Vols expecting deep balls from Spurrier

The Tennessee-South Carolina game may well be determined by a match-up of both teams' strengths.

In one corner is UT's secondary. In the other corner is South Carolina offensive guru Steve Spurrier.

UT's defensive backs appear up for the challenge Saturday night. The Vols have excelled in not allowing opposing offenses to score big plays via the passing game. Against Alabama, Georgia and Auburn, UT's longest yielded pass plays were 19, 21 and 24 yards, respectively.

"It's getting to that point where our chemistry is getting to where it needs to be," UT safety Eric Berry said on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks will test the recent improvement.

"A lot of vertical passing," Berry said of South Carolina's offense. "We're expecting a lot of deep balls. They use the pass to set up the run."

Berry also knows that Spurrier will be looking for UT's weakest link in the secondary. Berry, then a freshman, was the target in 2007.

"If he thinks someone has a flaw, he's going to go right after them," Berry said, "which I found out my freshman year."

This year, it's hard to find a glaring weakness in UT's secondary. The Vols rank sixth in passing yards allowed and 14th in passing efficiency defense. Berry is an All-American and junior cornerback Dennis Rogan , a former star at Fulton, seems to be playing his best as a Vol.

Spurrier's spotlight could feasibly turn to cornerback Art Evans or safety Janzen Jackson. Both are first-year starters. Evans has had his struggles at times this season while Jackson is a freshman who is often left alone as UT's last line of defense.

Injury Report: Kicker Daniel Lincoln (quad) did not practice.

Senior receiver Quintin Hancock (ankle) is expected to play Saturday but coach Lane Kiffin said he wasn't sure how much. Hancock was limited during practice but stayed after practice to work with UT's other receivers and quarterbacks.

Tight end Luke Stocker was wearing a green, non-contact jersey because of to back spasms. Stocker wasn't sure if the injury occurred before or after his catch against Alabama to give UT a game-winning field goal try.

Defensive end Chris Walker was limited with a sore back. Jackson was back at practice after missing practice Tuesday with a stomach virus.

Kiffin, however, wasn't complaining about the various, mostly minor injuries.

"We're pretty healthy for the most part," he said.

Practice Report: Kiffin said practice was "very good" and added that his team was in a good frame of mind.

"Guys had a lot of energy today," he said.

Kiffin said this week of practice is similar to the preparation UT had for Alabama last week. Kiffin said quarterback Jonathan Crompton was phenomenal in practice.

Payback: UT's defenders are playing better, in part, because its offensive counterparts have improved. By moving the ball and better controlling time of possession, UT's defenders have more energy.

"You've got a little bit more to give every play when you're rested like that," UT linebacker Rico McCoy said.

McCoy said there's a different mind-set when defenders have confidence that UT's offense can score.

"People won't admit it but it's sitting on your mind when you're playing from behind," McCoy said.

Scouting Report: South Carolina's defense does a good job of hiding its intentions in two areas.

First, the Gamecocks run a variety of blitz schemes.

"It's going to be a challenge for our offensive line to know where they're coming from," Crompton said, "but I think they're up for the challenge."

Second, the Gamecocks' defensive backs can be hard to read.

"They do a great job of disguising," UT receiver Gerald Jones said. "Their safeties are very run supportive."

That could help the Vols, especially if South Carolina's safeties get too nosy around the line of scrimmage.

"If we can run the ball well and they continue to be run supporting primarily, play action will really work against them," Jones said.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 87

OrangeBlur writes:

Is this a Leno headline? Hopefully the Vols will be giving Spurrier deep balls.

WhiteHotBleedOrange writes:

If the uSC DBs are "too run supportive" or "too nosy around the line of scrimmage" that will be a perfect senario for the play action or, hopefully, the roll out that was so successful against UGAg. Hopefully, our new upgrade of Jonathan Crompton 2.0 will continue his progress.

WhiteHotBleedOrange writes:

in response to OrangeBlur:

Is this a Leno headline? Hopefully the Vols will be giving Spurrier deep balls.

You know, I thought there had to be a comeback for that headline. But, I chose to go the analitical route and I am proud of you for saying what I thought. GBO

Voluvr writes:

I would rather be Kiffin getting ready for Spurrier than Spurrier getting ready for Kiffin.

This is...and I haven't heard it yet:
The Visor Bowl

the10sevol writes:

the snide bowl? (credit to w_d).

GBO

slov writes:

in response to WhiteHotBleedOrange:

You know, I thought there had to be a comeback for that headline. But, I chose to go the analitical route and I am proud of you for saying what I thought. GBO

gotta have a headline like that for the ol' ball coach. they were big at florida and now they are just deep at carolina.

Cldvols1 writes:

I can't wait, I'm so ready to lay down a whoopin on USC saturday night! Go Vols!!!

volsfannsc writes:

in response to grvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The press here in SC is back to the "pumping gas" drama to fuel motivation. In today's Greenville news paper, Kiffin's name was mentioned 27 times and the words Tennessee or Volunteer was mentioned 32 times. Now we're 200 miles away from Knoxville, and in the local paper in 2 articles, Kiffin and Tennessee are mentioned a total of 59 times. You would have to be a shut-in not to know about UT. You know SC recruits are hearing all about this. The more I look back at Kiffin's comments earlier in the year, I'm starting to believe he's a genius.....or incredibly brash. Either way, doesn't much matter, every recruit in this state is paying attention.

VoL4LiFe86 writes:

in response to WhiteHotBleedOrange:

If the uSC DBs are "too run supportive" or "too nosy around the line of scrimmage" that will be a perfect senario for the play action or, hopefully, the roll out that was so successful against UGAg. Hopefully, our new upgrade of Jonathan Crompton 2.0 will continue his progress.

Love the Crompton 2.0 upgrade! Think we can get a Lincoln 2.0?

rich182x writes:

huh huh huh.... deep balls.

BigOrange_Vol_2 writes:

Throwing Deep Balls On E.B., I smell a the record going down this Halloween also I hope to see the black jersey's saturday night, even though they have denied it could be trick and a treat. GO VOLS

VoL4LiFe86 writes:

I don't comment on other teams sites but i do read them. Has anyone ever heard UT referred to as Clemessee? Just curious because i had never heard that before and SC fans keep posting that. Is that really the best they can come up with? Just curious if that's a new thing SC fans have come up with or maybe I've just never payed attention to other teams sites before.

shipperman#280095 writes:

GO VOLS, BEAT THOSE COC*KS

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to VoL4LiFe86:

I don't comment on other teams sites but i do read them. Has anyone ever heard UT referred to as Clemessee? Just curious because i had never heard that before and SC fans keep posting that. Is that really the best they can come up with? Just curious if that's a new thing SC fans have come up with or maybe I've just never payed attention to other teams sites before.

I'd say Clemessee refers to how both Clemson and UT have failed to meet loftly expectations the past couple of years. But, atleast we have high expectations which is something USCjr. never will have.

VoL4LiFe86 writes:

in response to memphis_vol_fan:

I'd say Clemessee refers to how both Clemson and UT have failed to meet loftly expectations the past couple of years. But, atleast we have high expectations which is something USCjr. never will have.

Thanks. At least now I know there was more to it than both teams are orange. lol

chaos001 writes:

in response to slov:

gotta have a headline like that for the ol' ball coach. they were big at florida and now they are just deep at carolina.

now that time has passed, they're probably down around his ankles...

tennezz writes:

They need to let Eric Berry be Jeffery`s shadow the whole game!

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to grvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

grvol, On October 4 you posted that you wouldn't watch the vol offense again until Crompton is benched for good. Now since that time Crompton has performed very good against Georgia and Alabama, and he is the QB whether you like it or not. Now keep your word and stop watching. unless your word is no good.

UTsloV writes:

Maybe we can keep this one close too, so we can keep this warm an fuzzy feeling inside, it's just as good as winning. Hopefully the SC players won't cheat and keep their helmets on.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

The press here in SC is back to the "pumping gas" drama to fuel motivation. In today's Greenville news paper, Kiffin's name was mentioned 27 times and the words Tennessee or Volunteer was mentioned 32 times. Now we're 200 miles away from Knoxville, and in the local paper in 2 articles, Kiffin and Tennessee are mentioned a total of 59 times. You would have to be a shut-in not to know about UT. You know SC recruits are hearing all about this. The more I look back at Kiffin's comments earlier in the year, I'm starting to believe he's a genius.....or incredibly brash. Either way, doesn't much matter, every recruit in this state is paying attention.

Student section should have huge signs reading:

FILL ER UP, GAMECOCKS!

AND CHECK THE OIL!

MAY I HAVE THE KEY TO THE RESTROOM?

69grad writes:

I'm a proud UT grad and Vol fan who lives in Greenville, SC, and I remember the headlines from last year when SC beat us. You would have thought they won the national championship. I really want our Vols to beat those loud-mouthed idiots by a large margin. GO VOLS!

UTsloV writes:

in response to 69grad:

I'm a proud UT grad and Vol fan who lives in Greenville, SC, and I remember the headlines from last year when SC beat us. You would have thought they won the national championship. I really want our Vols to beat those loud-mouthed idiots by a large margin. GO VOLS!

SC hasen't had that much success on the gridiron. They do love their football, and that was a big win for them, why trash them for it. After all you are walking around with your chest out just because you played Alabama a close game. I bet Lil Lanes' excuse this week will be Halloween. His players won't get to go trick-or-treating.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to VoL4LiFe86:

I don't comment on other teams sites but i do read them. Has anyone ever heard UT referred to as Clemessee? Just curious because i had never heard that before and SC fans keep posting that. Is that really the best they can come up with? Just curious if that's a new thing SC fans have come up with or maybe I've just never payed attention to other teams sites before.

I look at gogamecocks.com quite a bit for the op-ed effect.

Rabid fans (which is ok) just want ONE SEC championship trophy to place on that EMPTY (always) shelf. Some are not as enamored of Corch for Life Superior as others.

They alwys have swooned in late Oct-Nov.

GreerVol22 writes:

Thing is, Spurrier will do exactly what we expect him to do only after he has done what we don't expect him to. Expect quick throw dink and dunk ball control to tight ends and Jeffery to pick on Art Evans for a lot of short jump balls. We will have to hold on 3rd down as the game plan for SC is to limit the possessions to 8 for the Vols. (heard this on local radio here in SC)

...play like you have been playing.

WytheVol writes:

in response to UTsloV:

SC hasen't had that much success on the gridiron. They do love their football, and that was a big win for them, why trash them for it. After all you are walking around with your chest out just because you played Alabama a close game. I bet Lil Lanes' excuse this week will be Halloween. His players won't get to go trick-or-treating.

Probably for the same reason you come here and trash us... Nothing wrong with wanting your favorite team to win.

But to that point, why can't we Vols fans come here and talk amoungst ourselves about our team and what we think happened (or will happen) without being trashed by you. Constantly accusing us of making excuses and whining. This is our board. We aren't whining on yours. We aren't making excuses on your boards either...

If you want to come here and talk sports, maybe even a little trash talk on the week we play your team I'm cool with that. But to stay here day in and day out, bashing our team and our fans just isn't cool. It isn't funny. It isn't becoming in any sense of the word. Lets talk about some real sports or just go the hell on...

WytheVol writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Student section should have huge signs reading:

FILL ER UP, GAMECOCKS!

AND CHECK THE OIL!

MAY I HAVE THE KEY TO THE RESTROOM?

That's funny! Classless, but funny as he!!..

CRFVols writes:

Ok...so Eric Berry...we've talked about this....but do you think if Monte would put him back in a role similar to last year he could better help us win some games? What I mean is..I know he's making a lot of tackles...but say he gets a pick 6 in either the UF or UA game...that could have been the difference. Esp since our offense is playing a little better...maybe it wouldn't even have to go all the way to help us win. Of course it would have to get closer than field goal range. Any thoughts?

TheFuj writes:

in response to 69grad:

I'm a proud UT grad and Vol fan who lives in Greenville, SC, and I remember the headlines from last year when SC beat us. You would have thought they won the national championship. I really want our Vols to beat those loud-mouthed idiots by a large margin. GO VOLS!

I live in Simpsonville, SC. You are correct. They view the TN and Clemson games as their championship games.

CrankE writes:

You know, if I entered the comment just like KNS wrote their headline, it'd probably be removed.

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

Spurrier loves to play with deep balls!!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to VoL4LiFe86:

I don't comment on other teams sites but i do read them. Has anyone ever heard UT referred to as Clemessee? Just curious because i had never heard that before and SC fans keep posting that. Is that really the best they can come up with? Just curious if that's a new thing SC fans have come up with or maybe I've just never payed attention to other teams sites before.

We both are hated and wear Orange. That sums it up Id say. GO VOLS!!!

Vol fan in sc tripping up Friday for the game around the rock slide through Johnson City.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to UTsloV:

Maybe we can keep this one close too, so we can keep this warm an fuzzy feeling inside, it's just as good as winning. Hopefully the SC players won't cheat and keep their helmets on.

Funny. Obsessed. Create your own little world. The clock had run out and we got the ball. Any way you look at it, the game would not have been changed, but live in your little obsessed world. Whine this week about everything that isn't suitable in your world, too, and every week. Whine, whine, whine.

Hardrocknox writes:

Forget about deep balls , All I have to say is
" beat them Gamecocks "

TommyJack writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Funny. Obsessed. Create your own little world. The clock had run out and we got the ball. Any way you look at it, the game would not have been changed, but live in your little obsessed world. Whine this week about everything that isn't suitable in your world, too, and every week. Whine, whine, whine.

Hey Joe, you're the one with the obsession.

PennVol writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Student section should have huge signs reading:

FILL ER UP, GAMECOCKS!

AND CHECK THE OIL!

MAY I HAVE THE KEY TO THE RESTROOM?

Add a picture of a gas gauge sitting on E at the end of the game.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to VoL4LiFe86:

Love the Crompton 2.0 upgrade! Think we can get a Lincoln 2.0?

How about instead of a Lincoln 2.0, we go for a SPECIAL TEAMS 2.0 upgrade?

Docrok writes:

in response to CRFVols:

Ok...so Eric Berry...we've talked about this....but do you think if Monte would put him back in a role similar to last year he could better help us win some games? What I mean is..I know he's making a lot of tackles...but say he gets a pick 6 in either the UF or UA game...that could have been the difference. Esp since our offense is playing a little better...maybe it wouldn't even have to go all the way to help us win. Of course it would have to get closer than field goal range. Any thoughts?

Teams arent going to throw against UT unless they have to, (ie 3rd and 10) or unless they think they got a one on one coverage with someone other than Berry! Additionally played alot of deep free safety against GA and they intentionally threw the ball away from him! PLus with the stops for loss and stops without a first down I believe Berry is making a bigger TEAM impact when the way Monte is using him! Look for Berry to be further away from the LOS this week and against Ole Miss as both of the teams like to pass! These two games are Berry's best chance for the INT record!

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to FearTheVols1252:

How about instead of a Lincoln 2.0, we go for a SPECIAL TEAMS 2.0 upgrade?

agreed! my country for a kicker that can get it past the 20 on kickoffs or be straight from 30 yards out.

Docrok writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Funny. Obsessed. Create your own little world. The clock had run out and we got the ball. Any way you look at it, the game would not have been changed, but live in your little obsessed world. Whine this week about everything that isn't suitable in your world, too, and every week. Whine, whine, whine.

He was being sarcastic as he is not a UT fan!Additionally most UT fans know that the reason UT lost that game was because of 3 count them 3 missed FG's and while we are proud of our team, EVERY UT FAN WAS SICK BECAUSE WE SHOULD HAVE WON!

Hardrocknox writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Funny. Obsessed. Create your own little world. The clock had run out and we got the ball. Any way you look at it, the game would not have been changed, but live in your little obsessed world. Whine this week about everything that isn't suitable in your world, too, and every week. Whine, whine, whine.

No Joe , We actually learned from this , the next ( and hopefully its against Bama ) and we are the one's on defence , on a last second field goal try , all we have to do is just let everybody take their helmets of and sling them at the kicker and holder , who care's if we get a penalty right ? game over .

WytheVol writes:

in response to CRFVols:

Ok...so Eric Berry...we've talked about this....but do you think if Monte would put him back in a role similar to last year he could better help us win some games? What I mean is..I know he's making a lot of tackles...but say he gets a pick 6 in either the UF or UA game...that could have been the difference. Esp since our offense is playing a little better...maybe it wouldn't even have to go all the way to help us win. Of course it would have to get closer than field goal range. Any thoughts?

The fact is that Berry still controls where the ball goes. If he stays back, they never throw his way. Tebow did, Berry took it from him. Every QB is looking for Berry on the field. I don't think it is the defensive scheme that has held Berry back this year. I think it is the offensive strategy of the other team to keep the ball away from him as much as possible, and to make him run all over the field and tire him out. Monte knows this as well, which is why I think he has him closer to the plays...

I also think early in the season we would have been sliced up as some of the other defenders out there with Berry weren't as confident in their roles. If you notice, Berry's numbers have fallen as the other players are picking up their game. But make no mistake, Berry is still every QB's worst fear. None of them want to be "that guy"...that he gets the record on that is..

Also, specifically the loss of NR at the Mike position earlier in the season, Monte knew Frazier, McCoy and Thompson could not handle it all. I think Berry had to be in there. I know Berry was in there before NR went down, but I refer back to my comments that everyone else wasn't as confident in their role as Berry was...

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to Docrok:

He was being sarcastic as he is not a UT fan!Additionally most UT fans know that the reason UT lost that game was because of 3 count them 3 missed FG's and while we are proud of our team, EVERY UT FAN WAS SICK BECAUSE WE SHOULD HAVE WON!

Okay. In many respects, you should have won the game. Although, give us credit also, we did what we had to do by blocking that kick. It was a good, hard fought game. I take nothing away from what the Vols did. I just get tired of the bashing Bama and the constant bunk about crooks and criminals. That is not true and the Vol fans wear it out. 'Nuff said.

volvoice writes:

I just don't see SC being able to put up many points against UT's defense, at least not more than 10. The question then turns to UT's ability to make offensive plays against SC's defense. That's the key. At the end of the day, I see UT by 14, maybe 17.

govols26 writes:

They want to throw deep balls huh? I feel an NCAA record coming down...

Mr_Brownstone writes:

ut 27
sc 10

book it

WytheVol writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Okay. In many respects, you should have won the game. Although, give us credit also, we did what we had to do by blocking that kick. It was a good, hard fought game. I take nothing away from what the Vols did. I just get tired of the bashing Bama and the constant bunk about crooks and criminals. That is not true and the Vol fans wear it out. 'Nuff said.

Most of us have given you credit. I've said all along, Bama made the one play that counted the most on the block. I think it was a helluva game.

On the bashing Bama part... You come here and start stuff w/UT fans as much as they/we start it w/you. But, none-the-less... You are on a rivals site. I'm not sure what you expect. I read the threads on ESPN and CBS and they all back UT and Kiffin like crazy.

You are correct, most Bama people are good people, not the criminals etc... It's just something to keep everyone going. UT has had its share of shady characters too. The unfortunate part about the trash talk is, that it typically goes to far and the name calling gets personal.

There aren't many people on here that would say some of these things publicly, as they can hide behind their screen names here (that goes for for all fans, not just UT's).

WytheVol writes:

in response to WytheVol:

Most of us have given you credit. I've said all along, Bama made the one play that counted the most on the block. I think it was a helluva game.

On the bashing Bama part... You come here and start stuff w/UT fans as much as they/we start it w/you. But, none-the-less... You are on a rivals site. I'm not sure what you expect. I read the threads on ESPN and CBS and they all back UT and Kiffin like crazy.

You are correct, most Bama people are good people, not the criminals etc... It's just something to keep everyone going. UT has had its share of shady characters too. The unfortunate part about the trash talk is, that it typically goes to far and the name calling gets personal.

There aren't many people on here that would say some of these things publicly, as they can hide behind their screen names here (that goes for for all fans, not just UT's).

"I read the threads on ESPN and CBS and they all BACK UT and Kiffin like crazy."

That should have been trash... Not back.. Don't know what the heck I was thinkin there.

10volunteers98 writes:

A below-average kicker was what cost us the game against Bama.Lincoln even stunk last year.Thank goodness for Michael Palardy!By the way whatever happened to Ethan Ingham? He is the walk-on who played in the Orange And White game.He was nailing thirty-five and forty-yard kicks.Why not give him a couple of kicks to see how he can do?We already know Lincoln couldn`t hit a bull in the keester with a bass fiddle!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

GoGamecocks poster's are "rumouring" that their best WR is a no-go Sat. Has some type of "bug" and missing practice.

10ECMATT writes:

in response to volvoice:

I just don't see SC being able to put up many points against UT's defense, at least not more than 10. The question then turns to UT's ability to make offensive plays against SC's defense. That's the key. At the end of the day, I see UT by 14, maybe 17.

Let them throw it deep. Berry needs some interceptions this game. Let them run it, he likes to hit too. I see another Vols / ga outcome. Go Vols.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features