UCLA makes a stand for plan

Gameday recap: Tennessee 15, UCLA 19

The UCLA game plan was simple: Put the ball in Jonathan Crompton's hands and make him beat you.

"We knew the run was their strength,'' said Bruins' middle linebacker Reggie Carter, who led UCLA with 14 tackles, "and if we forced them to throw they couldn't win.''

That's pretty much how it played out in the Bruins' 19-15 victory over Tennessee before a crowd of 102,239 at Neyland Stadium Saturday afternoon.

UCLA bowed up with a goal-line stand with two minutes left, stopping Montario Hardesty on a fourth-and-2 at the Bruins' 2-yard line with 1:49 remaining.

"It was a gut-check job by our defense to keep them out of the end zone,'' UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said.

UT forced a safety and got the ball back with 1:37 left, but the Vols were unable to pick up a first down and the Bruins regained possession and ran out the clock.

UCLA's defense was stout throughout the day, forcing three Crompton interceptions and limiting the Vols' senior quarterback to 93 yards on 13-of-26 passing.

UCLA senior cornerback Alterraun Verner said UT's offense didn't do anything to confuse the Bruins.

"They had to keep it simple for their quarterback knowing they had strong running backs in Bryce Brown and Hardesty,'' Verner said. "That let us adjust to play the run.

"I was very surprised they didn't take a couple shots (deep passes) downfield, but we got in their (receivers') faces and got to the quarterback.''

The Bruins recorded three sacks and kept the pressure on Crompton throughout as the Vols' pass protection faltered against UCLA's experienced front seven.

"We really didn't blitz much at all,'' Carter said. "They called it a couple times, and they hit us with a big run, so I told them to quit calling it.''

Neuheisel said UCLA kept things more conservative on offense as the game wore on.

"I felt like our defense was taking over the game, so it wasn't necessary to be real risky offensively,'' Neuheisel said. "There's no question I was relying on the defense.

"I kind of put the handcuffs on Norm (Chow),'' Neuheisel said, referring to the Bruins' celebrated offensive coordinator. "Once we made it a two-score game (19-10, 2:39 in the third quarter), it was putting pressure on their offense, and I liked that match up.''

UCLA's offense, meanwhile, did its job to keep the Bruins' defense fresh by holding a considerable advantage in time of possession (25:56 to 19:04) as the teams entered the final quarter.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Prince completed 11 of 23 passes for 101 yards, but more importantly, Prince avoided throwing any interceptions.

"I was a little timid at first,'' Prince admitted. "But I kept thinking of it as an opportunity to show the nation UCLA football. At halftime, Coach Chow told us we could hang with these guys.

"The second half I didn't get hit nearly as much. They did a little more zone (coverage) in the second half, and they did some things to close up the run.''

Neuheisel indicated that Vols' defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin didn't show as many looks over the final 30 minutes.

"The old fox Monte Kiffin, you knew he'd have some stuff and challenge us early in the first half,'' Neuheisel said. "You could tell how wiley he was because he never used any of it again in the second half.

"He lets you go in and make your adjustments, and then you never see it again.''

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Comments » 49

DownTheField writes:

completely outcoached

DownTheField writes:

crapton has performance anxiety and should be pulled immediately

DownTheField writes:

i don't care how well he practices, the proof is on ESPN

DownTheField writes:

stephens should get the nod... we will not begin to build anything with crapton under center

DownTheField writes:

how sick was it that crapton kept calling for flags? he's more interested in that nonsense than running an offense

HollySpringsVOL writes:

The UCLA game plan was simple: Put the ball in Jonathan Crompton's hands... "We knew the run was their strength," said Bruins' middle linebacker Reggie Carter, who led UCLA with 14 tackles, "and if we forced them to throw they couldn't win."

What a game plan. We are screwed unless there is a QB change, we are in for a long and painful season. I still have faith, but come on, man. JC get your head in the game and quit throwing receptions to the other team.

DownTheField writes:

jc, if you want the best for your team, then step down... you can't do it... you seem like a very selfish player... prove me wrong... by stepping down

Joevolsxtra writes:

in response to DownTheField:

how sick was it that crapton kept calling for flags? he's more interested in that nonsense than running an offense

AMEN! That QB wannabe needs all the help he can get. He just needs to plant his sorry butt on the bench and enjoy free gatorade the rest of the year. Maybe he can get a job with Steve Hamer at KFC because the only thing he'll be doing on Sunday's next year is cookin' chikin'! It's piss-poor terrible that our DB's are having to rally our offense while the QB is sitting on the bench with his head down!!!

lomas98 writes:

"Once we made it a two-score game (19-10, 2:39 in the third quarter), it was putting pressure on their offense, and I liked that match up.''

Boy, this sums up last year in a nut shell. This is the reason we had the third ranked defense last year. I am afraid if a team gets up by 2 scores this year, the game will be over as long as 8 is at QB.

DownTheField writes:

in response to Joevolsxtra:

AMEN! That QB wannabe needs all the help he can get. He just needs to plant his sorry butt on the bench and enjoy free gatorade the rest of the year. Maybe he can get a job with Steve Hamer at KFC because the only thing he'll be doing on Sunday's next year is cookin' chikin'! It's piss-poor terrible that our DB's are having to rally our offense while the QB is sitting on the bench with his head down!!!

he-is-terrible-period. we will see if kiffin's philosophy about open and ongoing competition for starting positions applies to game day situations as well as practice

lomas98 writes:

in response to DownTheField:

he-is-terrible-period. we will see if kiffin's philosophy about open and ongoing competition for starting positions applies to game day situations as well as practice

The reality is the competition for the QB position is just not that good either.

yeavols#228407 writes:

In case anyone missed it..the true freshman QB for USC, Matt Barkley, looked like a pro in the Horseshoe at Ohio State. FRIGGIN INCREDIBLE how he can make plays like it was nothing and we can't even get our 5th year senior to run a bootleg into the endzone when the whole line goes left.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

You have to say this for the Vols. They are the only elite team in CFB that even attempts to play the game without a guartrback. Gutsy.

barrym writes:

Jonathan should have been pulled. His poor performance demoralized the team. It appears he suffers from mental blindness in the game. I don't think supportive coaching will cure him. Let the other boy be the starter. Some other athlete on the team should be designated as his backup. Comptom should never be put in at quarterback again. Sorry to say that because I'm sure he's worked hard and the coaches have worked hard to help him. It's time for the coach to cut his losses and start the other young man.

tmp12345678 writes:

OK Vol Fans, let me tell you how this is going to work out.

[1] At some point Phil Fulmer may be your next athletic director.

[2] He may name Chavis or Cutcliffe as his head coach -- maybe both will be on staff. OR, he'll bring in some deep-orange former players-coaches whom will be quality.

[3] UT football should recover, although it may take some time.

[4] UT should win an SEC title, and maybe another National Title.

[5] Something big will be named after Fulmer, in addition to the street.

There you have it. Be cool.

Chomp writes:

The UCLA game plan was simple: Put the ball in Jonathan Crompton's hands... "We knew the run was their strength," said Bruins' middle linebacker Reggie Carter, who led UCLA with 14 tackles, "and if we forced them to throw they couldn't win."

And now UCLA has told Florida what to look for.

Last year Crompton snubbed the fans. He said he didn't care what they liked, or didn't like, that he was the QB, and the fans would have to live with it.

Kiffin knew he said that. He also knew what kind of QB JC was, yet he chose to use him instead of preparing the backup. Remember that conversation?

Last year the fans threatened JC, but then Kiffin embraced JC and the fans turned their wrath on Fulmer. Folks, Kiffin is not an SEC quality coach, nor is his old man.

Chomp writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

His singing Rocky Top and then calling Meyer a cheat publicly. Meyer punished Richt for celebrating two years ago by beating him 49-10 last year and calling time outs with less than a minute to go so Georgia could reflect on poor sportsmanship. Mark Richt is Meyer's friend....Kiffin is not.

bigtimevol writes:

Hmm, wonder what the FL game plan is going to be???

Noiseboy writes:

not a regular on here, but said in the Spring UT has no QB. We knew last week was a mirage. If this staff goes into Gainesville with Jon as the starter, I just opened up 3 hours of my Saturday. And they are just as inept as the last staff.

Don't hate on Jon. He shouldn't even still be on the 2-deep chart but they still keep him out there. "They" are as blind as "they" were. Sad...

RobertVolFan writes:

Man I just sit here and shake my head and wonder what JC sees and dosen't see out there passing the football. I mean its mind boggling to me. I have never seen a worse passer in my 40 years of watching football. I can't believe what I saw again today from Crompton. The exact same phooey as last season's debacle. Kiffin looks like an idiot right now

Real_Vol writes:

1 freaking yard and you rocket scientists are calling for heads. Did any of you ever get your degree from UT or are you just wearing orange left over from the hunt yesterday? This makes me sick. JC made some mistakes, yes . . Don't hold your head down by the way kid, everyone did, and the leadership you showed when you admitted it on the sidelines as you rallied the troops is exactly what we missed last year. Get your Offensive lineman on the same page and let's give FL and the vol nation show. Keep your head up and watch the film so you can capatalize on previously missed opportunities.

To all the "fans" that should be making millions coaching. . . . . Drive your forklift and let the pro's call the plays. Patience is a virtue. Go Vols!!

BigVolFaninSC writes:

I'm sure glad that none of you guys are coaching this team! Some of these comments are ridiculous! Football is a TEAM sport, the ultimate team sport and it takes all 11 to be on the same page! Granted, you must have your skill players to protect the ball, but this is not all Crompton's fault! The OL allowed too much penetration, WRs ran the wrong routes, RBs spun right into tackles instead of running to daylight and I would have liked to see Kiffin call some misdirection passes or screens to boost some confidence AND slow down that pass rush! So, don't put this all on the QB! If Stephens is so great, why isn't he the starter already? It takes time to build the program. Show some patience and be a true fan!

Noiseboy writes:

in response to Benj:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FYI, the last game I was able to see in Knoxville was the 96 opener against UCLA. Peyton's Jr. year (I didn't expect to see him as a senior). UCLA was a Pac 10 power back then (USC wasn't - understatement). Slug-fest game which turned on a kick return. Drove 6 hours for that experience. Worth every mile.

I wouldn't have driven from Cedar Bluff to watch that offense today.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Fittobetide, your day will come! Go back and pull for your Elephants (You know, that's a pretty sorry mascot! Almost as bad as a chicken!)! Might not happen this year, but soon you guys will have to use those rolls of toilet paper to wipe your lips!

Laydbakvol writes:

Eric Berry says he won't allow finger pointing among the team. He realizes it will hurt the team in the long run. Too bad he doesn't have any influence with the "fans". I would say that I wish the couch coaches would give it a rest but that's like wishing for world peace.

jsm67vol writes:

I commend Kiffin for accepting blame for the loss and trying to protect his QB from the harsh reality of his play today. I'm not used to a UT coach doing that. Nevertheless, when this film looked at, I don't see how NS can't get more snaps in practice, or Lamaison. Its not all JC's fault but he missed 2 open receivers in the end zone for TDs. Excuse me, to say he missed them would imply that he threw to them. He didn't even see them when they were right in his line of sight. I've been hoping for JC to turn it around big time this season but he really reverted to old habits of staring down his primary today. NS has got to get a shot unless JC can make miraculous improvement in the swamp.

flashbone writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXD78P...
pile on mr delusional alabama fan

jsm67vol writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When was the last time you crimson turds won a championship. Go to bed your little sister is waiting for you, fool!

utvol2485 writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It only took you all 11 years and 5 coaches to find a "keeper."

P.S. Enjoy probation.

utvol2485 writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Theirselves?" I'm pretty sure that's not even a word.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey, I thought elephants had a good memory, but apparently, you have forgotten that we cut your tusks off SEVEN straight years! And we didn't violate any NCAA rules to do that either AND went 13-0 in '98! Better eat some more peanuts! By the way, when was the elephants last title?

Noiseboy writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude, is the meth wearin' off yet? You might wanna see if your trailer's still on fire, or at least those 14 dogs underneath it. Really...

I'm not even a UT alum, I just want to see a once proud program return to relevance. They obviously have a way to go but at least no one was arrested-suspended-kicked off the team this year. In the SEC that's an achievement usually reserved for Vandy. I think in 2 years they may be giving the SEC East a real run. And ain't that what we like? That GA/SC game tonight was great because they both came to win. That Bama/Utah bowl game last year sucked because Bama didn't come to win. I hate quitters and no shows and that was your team. Nobody quit Saturday, but Tennessee got out-played and maybe out-coached. Lets both wait and see what happens next week in the swamp. could be interesting or ugly.

Great game against VT last week...

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just pointing out the facts! Notice you didn't answer when the last title was...?...or was it so long ago, you forgot that, too?!

What kind of loser gets on another competitors sight in the first place? You must have a bad self-image to have to visit this sight to get some kicks!

jeremyinitalia writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

I'm sure glad that none of you guys are coaching this team! Some of these comments are ridiculous! Football is a TEAM sport, the ultimate team sport and it takes all 11 to be on the same page! Granted, you must have your skill players to protect the ball, but this is not all Crompton's fault! The OL allowed too much penetration, WRs ran the wrong routes, RBs spun right into tackles instead of running to daylight and I would have liked to see Kiffin call some misdirection passes or screens to boost some confidence AND slow down that pass rush! So, don't put this all on the QB! If Stephens is so great, why isn't he the starter already? It takes time to build the program. Show some patience and be a true fan!

Your comments are what rational people call bullcrap. This was Crapton's fault, plain and simple. I don't care if Mr. Sullins likes the failure from NC, but Crapton cost us 4 TOs and the game all by his "workin' harder and trying to get better" self. He needs to crawl back into the NC hills and not come back.

utclassof1992 writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was Bama born and Bama raised, and when I saw the state line in Jackson Co. in my rearview mirror as I made my trip to enroll at UT in 1987, it was the sweetest sight I had ever seen. Alabama is an armpit, and I will never go back. Any jobs down there yet? Wait, Ford, Union Carbide, Reynolds, TeeJays, Lee Apparel, and the list goes on of what pulled out of Bama over the past 20 years. As the old Bama saying goes, thank god for Mississippi. We will never be 50th in anything.

jeremyinitalia writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and Florida suffers 5 torn ACLs, 3 torn MCLs, and a few high ankle sprains which really put the crimps on that glorified national title run when Teblow and his jort buddies are out for 3-6 weeks. SABOTAGE!!!!!

OldNumber7 writes:

I think this team is headed in the right direction. But....One thing I must say about our 1st and goal at the 7. Meyer and Saban would have never called up-the-gut that many times in a row. And they would have won. I think LK needs to be more open minded about his team's abilities and play within them. SEC defenses are not going to be "willed" backward.

TNDoug writes:

Fire Kiffin now! Overpaid, undercoached, and just darn frustrating.

UF 70, UT 3.

TheFuj writes:

Remember Bama fans, I think you lost to La Monroe in Satan's first year. I think Alabubba lost 6 in a row the same year. Give Kiffen time.

blitzshoot writes:

I hoped and wish that Crompton would have a great season, but it does indicate how inept any coach would be with UT's qb situation. Give Kiffin and company a couple of more years recruiting qb's a linemen and it will click.

BERRY_4_HEISMAN writes:

PLAN: Get Florida over-confident before September 19th.....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Chomp writes:

in response to TheFuj:

Remember Bama fans, I think you lost to La Monroe in Satan's first year. I think Alabubba lost 6 in a row the same year. Give Kiffen time.

TheFuji, I suggest you look back through all the articles. It's not "the rest of us" talking about Kiffin as much as it is the UT fans.

Last week I said that UCLA was at best a middle of the road team. From here on out the competition only gets stronger.

Will Kiffin abandon Crompton after building up his esteem, or will he now toss him out with the wash water? We are about to see what this coach is made of!

Pdiddy10 writes:

well...i am forseeing another 2008 season for the vols...its alright crompton, stevens call pull it together. Bryce, Montario, Berry, Sullins, its time for you to step up. Only one loss, out of conference, I AM STILL A VOL!!

redtitan4 writes:

Man ... Tennessee looks like Bama when they had Mike Shula (who was eventually fired)as their head coach. The quarter back reminds me of # 13 Spencer Pennington (who later gave up football). The play calling on the goal line reminds me of the Jumbo package that Shula would send in on the 10 yard line and always settled for a field goal. Tennessee defense is SEC caliber ( hard hitting and tough)but will wear out due to fatigue or injury. Kiffin better get his head out of his rear or he will be looking for a job in the pros as a tight end coach for the Jaguars.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Let's not go all wobbly after one game. It's obvious now that this rebuilding job will not be accomplished quickly. special teams are better this year - but still not good - and so is the defense.

The offense is better, but not by much. Crompton can't blame scheme, and he was terrible. But you can't pull him after one poor performance. The coach will lose credibility if he is pulled without giving him every chance to succeed. I say give him a chance to succeed this week in florida and see how he plays. If he stinks again, maybe - just maybe - it's time to go with Stevens. but remember, we've been here with Stevens before, too, so don't expect things to be too much better. And, where do we go to replace the poor offensive line players? Do we start throwing underclassment in there, knowing they'll be outmatched and worse?

Let's face it: We have no other viable alternatives on offense. We'll just have to try to play our way out of it this year and hope for better talent and play out of the offense next year. Maybe these linemen and quarterbacks can get a little better week to week. That's the best we can hope for, unfortunately.

KiFFiNOMiCS writes:

All these Kiffin haters....we have no skill at QB....we needed #8 to manage the game for us and it simply is out of his skill set....and that is why we put the game on the O-Line and our best weapon Montario Hardesty at the end....less chance of #8 fumbling or throwing yet another pick.

This staff and the Vol Nation know we have some offensive weapons but #8 just can't get them the ball when pressured. He has horse blinders and tunnel vision out there. We need to just need to except that and pray Bray doesn't head for the high road after this loss.

Bray is our future....he has the physical tools and we've picked up the weapons....just need to hang onto this kid and build off of him.

Those of you expecting to win the S.E.C. this year with these QB's need a reality check. We will get better every game but really ya'll this season is just the foundation laying season....NOTHING MORE.

Grantham_Vol writes:

I think Kiffin should watch some tape from the 07' season. Ainge broke his finger in spring ball and injured his shoulder in the Cal game and Cutcliff (as much as I dislike the guy) adjusted nicely. We lost Meachem, Smith, and Swain so in my opinion he would've had to adjusted anyway. The only reason Ainge took only four sacks that season was because of the short passing game. Most everything was underneath the coverage. That means get the ball out quick and if its not there throw it away. Obviously it worked because we went on to win ten games that year. Sure it was boring to watch but we WON! It is still a work in progress. It'll be a year or two before recruiting make a big impact. For now... Call a game thats manageable for Crompton or Stephens. Run the ball and make easy completions. Short curls, slants, etc. Nickle and dime it down the field and let the defense do the rest. We're not blessed with a recieving corp comparable to Florida, Geogia, or Bama, nor are we blessed with a stellar o-line. Kiffin and co. will recruit the talent and I believe they will coach em up. But like I said its gonna be a couple of years before we're competing for the SEC.

oldsmokey67 writes:

in response to Fit_To_Be_Tide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah in six years Saban will be ready for the glue factory.Just remember he is getting older and older.

STEELMAN4VOLS writes:

VERY DISCOURAGING TO SEE THE VOLS HAVE TO DEPEND SO MUCH ON THE RUN TO TRY TO WIN A GAME. MAYBE THERE WILL BE A SUPRISE IN THE OFFENSE AND WE CAN SEE A BALANCED ATTACK. I REALIZE CK HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH THE HAND DEALT HIM IN THE PLAYERS AVAILABLE WHEN HE ARRIVED. YOU HAVE THE GIVE THE VOLS CREDIT FOR PLAYING HARD, BUT BETTER
EXECUTION WILL HAVE TO FOLLOW AND BIG TURNOVERS BY THE DEF. FOR CHANCES TO WIN AGAINST BETTER TEAMS.

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