Adams: Vols not alone with quarterback concerns

John Adams

Tennessee ended spring football with its starting quarterback officially in doubt, although its fan base wouldn't have any problem endorsing freshman Tyler Bray following his performance in the spring game. But if it's any consolation to UT fans, the uncertainty at the position is shared by most of UT's 2010 opponents.

Defending national champion Alabama is the only team on UT's schedule which has its starter returning and is perfectly content with that. Greg McElroy is hardly the most talented quarterback in the SEC, but he was good enough to lead Alabama to an unbeaten season in 2009 and actually outplayed Florida's Tim Tebow in the SEC championship game.

Moreover, he fits the Nick Saban quarterback prototype, which means he makes good decisions, gets the ball to the right people and protects the football. Alabama's defense and running backs can do the heavy lifting.

Florida should feel just as confident about its next quarterback. John Brantley has a quick release and a smooth delivery, and his teammates rave about his accuracy. Yet, for all the talent he has flashed as Tebow's backup, you can't assume he will perform like a future first-round draft pick in his first college road start, which happens to be at Neyland Stadium.

Here's how UT's other 10 opponents shape up at quarterback:

UT Martin - Derek Carr is the likely candidate to replace two-year starter Cade Thompson, a former Maryville High star. Carr will make his first college start at Neyland Stadium.

Hint to Carr: Don't consult former Cal quarterback Nate Longshore for advice.

Oregon - Jeremiah Masoli was expected to enter the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Instead, he has been suspended for the season after pursuing robbery as a leisure activity.

Nate Costa and Darron Thomas, who are not Heisman candidates, combined to complete 16 of 43 passes for 178 yards in the first Ducks scrimmage (UT's Matt Simms and Bray did better than that).

Costa, who is the likely starter, has missed two full seasons with injuries. UT fans can only hope his Saturday at Neyland Stadium goes as well as that of the last Pac-10 quarterback named Nate.

UAB - More good news for the Vols. Quarterback Joe Webb, who ranked sixth nationally in total offense last season, has run out of eligibility.

David Isabelle, who is competing with Bryan Ellis for the starting job, was the most effective quarterback in UAB's spring game, completing 10 of 14 passes and rushing for 99 yards.

The Blazers' only road game before their trip to Neyland Stadium will be at SMU, which means Isabelle's introduction to big-time college football on the road will come against the Vols.

Hint to Isabelle: Don't consult former Cal quarterback Nate Longshore for advice.

LSU - Coach Les Miles emphasized a strong, physical running game in the spring, which makes you wonder if he expected quarterback Jordan Jefferson to regress.

Jefferson was 8-for-23 passing for 94 yards against an injury-depleted defense in the spring game. That's almost as scary to LSU fans as the speculation that former starter Jarrett Lee, who threw 16 interceptions in 2008, could unseat him.

Georgia - The Bulldogs don't know who their quarterback is, which some would conclude is an improvement over last year's starter, Joe Cox.

Logan Gray has experience and mobility on his side. Redshirt freshman Aaron Murray was a high school All-American. But neither was as impressive in the spring game as Zach Mettenberger, who was subsequently kicked off the team.

South Carolina - Coach Steve Spurrier's assessment of veteran quarterback Stephen Garcia was the most significant news of the Gamecocks' spring practice. Although Garcia ranked second in the SEC in passing yards per game last fall, he didn't perform as Spurrier had hoped this spring.

Garcia's commitment has been questioned more than his talent. If his commitment is still an issue this season, a frustrated Spurrier might pull some fourth-stringer out from behind a clipboard and summon him into the game.

A part-time quarterback alternative would be cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who has excelled in the Wildcat package.

Memphis - The Tigers could start a freshman, Ryan Williams, who was named offensive MVP of the Blue-Gray game after completing 14 consecutive passes. But that wasn't good enough to win the starting job, according to first-year head coach Larry Porter.

Williams' strongest challenge is apt to come from Cannon Smith, whose father is Fred "FedEx" Smith.

Ole Miss - Nathan Stanley is the frontrunner to replace Jevon Snead, but Raymond Cotton was better in the spring game. Cotton, who is 6-foot-4, 228 pounds, is still bothered by a slight tear in his labrum, which makes his spring-game performance (5-for-7 and 178 yards) more noteworthy.

Vanderbilt - Larry Smith is the returning starter at quarterback. He completed one of five passes for 4 yards in the Black & Gold scrimmage.

I will resist the urge to pile on.

Kentucky - Former starter Mike Hartline is back after missing most of last season with an injury. He has never impressed me as anything more than a caretaker.

Morgan Newton, who started eight games last season as a freshman, would at least give the Wildcats another running threat.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 45

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Good thoughts John, but the fact of the matter is that the defense of Tennessee is all that's going to hold us together this year, and while most of our opponents have their own QB issues, from an offensive standpoint, the vast majority of them at least have some idea of what they're doing on offense. I'm highly concerned about this season... Here's to optimism.... 6-6. Realism, 5-7 or 4-8.

CoverOrange writes:

Wow, JA is snarky today. And it isn't just about UT. Now the part about robbery being a leisure activity was funny.

UTSmokey04 writes:

Really good article and information on the other programs we play. Time will tell our record, but I'd guesstimate 6-6, with a ceiling of 8-4 if we don't suffer any injuries or further "riding on hoods at 2:30 am" incidents. I think the defense and coach Wilcox steal a game or two. At LSU could be one of them.

chaos001 writes:

Indeed, TurboFan. I've not seen him be quite so quippy in a long time.

Well, maybe things won't be all that bad this year...or these are going to be some ugly as hell games with most of the teams lost as geese in a hailstorm on offense.

TommyJack writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Wow, JA is snarky today. And it isn't just about UT. Now the part about robbery being a leisure activity was funny.

Snarky, huh? Nice word.

wayoutwill writes:

in response to V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO:

Good thoughts John, but the fact of the matter is that the defense of Tennessee is all that's going to hold us together this year, and while most of our opponents have their own QB issues, from an offensive standpoint, the vast majority of them at least have some idea of what they're doing on offense. I'm highly concerned about this season... Here's to optimism.... 6-6. Realism, 5-7 or 4-8.

I got news for you podner,our football team has a legitimate shot at winning the SEC,we got a talented defense,we got the deepest stable of tailbacks in the SEC(if not the country)--our offensive line will eat it up with that down and dirty attitude of find a man and hit the man,we got lots of speed on the wideout position and two Q.B.'s that can sling it down the field enuff to keep the defensive gurus honest,we finally got a decent Coach,not a wuss from California that played not to get beat bad,we are weeding out the no heart punks that just think they should show up and be rewarded for it without proving it on the field,I love our team from Head Coach to ball boy;we are gonna shock the world this year with some good ole poundit down your throat running and snot knocking defense,so you take your little pouty 5 or 6 win predictions and go root for Vandy or Ole Miss;WE ARE THE TN.VOLS!WE DON"T HIT THE FIELD WITH ANYTHING BUT THE BEST!GO VOLS!ROCK THIS EAST SIDE<THEN GO POUND THE WEST CHAMPION AND BRING IT ON BACK HOME:ANY SO-CALLED FAN THAT DOESN'T BELIVE THAT WE ARE GOING ALL THE WAY NEEDS TO GO JUMP TO ANOTHER SHIP!WE ARE FLYING PROUD AND INTO THE WIND!GO VOLS!WHOOHOO!

lincolncovol writes:

Wayout is a great name there dude, I love the belief in our team.I don't believe it's as bad as so many think,but win the S.E.C.is quite a reach.But as I said LOVE THE FAITH.

utfpmd writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I got news for you podner,our football team has a legitimate shot at winning the SEC,we got a talented defense,we got the deepest stable of tailbacks in the SEC(if not the country)--our offensive line will eat it up with that down and dirty attitude of find a man and hit the man,we got lots of speed on the wideout position and two Q.B.'s that can sling it down the field enuff to keep the defensive gurus honest,we finally got a decent Coach,not a wuss from California that played not to get beat bad,we are weeding out the no heart punks that just think they should show up and be rewarded for it without proving it on the field,I love our team from Head Coach to ball boy;we are gonna shock the world this year with some good ole poundit down your throat running and snot knocking defense,so you take your little pouty 5 or 6 win predictions and go root for Vandy or Ole Miss;WE ARE THE TN.VOLS!WE DON"T HIT THE FIELD WITH ANYTHING BUT THE BEST!GO VOLS!ROCK THIS EAST SIDE<THEN GO POUND THE WEST CHAMPION AND BRING IT ON BACK HOME:ANY SO-CALLED FAN THAT DOESN'T BELIVE THAT WE ARE GOING ALL THE WAY NEEDS TO GO JUMP TO ANOTHER SHIP!WE ARE FLYING PROUD AND INTO THE WIND!GO VOLS!WHOOHOO!

I'll have what he's drinking.

largeandincharge writes:

never have a defeatist attitude. i expect us to win them all, never admit defeat before it happens.

VolGrad writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Wow, JA is snarky today. And it isn't just about UT. Now the part about robbery being a leisure activity was funny.

That was pretty funny, and that continual jabs at Nate Longshore....

GBO!

VolGrad writes:

in response to utfpmd:

I'll have what he's drinking.

Make mine a double.

GBO!

CroKev writes:

Hey John, thanks for doing some research! Very interesting article. As for WayOutWill, well what can I say, a little "Way out" maybe? And, finally, I cannot believe Fred "FedEx" Smith's son is QB'ing Tiger High. Man, can you believe the amount of pressure Coach Porter must be under to start this kid? I cannot believe the kid didn't go to an Ivy League school. And what a name for a QB, "Cannon"! Memphis is certainly getting more interesting these days...

VOLinAthensGA writes:

6-6 would be perfection.

VOLinAthensGA writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh, and your forgetting Kiffin left the program better than he found it....

Why don't you stay in drugs and don't do school.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

It will be interesting to see how much the gators offense changes with a pocket passer;Brantley is far from new to the system and I suspect it will not struggle; At least we won't have to defend a QB draw on 3rd and 6 !! Nobody is panicking in Oregon about lack of talent..I for one am looking forward to RB Neal's coming in the fall..Ive watched a lot of film of him and he is an impressive north;south power guy;Neal and Poole could be a lethal duo..Does anyone know if he's academically deemed eligible??

wayoutwill writes:

in response to VOLinAthensGA:

Oh, and your forgetting Kiffin left the program better than he found it....

Why don't you stay in drugs and don't do school.

The only thing Kiffin left us was a legacy of thugs that robbed innocent folks of their cheeseburgers and a thumping by Va. Tech,oh,he also proved that Al Davis still knows who's what and when he said that Lane Kiffin was a liar and would try to destroy our program just like he had tried to destroy the Raiders program;I do realize that he was speaking the truth.I never liked him and you can look back at my post from yesteryear that prove that;I could smell the sorry character on him from a football field away.He'd throw his mama under the bus to save his own sorry butt,if you think that he left our program in better shape than it was,then please stay in Athens,cause you are as goofy as Kiffy was,as Rick Reily said,Kiffin is like the lil' boy that was born on third base,but trying to convince you that he hit a triple!

wayoutwill writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I got news for you podner,our football team has a legitimate shot at winning the SEC,we got a talented defense,we got the deepest stable of tailbacks in the SEC(if not the country)--our offensive line will eat it up with that down and dirty attitude of find a man and hit the man,we got lots of speed on the wideout position and two Q.B.'s that can sling it down the field enuff to keep the defensive gurus honest,we finally got a decent Coach,not a wuss from California that played not to get beat bad,we are weeding out the no heart punks that just think they should show up and be rewarded for it without proving it on the field,I love our team from Head Coach to ball boy;we are gonna shock the world this year with some good ole poundit down your throat running and snot knocking defense,so you take your little pouty 5 or 6 win predictions and go root for Vandy or Ole Miss;WE ARE THE TN.VOLS!WE DON"T HIT THE FIELD WITH ANYTHING BUT THE BEST!GO VOLS!ROCK THIS EAST SIDE<THEN GO POUND THE WEST CHAMPION AND BRING IT ON BACK HOME:ANY SO-CALLED FAN THAT DOESN'T BELIVE THAT WE ARE GOING ALL THE WAY NEEDS TO GO JUMP TO ANOTHER SHIP!WE ARE FLYING PROUD AND INTO THE WIND!GO VOLS!WHOOHOO!

I'll add one more "maxim" that was taught to me by Coach Majors and I belived that day when we shocked the world by beating Maimi and I belive it now even though I'm just a fan now;but here it is "Don't hit that field If you don't belive that you're the best,don't back up and don't back down,leave it all out there on the field!"--I firmly belive that we will go undefeated,untied and end our year as NCAA champions,and I got no use for any Vol fan that belives otherwise!

acarr13 writes:

Winning the SEC is kind of pushing it, but we will win at least 7 games. WE have for sure, Martin, UAB, Memphis, Kentucky, Vandy. Those are pretty much guaranteed. We can beat oregon, ole miss, georgia, and south car. The only games i believe we are truly underdogs are florida, bama, and lsu. We might pull 8 or even 9 wins. We are a lot better than people think.

uncle_loue#473937 writes:

somethin ive learned watchin TN football all these years; they can beat anybody any saturday and they can get beat by anybody any saturday.

i think back to a game at LSU years ago when we went into halftime down 3 TD's. fans had already started the long drive home. we won one of the greatest comebacks ive ever heard of.

i think this team will go 6-6 or 7-5. but i think the ones we win win include a couple we shouldn't. and i think the ones we lose will include a couple we shouldn't. thats just TN football folks.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I'll add one more "maxim" that was taught to me by Coach Majors and I belived that day when we shocked the world by beating Maimi and I belive it now even though I'm just a fan now;but here it is "Don't hit that field If you don't belive that you're the best,don't back up and don't back down,leave it all out there on the field!"--I firmly belive that we will go undefeated,untied and end our year as NCAA champions,and I got no use for any Vol fan that belives otherwise!

Excellent as a former football player! I too believe as a former football player under Battle.

You post and this artcile is what I have being saying, The Big Orange will win 8 or more regular season games this year, BOOK IT!

The SEC as a whole was much better last year when our Vols went 7 & 5. IMO, we have better talant and will be much better skilled under CDD this year!

1985 Sugar Bowl against Miami, I was there to see Jimmy Johnson throw his hands up after 7 sacks, LOL!

GO VOLS!

CoodyJohnson writes:

Good read.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

Wayoutwill,

LOVE the enthusiasm! This is the time of year for it, so have a blast!

BUT...

Remember that the last FOUR national champions have come from the SEC. You might be able to win the ACC or the Big East with a brand new coaching staff, rebuilt defense, rebuilt offense, brand-new O-line, new QB, etc, but the SEC? I'd have to see it to believe it.

givehim6 writes:

For all those gloom and doom fans out there let me remind them at any given saturday a win can be achieved with hard work and effort. After all did not the Vols give there all to UF last year? Almost beat Bama? And that was with numb nuts at the helm. Now with a new coach and position coaches that really care about UT, wow. Anyway I really want some pay back against Old Miss.

DaddyVol writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I got news for you podner,our football team has a legitimate shot at winning the SEC,we got a talented defense,we got the deepest stable of tailbacks in the SEC(if not the country)--our offensive line will eat it up with that down and dirty attitude of find a man and hit the man,we got lots of speed on the wideout position and two Q.B.'s that can sling it down the field enuff to keep the defensive gurus honest,we finally got a decent Coach,not a wuss from California that played not to get beat bad,we are weeding out the no heart punks that just think they should show up and be rewarded for it without proving it on the field,I love our team from Head Coach to ball boy;we are gonna shock the world this year with some good ole poundit down your throat running and snot knocking defense,so you take your little pouty 5 or 6 win predictions and go root for Vandy or Ole Miss;WE ARE THE TN.VOLS!WE DON"T HIT THE FIELD WITH ANYTHING BUT THE BEST!GO VOLS!ROCK THIS EAST SIDE<THEN GO POUND THE WEST CHAMPION AND BRING IT ON BACK HOME:ANY SO-CALLED FAN THAT DOESN'T BELIVE THAT WE ARE GOING ALL THE WAY NEEDS TO GO JUMP TO ANOTHER SHIP!WE ARE FLYING PROUD AND INTO THE WIND!GO VOLS!WHOOHOO!

Love the enthusiasm.

But where can I get a bottle of that stuff???

britt writes:

Tell em about it will. Ill agree with you on most of it but Bama probably has us on RB depth. Go Vols

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I'll add one more "maxim" that was taught to me by Coach Majors and I belived that day when we shocked the world by beating Maimi and I belive it now even though I'm just a fan now;but here it is "Don't hit that field If you don't belive that you're the best,don't back up and don't back down,leave it all out there on the field!"--I firmly belive that we will go undefeated,untied and end our year as NCAA champions,and I got no use for any Vol fan that belives otherwise!

You optimism sounds good, but it is nothing but false bravado and therefore meaningless. People with very unrealistic expectations will head for the hills and be calling for the coach's head after we lose a couple of games.

I support the hiring of Coach Dooley and think he will do a great job bringing us back to prominance. Unfortunately, he comes into a less than stellar situation. Five and 7 is about right for this year. Look for an SEC championship in 2012, but not before.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to DaddyVol:

Love the enthusiasm.

But where can I get a bottle of that stuff???

My bottle of enthusiasm is distilled in Lynchburg and can be bought at your nearest liquor store.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

My bottle of enthusiasm is distilled in Lynchburg and can be bought at your nearest liquor store.

I'm familar with your bottle of choice. I don't think wayoutwill's product has made to stores yet and probably won't anytime soon.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to illinoisvolfan:

I'm familar with your bottle of choice. I don't think wayoutwill's product has made to stores yet and probably won't anytime soon.

Maybe not in U.S. stores, but real Absinthe is available all over Europe.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I'll add one more "maxim" that was taught to me by Coach Majors and I belived that day when we shocked the world by beating Maimi and I belive it now even though I'm just a fan now;but here it is "Don't hit that field If you don't belive that you're the best,don't back up and don't back down,leave it all out there on the field!"--I firmly belive that we will go undefeated,untied and end our year as NCAA champions,and I got no use for any Vol fan that belives otherwise!

You must be used to disappointment by now since UT only had 1 undefeated season in the last 70 years. There is a big difference in hoping your team wins then thinking your team wins as a fan. Maybe as a player, you have to go into a game with the "thinking you will win' mindset, but most fans are realistic. It makes it even sweeter when you think you should lose to a team, and you end up winning.
As for the article. I am not concerned with our Secondary this year stopping the pass. I am more worried about the front 7 stopping the run.

volzcrushm writes:

GBO!! The other teams love to hammer us when we are down but.....WE ARE NOT DOWN THIS YEAR.
REALISTICALLY.... 8-4
OPTIMISTICALLY... 9-3
....WATCH AND SEE.

volgrog#210164 writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I got news for you podner,our football team has a legitimate shot at winning the SEC,we got a talented defense,we got the deepest stable of tailbacks in the SEC(if not the country)--our offensive line will eat it up with that down and dirty attitude of find a man and hit the man,we got lots of speed on the wideout position and two Q.B.'s that can sling it down the field enuff to keep the defensive gurus honest,we finally got a decent Coach,not a wuss from California that played not to get beat bad,we are weeding out the no heart punks that just think they should show up and be rewarded for it without proving it on the field,I love our team from Head Coach to ball boy;we are gonna shock the world this year with some good ole poundit down your throat running and snot knocking defense,so you take your little pouty 5 or 6 win predictions and go root for Vandy or Ole Miss;WE ARE THE TN.VOLS!WE DON"T HIT THE FIELD WITH ANYTHING BUT THE BEST!GO VOLS!ROCK THIS EAST SIDE<THEN GO POUND THE WEST CHAMPION AND BRING IT ON BACK HOME:ANY SO-CALLED FAN THAT DOESN'T BELIVE THAT WE ARE GOING ALL THE WAY NEEDS TO GO JUMP TO ANOTHER SHIP!WE ARE FLYING PROUD AND INTO THE WIND!GO VOLS!WHOOHOO!

I'd love to be this optimistic, but I don't do drugs. I hope you are right and I'm wrong. Best case is 7-5, more realistically I'm saying 5-7.

tennrich1 writes:

I gotta be honest...as a fairly well informed and understanding of the game Vol fan (general assetment mind)....I JUST DONT HAVE AN IDEA OF HOW ITS GOING TO GO....WILL A INCOMING FRESHMAN STEP UP BIG...WILL THE NEW QB PLAY BETTER THAN EXPECTED...WILL A REVAMPED O-LINE PLAY WELL....I JUST DONT KNOW...BUT I too remember 1985...and I too believe we can win every game...

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Here it is with the QB thing folks:

We have only seen 2 hours of both during the O&W game, there was a reason Simms was the starter after numerous practices WE DIDN'T SEE! The coaches get paid, WE DON'T!

All of you will be screaming for Tyler all summer judging on 2 hours out of like 20. The coaches will make the right pick come September.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

My guess would be asst coaching changes and bad breaks. UT shouldve won the SEC in 01 and 07 but couldnt close the deal. The main reason to me is the improvement of Auburn, Georgia, Bama, and LSU over the last 10 years. When UT was so dominate from 93 to 2001( UT had 91 wins, 2 SEC titles, 1 NT) other teams were down. Bama only had 70 wins during that period. LSU only had 60 wins. Georgia only had 65 wins. Auburn only had 70 wins. Florida has had UT's # even in the 90's for the most part. So, I think it had alot to do with other SEC getting alot better while UT went down some. I think some fans focus on Championships too much. Just because UT didnt win any since 98 doesnt mean they didnt have some really good team. UT did win the SEC East 3 of the last 9 years and that was when they were "down"

VOLinAthensGA writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

The only thing Kiffin left us was a legacy of thugs that robbed innocent folks of their cheeseburgers and a thumping by Va. Tech,oh,he also proved that Al Davis still knows who's what and when he said that Lane Kiffin was a liar and would try to destroy our program just like he had tried to destroy the Raiders program;I do realize that he was speaking the truth.I never liked him and you can look back at my post from yesteryear that prove that;I could smell the sorry character on him from a football field away.He'd throw his mama under the bus to save his own sorry butt,if you think that he left our program in better shape than it was,then please stay in Athens,cause you are as goofy as Kiffy was,as Rick Reily said,Kiffin is like the lil' boy that was born on third base,but trying to convince you that he hit a triple!

By December of last year most of us realized we were headed for trouble if he stuck around for the third year of his tenure. I wasn't drinking the kool-aid when he was hired but I wasn't a Kiffin hater either. Now, looking back we are going to be in much better shape over the long haul with Dooley. I still think it is going to take time before we actually compete for the East. Georgia is going to rebound this year and Florida won't miss a step with their depth chart. I would love to at least see one major upset this year on our way to a 6-6 season.

Go VOLS!

Nuthinbutorange writes:

in response to VOLinAthensGA:

By December of last year most of us realized we were headed for trouble if he stuck around for the third year of his tenure. I wasn't drinking the kool-aid when he was hired but I wasn't a Kiffin hater either. Now, looking back we are going to be in much better shape over the long haul with Dooley. I still think it is going to take time before we actually compete for the East. Georgia is going to rebound this year and Florida won't miss a step with their depth chart. I would love to at least see one major upset this year on our way to a 6-6 season.

Go VOLS!

I love Will's enthusiasm, but I believe the cold, harsh reality of college football in the SEC would favor your assessment. I would love to see an upset of the Gators, Tide, or Tigers (the LSU kind). I, too, am convinced that we have the right man for the job. He's just going to need some time to get the recruiting connections established, and to fumigate the athletic complex to get rid of the Kiffin stench.

Thad123 writes:

Georgia might know soon who thier QB will be. It appears that Logan Gray might be leaving the program.

woodwr#217203 writes:

Last year's Volunteer team was three plays from winning three more games.

Next year could include even more down to one play games.

Question-able Quarterbacks tend to look as good as their offensive line makes them look.

If only the opponents had uncertainty and inexperience at Center, Guard, and Tackle....

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Guys, let us pause for a few moments to remember Richard C, "Dick" Mulloy" beleived to be the last Vol player on the great 1939 team that during the season...the team became the last college in the nation to go UNDEFEATED-Untied and UNSCORED upon. A feat never matched by any other team since then. Mulloy, a tough never-say-die player played end on defense and offense.... A ferocious tackler and blocker, he had a way to get open and was considered a dangerous offensive weapon for the Vols. Recruited from St. Xavier high school in Louisville, Ky., in the midst of some of the nation's top high school teams such as Male and Manual, who in those days were among the best in the country. Major (then) Neyland decided to see for himself just how good these teams were. He immediately spotted two players from St. Xavier, Dick Mulloy and his future Captain of the 39-Vol team Norbert Ackerman, who became a center and leader of the famous 39 Vols. Both were tough as nails and were smart as well. Impressed by their tenacity on the field, Neyland immediately offered both a scholarship to Tennessee...and both accepted. Back in those day it so happened that Louisville's three top high schools, St. X., Male (All boys school) and Manual players were targets of schools from the big ten on a regular basis. But Neyland in quickly signing the two high schoolers pulled off a recruiting master stroke. And the rest is history. This was during the Volunteers golden years....These Unforgettable Vols were the Scourge of the S.E.C. The son of Dick Mulloy's who suffered brain damage in an automobile accident years ago even to this day walks around in Volunteer gear. He is so proud of his father's playing days at Tennessee, he bursts with pride. According to his wife, Dick has taken to bed full time, one can't help thinking that he may be at near the end of the trail. This last ole Vol whom Neyland described as a fine young man and impeccable character...Some would say the last Vol standing. Please VOL FANS take a few minutes to write a get well card to Dick Mulloy...at 3533 Norbourne Blvd., Louisville, Ky., 40207. I say get well card because it is in Dick Mulloy's character to "never give up".

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Are you aware that a former Vol still holds the record for punting in the 40's while playing for the Detroit Lions. His name, Bobby Cifers, former Tennessee tailback from Kingsport high. In addition to holding the professional punting record...he was either first or second in the nation while playing at Tennessee. His booming punts are seldom seen these days in college or pro ranks. He passed away suddenly in 1980 at Vanderbilt hospital of a heart ailment....He was Ed Cifers baby brother...Ed was on the great unscored upon 39 team at left end. Ed also played pro ball with Washington Redskins at the same of QB Sammy Baugh.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Was wrong about the dates of the death of record-breaking punter, Bobby Cifers. He died in 2000, at Vanderbilt hospital at 80 years of age. Sorry about the mistake. Bobby's home at the time of his death was Elizabethton, Tenn.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Maybe not in U.S. stores, but real Absinthe is available all over Europe.

I don't think wayoutwill's taste or budget is quite that exotic. That stuff will make you see God, the devil, and everything in between, usually at the same time.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

The recent death of Andy Kozar marks the passing on of another great Volunteer. Kozar a powerful runner ran thru opponents defense like a bulldozer and full speed ahead, he headed on one occasion against Alabama straight for the one lone defender, the safety whereby the impact of the collision could be heard all around Neyland Stadium. The late great coach Bobby Dodd stated that Alabama was without doubt the top college team ever seen the south. Its point -a minute offense which deployed the split-T-formation had just blown out every team they had played and expected no let up when they clashed with Tennessee on the third saturday of October in 1952 at Neyland stadium. For the first time in his career as Tennessee coach, Gen. Bob Neylands' Vols had never been as much as two touchdown underdog. It would be the the final year that Neyland would coach the Vols and he was seething inside to read and hear talk the Vols had no chance against Bama, a foe he hated. Only Bob Johnson, a KNS sportswriter thought the oddsmakers could be wrong. " A Bob Neyland team backed into a corner as a big underdog could be extremly dangerous and unpredictable". Before a roaring sellot crowd the Volunteers came out fighting from the start...first of all, they blocked Bame punt and scored. The Tide Split-T was stopped cold by the orange defense, Vol Fullback Andy Kozar running behing gaping holes as the offensive line blocked with great precision. Time and again Kozar would burst into the secondary behing deadly vol blocking. Thus the Vols pulled the huge upset and won 20-0. Bill Stern, the famous announcer in another game was not surprised..."You can't ever count a Bob Neyland coached team out". To indicate the power and prcision of this same Bama team, they went to the Orange Bowl and defeated a ranked Syracuse team 83-0. A record that still stands in bowl games. Kozar, on that day appeared unstoppable.

tennesseebee writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I got news for you podner,our football team has a legitimate shot at winning the SEC,we got a talented defense,we got the deepest stable of tailbacks in the SEC(if not the country)--our offensive line will eat it up with that down and dirty attitude of find a man and hit the man,we got lots of speed on the wideout position and two Q.B.'s that can sling it down the field enuff to keep the defensive gurus honest,we finally got a decent Coach,not a wuss from California that played not to get beat bad,we are weeding out the no heart punks that just think they should show up and be rewarded for it without proving it on the field,I love our team from Head Coach to ball boy;we are gonna shock the world this year with some good ole poundit down your throat running and snot knocking defense,so you take your little pouty 5 or 6 win predictions and go root for Vandy or Ole Miss;WE ARE THE TN.VOLS!WE DON"T HIT THE FIELD WITH ANYTHING BUT THE BEST!GO VOLS!ROCK THIS EAST SIDE<THEN GO POUND THE WEST CHAMPION AND BRING IT ON BACK HOME:ANY SO-CALLED FAN THAT DOESN'T BELIVE THAT WE ARE GOING ALL THE WAY NEEDS TO GO JUMP TO ANOTHER SHIP!WE ARE FLYING PROUD AND INTO THE WIND!GO VOLS!WHOOHOO!

wayoutwill, I like the cut of your jib, son.

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