.

"That's something you'd like him to see," Clawson said of Crompton.

Clawson, however, was far from critical of Crompton's performance. Actually, his assessment was quite complimentary.

"The positives far outweigh the negatives, but our job and our goal is to never miss a read," Clawson said. "It's never going to be never but that's what our goal is."

Keep It Simple: Defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell said its up to UT's coaches to put their players in the right position against Florida's spread option offense.

The goal: to limit UT's defenders' need to read plays on the fly.

"It's very tricky what they (the Gators) do so we as coaches try to make it simpler for the defensive end and linebacker by calling different movements or stunts so it clarifies exactly who they have," Caldwell said.

Caldwell said sacking Florida quarterback Tim Tebow isn't the only goal on passing downs. Collapsing the pocket while limiting Tebow's running lanes is also imperative.

"We're not being as aggressive on our pass rush because of the quarterback," Caldwell said. "We've got to do a great job of keeping him in the pocket.

"It definitely ties you down as a defensive end."

Despite the significance of the game, Caldwell said he'll still play sophomores Ben Martin and Chris Walker for significant snaps at end.

Caldwell said both showed marked improvement last week against UAB after disappointing games against UCLA.

Real McCoy: Linebacker Rico McCoy has already seen fewer tackles coming his way this season.

"The D-line's just playing that much better this year," the junior said.

UT's top three defensive tackles - Williams (7), Bolden (5) and Fisher (4) - have combined for 16 tackles this season. McCoy is fourth on the team with eight tackles. Wilson leads the Vols with 19.

Drew Edwards contributed to this report.

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Comments » 20

pammyvol1000 writes:

Come on guys.. put fatigue out of the mind.. replace with " I'm gonna get me some Gator"..

Oh.. yeah.. it's almost time..

mdvol writes:

Defense has got to hold the Gators under 20 to have any chance of winning. A defensive TD would be huge.

I see you resisted, Pammy!

Volin68 writes:

If you're gonna eat gator - just remember to keep chewing and chewing until it's gone.

Come on pammy! Say it!

CT_VOL writes:

This is beautiful! Look at the Florida player's head being crushed by the might vol!

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/s...

GreerVol22 writes:

Uhhh....we have a 40 second clock too....file this in the excuse folder...

bfrank78 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Svols writes:

That "beating top 10 stat" is a fairly bogus stat. You need to also look at how the team ended up. By the method gatorzz mentions that some in the press are using, Tennessee's beat down of the team that finished 2nd in the country last year (Georgia)does not count as beating a top 10 team - yet a team would get credit for giving Tennessee its first loss in 2005 when we ended up with a losing record. Stats are rarely used objectively - they are almost always used to support a conclusion you have alreay reached. It supports the old saying - figures never lie but liers figure.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

Is there any chance of the Fed bailing tennessee out of all this mess (Fulmers Contract) like it did AIG, Fannie and Freddie, and Bears and Sterns.

dvols writes:

tebow pitch to harvin, tebow fake pitch and keep ball, throw to harvin in the flat, go deep a few times and over the middle.............

anything else ? oh yeah, 40 seconds to figure it out.

volroadwarrior writes:

Yeah. If the fed bails us out they would send in someone like Holtz, Donnan, Barney Frank or maybe the Messiah Obama himself. If you think it is bad now---it could get worse.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

when your at bottom there is only 1 way to go!!!

CT_VOL writes:

Hey, gay bfrank78, some of the most precious art in the world is centuries old. Art by definition is timeless.

And this my gay friend, is beautiful art:

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/s...

VolinCalif writes:

The Vols aren't really at bottom, and they sure don't lack talent.You may not like the coaches and think they are outdated, But Joe Pa of Penn State isn't doing to bad. He had a few low years not long ago. He sticks to his game and does very well anywhere at anytime. The Vols will stay in the game and win the D@@ thing you watch.
Vol in Calif

onevolfan99 writes:

a local bbq restaurant was serving free gator bites yesterday they were very good! but it didn't taste half as good as beating the gators, come on Vols leave it all out there in neyland saturday and bring home a W! i WILL BE SCREAMING MY LUNGS OUT IN SECTION S! GO BIG ORANGE!

LifeTimeVOL writes:

I think this game is going to surprise everyone. We are going to come out and run the ball pretty well and Florida is going to make some plays. But then Florida will probably have make a big play in the kicking game which will be answered by... get this a CROMPTON deep pass to Lucas Taylor for a TD! That's right, I think with all the emphasis on the run, and everyone being down on ole Crompton, and the limited playbook we have seen thus far; it's going to happen. He is going to break out of his shell, and play like the QB we all thought he would be!

GO VOLS BEAT THE GATORS!!!

hcjhworth#266723 writes:

I love the Vols and maybe with the no huddle for Florida Chavis won't have time to screw up the defense. Let the players do the job without Chavis and maybe we can win. (Go Big Orange)

volyer writes:

The new clock should also help us. Shortens the game up; fewer plays. Looking at the big picture the new rules help us more than them.

Greyback_Vol writes:

LifeTime-

Wishful thinking, huh?

I'm actually giving the Vols a fighting chance in this game, but the day I see Lucas Taylor beat Florida (or any fast defense) deep is the day I will tongue bathe Neyland Stadium.

Don't get me wrong. Taylor is a good player who excels at almost every aspect of playing receiver. He just doesn't have enough speed to get deep against a quality secondary.

1974Vol writes:

4th quarter collapse last year was not about fatique. It was all about fighting their way back into a game on the road in a hostile environment and then having all the wind knocked out of them on the bad exchange between Ainge and Foster that was picked up and returned for a TD by FL. Its a game of momentum - had the Vol Int for TD stood in 2006, outcome may have been similar as last year except with Vols on top.

law_vol writes:

Does anyone know whom is Morley's backup and why they seemed intent on refusing to play that person? The coaches have already admitted that Morley's injury prevented him from making tackles against UAB.

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