Vols focused on tale of the tape

Monte Kiffin has defense aware of threat

Monte Kiffin has had a couple weeks to prepare, and he still has one more.

The Tennessee defensive coordinator will take all of the time he can get.

A full season's worth of game film has given Kiffin plenty to work with as he breaks down Virginia Tech for the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta (TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m.). But all it has really done is give him more to worry about. The Vols already knew they'd have their hands full with the versatile Hokies.

"Well, I'll tell you what I'd like," Kiffin said. "I'd like to have another three weeks. We'd be ready then, you know what I mean? That'd be great.

"We can't do that, so we'd better get ready."

The Vols (7-5, 4-4 SEC) did plenty of that over four physical practices leading into Christmas break, and they've been doing even more of it in the film room since the match-up was set earlier this month.

They've seen the offense line of the Hokies (9-3, 6-2 ACC) grow together and build more confidence. Every yard running back Ryan Williams gained during his breakout freshman season has been viewed at least once, and UT has seen all the issues multi-purpose quarterback Tyrod Taylor can pose.

At this point, the biggest problem for Kiffin might just be trying to get the loop of Hokies video to stop playing in his head as the Vols buckle down for one last week of practice starting Saturday.

"If I put on the tape which our players have seen, you would be amazed if you put up all 12 games," Kiffin said. "And see the problem is, when you play somebody the third game or the fourth game or the fifth, then you've only got four or five games; then, of course, you go back and look at last year. When you play somebody after 12 games, you have a four-game scouting report then you go back and you see them all.

"So when you prepare for a bowl game, it's kind of like the home opener. There's a lot of tape to look at, and the more tape you look at, I just see No. 5 (Taylor) making plays and making plays and making plays, I've seen too many plays. I've seen too much tape. I've got to quit watching so much tape."

Kiffin might not exactly like what he's seen, but at least the Vols have had ample time to scheme for the Hokies and get healthy.

The latter should be a bigger benefit for Kiffin, who should have Art Evans back at cornerback, Dan Williams and Wes Brown rested at defensive tackle despite concussion problems and a reenergized Chris Walker at end. Throw safety Janzen Jackson back in the mix as well after missing three games late in the season and the Vols almost look close to full strength.

"We've had a lot of good practice time, quality time," Kiffin said. "I think I feel good about some of our players again; they're just getting a lot of reps. Even (coach) Lane (Kiffin) said one day after practice, 'Gosh, it seems like the defense is really feeling it better.'

"This is a tough preparation because Virginia Tech does a lot of things, they're all over the place. Their quarterback, he's outstanding. Just all of a sudden, you don't know that much about Virginia Tech. We just hadn't followed them all year that much, but we put the tape on and we saw the running back and the quarterback. But we've had some good preparation."

Kiffin wouldn't mind sneaking in a little more. But the Vols are tapped out on film for now.

Hit The Road: The last four practices were crammed with intensity and a few injuries. That was apparently enough to convince Lane Kiffin that Tennessee didn't need to use a fifth practice that was originally scheduled for today.

"I just felt that we had really (worked), almost to a point of overworking them, and with the practices being so long and so physical, they needed some time off," Kiffin said. "Our injuries were mounting, a lot of concussions happening, so it was good timing. We'll get all of our meetings in and an extra lift in and then they'll get out of here and get a chance to get back home."

The Vols will report back for work Friday in Atlanta with the first practice scheduled for Saturday.

Kickin' It: Kiffin opened up the place-kicking battle to all three Vols who attempted field goals this season. A fourth option might have taken the lead during the competition though.

Daniel Lincoln, Devin Mathis and Chad Cunningham all struggled with missed or blocked kicks at the close of the workout, which prompted Kiffin to start thinking of another alternative.

"We've had two different competitive settings like that where we've let all three guys kick, and we'll continue to do that down there," Kiffin said. "It's not the way you want to finish practice, but I wasn't going to stay out there and keep getting kicks blocked or miss them.

"We'll go for it I guess."

Bumps and Bruises: The Vols held right tackle Aaron Douglas out of practice after he injured his ankle late in practice on Sunday, though Kiffin indicated the freshman would have played if necessary.

UT also added another name to its concussion list after Bryce Brown suffered one Monday. Wes Brown and Dan Williams each were limited with the same injury throughout the weekend.

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Comments » 99

p66ayers#1376155 writes:

Vols D will smoke the techerwoods!

hokies4ever writes:

I have had the dis-pleasure of watching the Hokies beat Miami this year and we had better be ready. They are quick on defence and on offence Tyrod and Williams are good especially Williams.I hope Monte can get our guys ready and I hope Eric B. can get a good lick on Tyrod. I also hope Eric can get the int. return record. GBO

CoverOrange writes:

I suggest hiring Fuad to be the ninth coach with special teams and kicking as his specialty. Let somebody else do double duty with RBs.

bobbytodd writes:

Hope Bryce will be ready to go. He has been banged up this year.

Eric_Berry_For_Heisman writes:

hokies here we come! we will bring our best, I hope you guys can say the same thing! GO VOLS!

Cldvols1 writes:

On New Years Eve in front of a national audience I look for the Vols to pull off the upset, UT-27 VT 21. Go Vols!!!

Down_The_Field writes:

monte's the man.

the best d-cord in the college football.

newtonrail writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

I suggest hiring Fuad to be the ninth coach with special teams and kicking as his specialty. Let somebody else do double duty with RBs.

Who coaches KO and punt receiving, and punting teams?

Thad123 writes:

I believe this team and coaching staff is at a real fork in the road with this game vs VT and our next recruiting class. I realize it is still early for the coaching staff, but with all the media attention they have asked for, it could be a great next couple of months or it could be a real disappointment. Beat VT or play a good solid game and lose then get a great recruiting class, the sky is the limit. Get beat up by VT and have a disappointing recruiting class it could be trouble. I hope for the best GBO.

TennesseeGorilla writes:

It's scary having so many players with concussions this close to the game. Get healthy guys!

azorange writes:

Despite the challenges this Tennessee team has faced this season, I'm still excited about the possibilities for this bowl game. I go into each game with a greater expectation and always aniticipate a victory. Va Tech will be tough but I like the toughness I've seen from the Big Orange. I'm already excited for next season. But first, let's beat the Hokies! GBO!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to TennesseeGorilla:

It's scary having so many players with concussions this close to the game. Get healthy guys!

Yes, let's hope that they are not serious...and that they are an indication of a slobberknocking in the gaps that the Hokies will face in Atlanta.

sm1 writes:

in response to TennesseeGorilla:

It's scary having so many players with concussions this close to the game. Get healthy guys!

10-4. I thought the same thing. Normally I am in favor of physical practices because "you play like you practice." I just wish we had more depth.

sm1 writes:

Va. Tech will be quite a challenge for the Vols. They are a very good team. But Tennessee has faced bigger challenges before, emerging victorious. (Jan 1, 1986--UT vs. Miami--comes to mind.) Hopefully we can do it again, albeit, on a "smaller" stage. GBO!

nocleats writes:

Our best defensive strategy may rest upon our offense. Long, physical sustained drives for 6 that keep their offensive weapons on the sidelines... GBO... ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK
Trample the weak and hurdle the dead !!!!!

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to Cldvols1:

On New Years Eve in front of a national audience I look for the Vols to pull off the upset, UT-27 VT 21. Go Vols!!!

Just curious, do we get 27 by kicking two field goals or missing an extra point? I a going with the latter.

Just win baby...just win!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's over now people.
The Prophet of Doom has spoken.

thevoice writes:

Take it easy coach. You nearly beat FL and "beat" Bama, with only a week to prepare for each.

gatorslayer007 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

who is your team? do you have anything to say thats not entirely ignorant? it's obvious you have no life, your more than likely just another scared little Gator fan, running your mouth.if you think Brown is soft; first i'd like to see you meet him in the hole and get your back broke, second you obviously know nothing about football so shut your mouth and stop embarrassing yourself, third Oku or Poole would be fine they would be starters anywhere esle!

The1 writes:

I don't think Bryce is soft. He is just not as hardened as Hardesty or Ingram for example. However, he is just a freshman. Hardesty and Ingram weren't the pounders they are now when they were freshmen.

AWOLVol writes:

Last time we played VT was the Gator Bowl Peyton's freshman year - which had been a rough year too (losses to UCLA, Miss State, Bama, FL). That game caught everybody by surprise and it really launched the Vols onto a hot streak that lasted several years. Certainly I recognize that our personnel situation is very different heading into this game. This is also a very different VT program at this juncture. Still...maybe there will be something about this match-up that will launch us on another successful run. Here's hoping!!!

GO BIG ORANGE!!!

gnm53108 writes:

"We'll go for it I guess."

I hope Lane has several plays drawed up,we'll need it.

Not all can be Hardesty right or left.

gnm53108 writes:

In Monte we trust.

jstrewh2#441076 writes:

DC_10point10 - None of your running backs at UF would even see the field at Tennessee. They are way to small and none of them will make it in the NFL and by the way Tebow will never make it as an NFL QB. His release is to slow and he will not be able to read a defense in a pro-style offense. Coach Monte Kiffin is by far the best DC in the NCAA. Go Vols!

panties4tebow writes:

Just a reminder:

Christmas is Friday and.......................

Who lost 32-13 and is still crying!!!!!!!!!!!!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you've been spending too much time with Dupree.He's rubbin off on ya.

Prescribe Long Island koolaid till the ole TDTN is back.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There are different degrees of concussions. You have mild concussions and major concussions. Anytime you’re puking on the sideline (like Tebow was), you can rest assure that’s a major concussion and needs to be monitored carefully. I haven’t read anything that would suggest any of these players have suffered major concussions.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to gnm53108:

I think you've been spending too much time with Dupree.He's rubbin off on ya.

Prescribe Long Island koolaid till the ole TDTN is back.

Dupree is rubbing on something somewhere,no doubt.gnm.
If the coaches have the team mentally into winning,they will win...GBO!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Dupree is rubbing on something somewhere,no doubt.gnm.
If the coaches have the team mentally into winning,they will win...GBO!

Agree and back at ya.

If bama is stoked they should roll.

vol88 writes:

Too concussions many. Wear practice while helmeting. Look butterfly, a mama just flew by.

GBO and Christmas Merry to all!

tennesseebee writes:

Chris Walker,Dan Williams,Wes Brown,Janzen Jackson,Eric Berry,Rico McCoy, Art Evans, Lamarcus Thompson-this is one of those defenses we will look back on through the years. Like the Haynesworth/Henderson led defense. Power of the T, baby!

Mule_Days_King writes:

Glad that all of the Debbie Downer trolls are in full force this morning.

Merry Christmas.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Damn gut,I finally found something I can agree with.

I too wish we were playing yaw on jan 7.

Bama should beat tx,but it sucks that you will get to take pleasure from it.

CA_vol writes:

Nobody is mentioning J Crompton. I hope he has a huge day at the Chick Fil A and is named the mvp of the game. He gets to go out on a high note.

vol88 writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

Glad that all of the Debbie Downer trolls are in full force this morning.

Merry Christmas.

LoL. Half of them think Spurrier was their first coach. The other half have never heard of him.

Thad123 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I can’t wait to see what Florida will do over the next couple of years without Tebow. I think their rule over sec football is coming to a halt. Looks like Florida State is really competing for those top Florida athletes again along with Miami and the spread offense seems to be getting less and less appealing for players wanting to go to the NFL.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

I hope our kickers can get their act together. That's not a good problem to have. I can't wait for the game though! We've played very well against tough teams before and can do it again. GBO!!

Psychovol writes:

Take heart trolls, the Vols will fare well against the ACC Hokies. The only thing that gives me pause is special teams especially if it comes down to a field goal. This game should be won by the Vols in the trenches.

Incinigator writes:

Monte is an awesome guy and a great coach. I'll be interested to see how he prepares his defense with this much time to prepare. During his long NFL career, the most time he had was two weeks and that was only with bye weeks.

I expect him to capitalize on the practice time by emphasizing the basics of his defense and getting more kids to just react instead of thinking. IMO, the major adjustments will occur during the game. It must be very hard to prepare for well coached teams with this much time off.

Conversely, I have no idea how the Gators D and Coach Short-timer will prepare.

Incinigator writes:

in response to Thad123:

I can’t wait to see what Florida will do over the next couple of years without Tebow. I think their rule over sec football is coming to a halt. Looks like Florida State is really competing for those top Florida athletes again along with Miami and the spread offense seems to be getting less and less appealing for players wanting to go to the NFL.

Me too. God Bless Tim and his accomplishments and I wish him the very best.

However, IMO, Gator football and Coach Meyer have appeared Tebow-weary at many times this year. After deferring to Tim's play and aura for so long, I'm looking forward to a reinvigorated coach, team and fan base with a new look and a chance to prove a lot. Teams eventually figured out Spurrier's O, too.

I believe overall recruiting will be as good as anyone, but what separates the good from the great runs (2006-09) is finding the rare stars (ie. Harvin, Tebow, etc.). That's my question.
Recruiting in Florida is, was, and will be competitive. Coach Meyer has been recruiting the entire country (a little too much IMO) so they'll be ok. Hope my fellow Gator fans learn to have realistic expectations, though. The SEC looks to be getting much more competitive.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Incinigator:

Monte is an awesome guy and a great coach. I'll be interested to see how he prepares his defense with this much time to prepare. During his long NFL career, the most time he had was two weeks and that was only with bye weeks.

I expect him to capitalize on the practice time by emphasizing the basics of his defense and getting more kids to just react instead of thinking. IMO, the major adjustments will occur during the game. It must be very hard to prepare for well coached teams with this much time off.

Conversely, I have no idea how the Gators D and Coach Short-timer will prepare.

Haven't seen you on here in a while.
Agree with you in that Monte having a lot of time to prepare doesn't bode well for VT. But the same goes for VT's staff. Beamer's staff is very good and I would expect the game to come down to a couple of big plays. Can't wait.

Merry Christmas

The_Real_UT writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Soft like your sorry limp dik DC?

Thad123 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You make good points, but I will have to argue look at what those schools did this year without those players Texas Tech, Missouri, and Florida. All were not the same teams they were the year before. Florida was able to still have a good year because of Tebow and that defense. Im not saying they are going to turn into a bad football team. Im just saying I think its not going to be like the last 4 years.

537081 writes:

we will have to have a big day to beat them perhaps we will know a lot more about the Vols of 2010 after we watch this game.

kabzs writes:

in response to newtonrail:

Who coaches KO and punt receiving, and punting teams?

nobody has coached special teams at UT in over a decade

Incinigator writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

Haven't seen you on here in a while.
Agree with you in that Monte having a lot of time to prepare doesn't bode well for VT. But the same goes for VT's staff. Beamer's staff is very good and I would expect the game to come down to a couple of big plays. Can't wait.

Merry Christmas

I'd expect VaTech to have several new looks/plays(special teams, also) to keep his kids entertained. I don't expect much new stuff from Monte (they won't need it), but I'm guessing the O might keep it exciting. IMO, that's not a very good idea. VaTech doesn't like getting beat up. Running at them all night might be good for the vols but it is boring to some players, coaches, and fans. Wearing them out would minimize the big play effect, IMO.

And a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours. Be Safe.

GerryOP writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. But, Hardesty carried the same label ... until this year.

Oku and Poole are ready.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to kabzs:

nobody has coached special teams at UT in over a decade

If I'm not mistaken, most big-time programs don't carry a coach specifically for special teams. One of the other coordinators usually takes this on in addition to their main duties.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Incinigator:

I'd expect VaTech to have several new looks/plays(special teams, also) to keep his kids entertained. I don't expect much new stuff from Monte (they won't need it), but I'm guessing the O might keep it exciting. IMO, that's not a very good idea. VaTech doesn't like getting beat up. Running at them all night might be good for the vols but it is boring to some players, coaches, and fans. Wearing them out would minimize the big play effect, IMO.

And a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours. Be Safe.

Just hope we don't get "McClustered". We did have trouble this year with some variations of the spread and/or wildcat(I hate that term).

GerryOP writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Were Matthews, Wuerffel, Johnson, Grossman, and Leak also your leading rusher?

How are Leak and Alex Smith doing in the pros?

Read somewhere that lil' Urbie has "promised" to get back to his "spread option roots" next year. JB IIIrd is not a spread option QB. But, enjoy your winter telling us how great it is going to be.

See you in Neyland 9/18/10 ...

270 -- Fear The Kiffin...

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