Report card: Tennessee vs. Georgia

Quarterbacks A

Jonathan Crompton came out like the practice version of himself. The senior had a chance to revert back to game form with an interception in the third quarter but didn't get rattled. It was easily Crompton's most impressive performance of the season, completing 20 of 27 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns. He was more accurate and a better decision-maker, living up to the faith the coaching staff has in him.

Running backs B+

The tailbacks didn't have to do the heavy lifting for once. But all they've done over the first five games certainly set up play-action. Montario Hardesty had another big afternoon, rushing for 97 yards and an electric 39-yard touchdown. Fullbacks Austin Johnson and Kevin Cooper combined for three catches for 20 yards.

Wide Receivers A+

Gerald Jones exploded - in a good way. Denarius Moore provided a highlight-reel staple with a diving touchdown from 5 yards out after breaking a tackle on a short catch. Luke Stocker was again a reliable security blanket at tight end. The Vols finally put it all together on the perimeter, clearing up some alignment and route issues to crank up the offense.

Offensive line A

Crompton had all day to throw and wasn't sacked. The running game was productive, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. The Vols have been forced to rotate guys around up front, but right now they appear to have a steady, productive rotation.

Defensive Line A

Chris Walker made another superstar play when he intercepted a pass that was tipped by fellow end Gerald Williams after one of two hurries by tackle Dan Williams, who also had a tackle for a loss.

Linebackers B+

Rico McCoy led the Vols with nine tackles and had a pass break up and a hurry. Savion Frazier and LaMarcus Thompson had a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. The group was great in zone coverage.

Secondary A

Safety Eric Berry was spectacular once again with an athletic 46-yard fumble return that was created by cornerback Art Evans' hard hit. The Vols made adjustments throughout, essentially shutting down the best player in the SEC not named Tebow. A.J. Green never got free and had just 60 yards on eight catches. Dennis Rogan intercepted a ball that Joe Cox was trying to throw away. Rogan also had a tackle for a loss.

Special teams F

Lane Kiffin simply called the unit "pathetic." It was hard to argue. The Vols gave up another kickoff return for a touchdown, had a punt blocked for a safety and looked lost trying to field punts - even after spending all week trying to shore up in the return game.

Coaching B

The Vols out-coached Georgia on offense and defense. But special teams are really bad and will cost UT a game soon if it doesn't improve.

Overall B+

This certainly wasn't perfect but with the season at a crossroad, the Vols took the right path.

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Comments » 112

mdvol writes:

Awwwww......and too bad Brandon Warren isn't here to get that A+. Who?

FWBVol writes:

How can you say A.J. Green is the best player in the SEC not named Tebow? What about a guy named Berry who wears No. 14 for the Vols?

Regulator writes:

in response to FWBVol:

How can you say A.J. Green is the best player in the SEC not named Tebow? What about a guy named Berry who wears No. 14 for the Vols?

Perhaps he meant best OFFENSIVE player in the SEC not named Tebow. I could buy that, but I would also submit the name and resume of one Montario Hardesty.

vol4good#206163 writes:

I agree with the grades for the first time ever! Great day to be a Vol! Excellent Effort today fellas!

BustaRhymes writes:

Busta’s report card:

Quarterbacks A++ (after I call him the Anti-Manning, JC plays like Peyton Manning)

Running backs A (they did everything we needed plus)

Wide Receivers A+ (Agree with KNS!)

Offensive line A (Agree with KNS again)

Defensive Line A (and again!)

Linebackers A (several big plays – solid performance)

Secondary A (agree)

Special teams F (grrrrr…. Agree again. We might want to consider kicking off out of bounds against Bama)

Coaching A+++ (What the heck KNS? Give Kiffin and staff their due – awesome job!)

Overall A+++ (I’ll take another performance – with better special teams) in two weeks

Pdiddy10 writes:

ERIC BERRY WINS THE JIM THORPE AWARD AND GETS IN THE NFL WITH THE VERY FIRST PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT!!! that would be fantastic for recruiting. berry should get the best agent out there... special teams... f-

DRAGtheWATERS writes:

News Sentinel Staff the special teams have all ready cost us a game where you watching the Auburn game. Coaches made a nice adjustment with the kickoff but it was a kickoff too late. I loved Kiffin's reactions on the field after the game. He knows we got along way to go but its going to be fun gettin there.
Go Vols!!!

Pdiddy10 writes:

we need all of the fans that we can get to go down to the bama game. we DESPERATELY NEED all of our fans to go down there! we need our fans to support a struggling team into the heart of a firey bama team. we need big players to play well such as crompton, and hardesty. berry needs to get that inerception (sigh) and our o-lline needs to play like we did today. our d-line needs to take better angles and penetrate more. bberry needs to step up too-PRACTICE HARD BOYZ! LETS GO VOLS AND BEAT NICK SATAN AND STUPID ALABAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

truckinvol writes:

We needed this. We shut down Georgia's offense, kudos to Monte. I really thought our special teams would be much improved this year, what a disappointment. Watched some of the Ala/Ole Miss game, if you think JC locks onto a receiver and doesn't pick up other outlets, watch McElroy of UA. It's Julio or nothing.

HowBoutThemVols writes:

Well, it appears that the poor play in the previous games this season, especially by the offense in general and the defensive backs, have softened up the grade makers. Your grade for quarterbacks (Crompton), receivers and even the defensive backs were clearly graded on a curve.

Granted, their play was significantly improved, but there is still room for improvement (e.g. Crompton's throw behind Rogers that resulted in an interception and Georgia TD, still a couple of drops by receivers that should have been made, and defensive backs played way off of A.J. Green). If their play had been more like originally expected when the season started, we would not be quite as ecstatic about today's performance. Anyway, I still have to say I'm grateful for the improvement.

But as I have screamed in my past posts, the Special Teams is not special at all. Again a dismal performance - all around. Would we actually be better in this phase of the game if the guys had no coaching at all? How could it be worse? This miserable Special Teams play has got to stop! I'd settle for no major mistakes.

TK writes:

The special teams could have been even worse if the ball that went between Richardson legs touchs him. It still cost UT 15 yards by not catching it. If Rogan doesn't fall on his misplay. What would that grade be F-?

utFootBallFanatic writes:

in response to FWBVol:

How can you say A.J. Green is the best player in the SEC not named Tebow? What about a guy named Berry who wears No. 14 for the Vols?

I remember the article and it did say that green was the best OFFENSIVE player in the sec next to tebow.

Pdiddy10 writes:

Montario Hardesty continues to look phenominal against great defensive opponents. The question is, is why isnt he even considered in the heisman race? Montario has more rushing yards than star running back jahvid best, has the most rushing yards in the SEC (the toughest defensive conference in the nation), has increasingly less carries than all the other rb candidates, has more rushing yds than ryan williams who doesnt play in he SEC's amazing defensive conference, and did i mention that he plays in the best defensive conference in the nation? All the other running backs play in a very weak conference and are overrated. Montario Hardesty should just be considered for a big trophy, maaybe not the heisman, but something else.

Also, should Eric Berry win the Jim Thorpe award and be a very high draft pick?

utFootBallFanatic writes:

Hardesty cant win the heisman couse hes not even the best player on his team.......Hes haveing a amazing season but how could you give Montario the heisman over Eric Berry....

utFootBallFanatic writes:

Ryan Mallet is the most tallented qb in the confrence and maybee the nation can you imagine if that would kid would have chose to tenn two years ago instead of ark.

dwa7#337691 writes:

wow ....how about that today.....

vols21 writes:

Can we grade special teams a Z? Is that worse that F.

They are so "special" they ride a short bus to the games (yeah I know - not politically correct)

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Sure glad to see this...a real pleasant surprise. Make no mistake, Georgia is a good football team. I expected a much closer game. Somehow, you almost sensed that this was going to happen to someone this year. Too bad it wasn't Florida.

Go Vols!

Go L.S.U.! (for today, anyway)

daniellovesutfootball writes:

in response to BigVolMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe the Special Teams coach is our RB coach, Eddie Gran, dont quote me on that, but I believe that is who coaches them.

on topic...awesome effort from the guys and hope we can carry it into Bama...GO VOLS!!!!!!!!

carolinasmokey writes:

And Da Man is strangely silent.

HSVol writes:

Not to be a naysayer on such a great day in Big Orange Country, but Gen Neyland would roll over in his grave beacuse of our kicking game over the past few years. Today was "pathetic" as Coach Kiffin said...that has GOT to be corrected ASAP. Otherwise, nearly perfect: 45 points scored vs. 3 given up by defense. All hail Monty Kiffin!

volatil writes:

To John Crompton: I AM SORRY !

All_Vol_in_GA writes:

Let's see...

Not bad for a coach that "doesn't want to win" or that "doesn't know how to win," and quite a performance from "the worst QB in the history of football." Where are the interlopers today?

Great game Vols (especially JC)! Maybe Kiffin's patience and team's hard work is beginning to pay off. Enjoy your victory for awhile and then start prepping for Bama.

And thanks for giving a Vol fan in ATL a year of peace and quiet from Dawg fans!

Go Big Orange!

CoverOrange writes:

You can't give special teams an F. They were auditing this season.

xvolx writes:

pleases me that I have been one of the few people on this site that has supported Crompton this year. Other players finally supported him today. He will be a fourth or fifth round draft choice. Good job Crompton and rest of offense and defense. Special teams, stay in your lanes.

Down_The_Field writes:

agree with the KNS grading.

offense played great.

i've decided that if ST is not fixed now, it won't. it'll be something we'll have to deal with. the only good thing about the UGlAy run back is that it put their defense BACK on the field and the fatigue showed when we drove the field and scored.

beatfla2009 writes:

great game, and tennessee get's a much needed week off, could they beat Alabama yes, is it likely no, Alabama will beat Florida in the championship just my opinion.

tenuscvol writes:

Very fun to watch.

It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!

Beat Bama!

KFDLaw writes:

in response to TK:

The special teams could have been even worse if the ball that went between Richardson legs touchs him. It still cost UT 15 yards by not catching it. If Rogan doesn't fall on his misplay. What would that grade be F-?

Today was a special game except for the special teams play. Special teams is the only unit on the field that has not improved with time and experience. That long pass that Crompton threw today brought back memories of Peyton Manning.

69vol08 writes:

After the way Crompton gets slammed, we need to continue to praise him this week. I am sure he will make more mistakes this year, but great game today! Also, kudos to Crompy for hanging in there despite the criticism and for Kiffin sticking with him. I really hope he can build on this and finish strong!

Go VOLS! Enjoy this deserved win!

VolinCalif writes:

Where are you Witch Doctor? Watching the Fl game? I just left. Tebow just don't look like himself, appears a little timid when he's hitting the line. Well W. Doc I know you've been saying " Watch out Bones say JC coming out soon" and I never doubted you. I guess I wasn't sure who JC really was. I'm not sure but I think he was the 5 star kid from NC playing QB today. He@@ that was just a very good team out there today. I'd give a few yards on run backs every game if we can play at this level.By the way for those that think that was Western Georgia we played today. look again.Ga is not a poor team and their coaches are pretty d..mn good. I will not be too surprised to see them beat Fl. and if they do we will really have a feel for how great this staff can coach. Also W.D. what would that do for the SECE race. If the Vols play like this the rest of the season, they could win out. But unless Fl could lose two in the East I think they would get the call. Just some food for thought, it beats snails and puppy-dog tails. So what do you say Doc. Can you put a hit on Al? PS If JC can play this good on out, he'll get a call in the draft. I think that this coaching staff has enough contacts to see to that type of thing. What would that do for recruiting?

Pdiddy10 writes:

eric berry and some lsu guy are probably going to be the only 2 players to intercept a pass from tebow. yeah/ safly berry already had five interceptions by this time last year...so berry needs to step it up! good job though now lets stop the praise and beat bama!

VolInSabanLand writes:

Who was that masked man wearing #8...and what did he do with Jonathan Crompton? For a kid who has been so maligned, it was wonderful to see him finally have his day...against a quality team...and a divisional rival at that. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come in the remander of the season. Let's hope. As one who had given up on this QB, and thus this season, thanks for the renewed sense of hope. Now build on it and let's have the same turn around for the special teams units. Coaches, you have 2 weeks to work on that - please pull a rabbit out of your hat - I need a break from the Bammers down here.

unclesmoke writes:

Cant wait till next year.

Fossilfiction writes:

So much joy! I love it.
What I love even more is our coach was not happy about it! He knows we have room for improvement(here is looking at you special teams) and it bothers him. Is he happy his offense came to play? Hail yeah he is! That the defense gave up 3 points on a field goal of 50+ yards? Hail yeah! He should be. GA lost in the last minutes last week to #4 ranked LSU and his team stomped GA.
Crompton was on the mark! Bang! Loved it!
Maybe Brandon Warren= T. Owens of NCAA! We all saw his funky me-me attitude. This is why Kiffin does not tolerate mess like that. One player can destroy the ability of a team. We lost some possible stars in the off season but for good causes like this. Probably not the only reason we improved but possibly a big one.
I never thought Fulmer left the team without talent. He just didn't get the best out of his talent. Kiffin will. Special Teams must improve and will. Get ready Bama!

transplantiam writes:

in response to HSVol:

Not to be a naysayer on such a great day in Big Orange Country, but Gen Neyland would roll over in his grave beacuse of our kicking game over the past few years. Today was "pathetic" as Coach Kiffin said...that has GOT to be corrected ASAP. Otherwise, nearly perfect: 45 points scored vs. 3 given up by defense. All hail Monty Kiffin!

Our kicking game has went down the last 2 yrs., but next year, look out! Palardy will be in Orange. I've watched him in one game, along with several highlight reels on him. Of all that I've seen this year, he has put 9 out of 10 kickoffs in the endzone, and a few OUT of the endzone. He gets very few ko's even attempted to return. So next year, don't worry I think he'll do just fine.He'll look great in orange!
GO VOLS!!!
Ps. He punts too!

tennezz writes:

in response to BigVolMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Running back coach, Gran coaches special teams!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

You can't give special teams an F. They were auditing this season.

Now that's funny! Sadly true, but still funny.

saveoursaints writes:

Great job Vols! Your hard work, effort, and heart are obvious. Very inspiring.

I had a curious thought about JC that resurfaced from last year. Of course I have no facts to back up this ridiculous conspiracy, but last year I really thought JC was throwing games to cover gambling debts. How else do you explain a top rated player like JC who’s performance was on par with someone like me (I’m a 5’-8” white dude with a 10 second 40). My thought today during the game was that maybe JC’s debt is paid off.

MidTennVol writes:

Coach O can't be pleased with the D-line. I saw little pressure.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Coach O can't be pleased with the D-line. I saw little pressure.

Then you watched a different game. No sacks, but tons of pressures and hurries.

smokies_old_soul writes:

in response to xvolx:

pleases me that I have been one of the few people on this site that has supported Crompton this year. Other players finally supported him today. He will be a fourth or fifth round draft choice. Good job Crompton and rest of offense and defense. Special teams, stay in your lanes.

you must have a connect for the good scripts - only way to explain your uh, bizzare comment that jon crompton would be considered in any nfl round.

btw, those pills go down smoother with some Crown and a dew chaser.

PMC2726 writes:

Great win. I'd like to see the O and D lines shore up the pre-snap penalties, and obviously special teams was atrocious (Fulmer was probably laughing his butt off when Ga. ran back the punt). Otherwise, COMPLETE domination on both sides of the ball.

utjammer writes:

in response to PMC2726:

Great win. I'd like to see the O and D lines shore up the pre-snap penalties, and obviously special teams was atrocious (Fulmer was probably laughing his butt off when Ga. ran back the punt). Otherwise, COMPLETE domination on both sides of the ball.

I agree with most of your comments, however, you should have left coach Fulmer out of the mix. Phil Fulmer was a classy guy when he came to UT and when he left UT. I'm sure he wasn't, laughing at the sloppy play of the special teams.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to utFootBallFanatic:

I remember the article and it did say that green was the best OFFENSIVE player in the sec next to tebow.

No, it definitely says "the best player in the SEC not named Tebow". I agree with FWBVol and whoever mentioned Montario Hardesty.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

a great game by Crompton. He had a lot of help with the receivers finally getting a little separation. I still can't see the Vols getting a win over Bama. Good luck!

xvolx writes:

in response to smokies_old_soul:

you must have a connect for the good scripts - only way to explain your uh, bizzare comment that jon crompton would be considered in any nfl round.

btw, those pills go down smoother with some Crown and a dew chaser.

uh, I also predicted that Ainge would be drafted. Crompton has all the tools that the NFL is looking for: size, accuracy and arm strength. Get off the pills and get into life.

tnbigg writes:

This was great to watch! So far I am VERY impressed with Kiffin and Company. Many may know I have stuck with Crompton...until last week when I finally got frustrated...one week too early. As I kept reminding folks...he didn't come out High School that highly rated for no reason and Kiffin obviously saw something we didn't and it paid off BIG TIME yesterday. I still hold and even more so now to my we will beat BAMA this year prediction. Go Vols!

LifetimeVolFan98 writes:

in response to BigVolMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Eddie Gran

tyler1 writes:

in response to xvolx:

uh, I also predicted that Ainge would be drafted. Crompton has all the tools that the NFL is looking for: size, accuracy and arm strength. Get off the pills and get into life.

i also think john will make it to the next level

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