Passion for offense after second UT scrimmage

Defense getting toughness back, but turnovers lacking

The Tennessee offense is protecting the football, so Derek Dooley can’t really complain.

The new coach would still like to see his defense create a few more turnovers during camp though.

After avoiding any turnovers in the first scrimmage on Tuesday, UT was largely able to again avoid coughing up the ball during its second live game work on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. There was one fumble that went the other way for the Vols, but aside from that, the offense continues to have a decided edge in the turnover battle.

“The offense is protecting it well, and that’s going to be key for us,” Dooley said. “But we need to get some. We haven’t gotten them on defense.

“We got some early on in camp, but we’ve kind of lost that.”

The defense did find more passion than it showed earlier in the week when it drew the ire of Dooley for not showing up with enough intensity, and it seemed to receive some better reviews with a mulligan based on comments after the closed workout.

According to stats provided by UT, the only turnover came on a fumble by backup running back Toney Williams that was recovered by middle linebacker Austin Johnson, though the defense could have had a much bigger night against an offense trying to stress ball protection. At least three other chances to add to the lone takeaway through two scrimmages slipped through UT’s hands, which put a blemish on a performance that in most every other area was improved defensively.

“It went better, and we improved in a lot of things,” linebacker Nick Reveiz said. “But the biggest thing is tonight we didn’t finish. Last scrimmage we finished well as far as two-minute and four-minute (situations), but tonight we didn’t do that. We started out well, had a lot of good energy and made a lot of plays. But in the end, we didn’t finish the right way, the way we should have.

“We’ve just got to keep working. It’s not frustration, it’s just something we’ve got to work on. It’s attempts, it’s strip attempts, actually holding onto that ball. We could have had three interceptions tonight and we dropped them. That’s just practice and putting yourself in that situation, but that’s the good thing — we’re putting ourselves in that situation, we’ve just got to finish the play. That’s something we didn’t do tonight.”

The flip side is the offense is finishing more plays, including three of them in the end zone off passes from Matt Simms. The leader at this point to win the UT starting job at quarterback avoided any major mistakes for the second consecutive scrimmage, wasn’t charged with any turnovers and piled up 235 yards while completing 11 of 22 attempts.

True freshman Tyler Bray also had a productive scrimmage at quarterback, finishing 16-of-28 for 246 yards as he continues to push Simms with less than three weeks left until the season opener against UT Martin. Like Simms, the most important stat was a zero in the turnover column for Bray — which is encouraging for a defense that will need help staying off the field during the season but still wants to make a mark in camp.

“The way I see it is if we come at them harder every day in practice, when we’re in shells, when we’re in jerseys, if we come at them relentlessly, when they get in the game, they’re going to know, ‘Just like against our defense, we’ve got to protect it,’ ” defensive end Chris Walker said. “That’s how we approach it, just the same as when they come out and hit us in the mouth like they did last week.

“Anytime we get under the lights at Neyland Stadium, there’s going to be competition. We just had to reboot back up and toughen up.”

The UT defense appears to be getting that toughness back. For now, the hardest part is still finding a way to get the ball back.

Tennessee Preseason Scrimmage No. 2

Rushing Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD-Long) – David Oku 7-65-0-23; Tauren Poole 8-44-0-25; Gerald Jones 1-33-0-33; Rajion Neal 11-6-1-14; Toney Williams 9-4-1-4.

Passing Leaders (Att.-Comp.-Int.-Yds.-TD-Long) – Tyler Bray 28-16-0-246-0-66; Matt Simms 22-11-0-235-3-64.

Receiving Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD-Long) – Justin Hunter 5-128-1-64; Da’Rick Rogers 5-63-0-34; Zach Rogers 4-49-0-20; Tauren Poole 3-49-1-20; Rajion Neal 3-38-0-18; Denarius Moore 2-20-0-10; Matt Milton 1-66-0-66; David Oku 1-34-1-34.

Defensive Leaders – Daryl Vereen 7 tackles, 3 TFL (-18), 1 sack (-7); LaMarcus Thompson 5 tackles, 1 TFL (-4); Herman Lathers 4 tackles, 1 sack (-6); Tyler Wolf 4 tackles, 3 TFL (-7); Malik Jackson 3 tackles, 2 TFL (-6), 1 sack (-5); Austin Johnson 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery; Montori Hughes 2 tackles, 2 sacks (-11); Corey Miller 1 tackle, 1 sack (-7), 1 QB hurry, 1 forced fumble, 1 block.

Field Goals – Daniel Lincoln 2-of-4, long 30; Michael Palardy 1-of-4, long 39, 1 blocked.

Punting (No.-Avg.-Long) – Chad Cunningham 3-34.0-39; Michael Palardy 2-43.0-52; Matt Darr 3-32.7-36.

Starters

Offense – Tackles Dallas Thomas and Ja’Wuan James, Guards Jarrod Shaw and JerQuari Schofield, Center Cody Pope, Tight End Luke Stocker, Wide Receivers Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore, Fullback Kevin Cooper, Tailback Tauren Poole, Quarterback Matt Simms.

Defense – Ends Chris Walker and Malik Jackson; Tackles Montori Hughes and Victor Thomas; Linebackers LaMarcus Thompson, Nick Reveiz and Herman Lathers; Cornerbacks Art Evans and Eric Gordon; Safeties Prentiss Waggner and Brent Brewer.

Injury Holdouts – DB Janzen Jackson, FB Ben Bartholomew, LB Nigel Mitchell-Thornton, LB Greg King and DB Naz Oliver.

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Comments » 57

rclarkfork#639958 writes:

Have to like the fact that the offense is taking care of the ball.....very nice with a center and two QBs who are fairly new to each other, yes they have spent the entire summer working on snapping the ball but that is nothing like going against a live defense...great job guys

vol_chaz writes:

Keep improving, D.

mdvol writes:

Bring on the stats. D will come around.

nola_vol writes:

Well, like CDD said earlier in the week... It's hard to feel good about an intra-squad scrimmage if you're the head coach. If the O looks good, then the D looks bad.

Early reports are that DB Anthony Anderson was injured and carted off the field. Can anyone update that report?

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I agree with everyone else..Just glad the offense is protecting the football..Keep working hard D and get tough!!!

CoverOrange writes:

Looks like good running by Poole, Oku and JONES! None of the kickers had extraordinary days.

Jimslaw writes:

whats wrong with palardy looks like he would be a better punter and the recievers looked awesome

196SVol writes:

Wow, those fg kickers are really impressive!

rockytopatl writes:

Looks like Bray put up the best numbers once again. It's hard from just seeing the stats and not the actual play, but he's looking like the No. 1 quarterback.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to 196SVol:

Wow, those fg kickers are really impressive!

Have to admit that Pallardy is disappointing so far. That's at least two blocks already. Thought Lincoln would lead the team in that department.

burntorangeVOLffle writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Looks like Bray put up the best numbers once again. It's hard from just seeing the stats and not the actual play, but he's looking like the No. 1 quarterback.

3 tds to 0 says otherwise.

castoff121 writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Looks like Bray put up the best numbers once again. It's hard from just seeing the stats and not the actual play, but he's looking like the No. 1 quarterback.

The only reason I would disagree with that statement is the number 3 in Simms stats......touchdowns. Bray had 0.

ravensearay writes:

How come no passes to Gerald?

manoffewwords writes:

Patience! Bray is a young pup. Simms an older pup.

nocleats writes:

It all starts with the D Tackles. In the SEC youve got to have them .. No D tackles makes the LBs look bad cause theres always a O lineman putting a hat on them, and the DBs look bad because they cant keep covering WRs after 3.5 seconds down after down.. D Tackles.!

nocleats writes:

Simms is the starter.

mercuryvol writes:

D is almost always ahead of the O at this stage.What's up?

nola_vol writes:

Storyline for next week?

Concern over special teams...

nocleats writes:

in response to mercuryvol:

D is almost always ahead of the O at this stage.What's up?

No D Tackles!

buck_fama writes:

Miller 1 tackle; 1 sack (-7); 1 QB hurry; 1 forced fumble; 1 block

Not bad for a freshman.

BillsBrother writes:

yawwwwwwwnnnn....
just woke up from off season.
How long is it until the opener?

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Looks like Bray put up the best numbers once again. It's hard from just seeing the stats and not the actual play, but he's looking like the No. 1 quarterback.

Simms 11-22 235 3 64

Bray 16-28 246 0 66

you are seeing what you want to see--these stats do not give an edge to Bray---who had the 3 TDs?---still no clear #1

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

6 sacks allowed, ouch

GatorHatin2010 writes:

the D-fense will be just fine. you gotta realize they still have a little ways to go bc after injuries your plugin guys in and moving them around and trying new sets and schemes to see what they do good with. Plus its only the 2nd live action the D has had and the freshman and young guys are still adjusting to stepping up. Ive been in their position and its gonna take a little time but it will get better!

Go Vols!

rclarkfork#639958 writes:

Stats mean absolutely nothing at this point....As Dooley said before this scrimmage, we will allow the defense to show the offense a few more looks in this one.....the defense is showing the offense very few looks at this point so I would not get too down on the defense at this point. Yes we are not strong at DT but I can guarantee you that Wilcox is not going to just sit back and say let's see if our basic defense can stop you. They are going to show a lot of different looks and the majority of them have not even been shown yet so at this point it's best to draw no great conclusion from the results or any of the stats.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Give them time, it's just the second scrimmage. Everyone knows that we lack defensive depth due to all the injuries and some other problems. Dont' worry. CD and CW will move more people around and do what needs to be done the best way possible.

WE will DO the Best WE Can with Who WE HAVE! We are UT! Go VOLS!

Tennpoker writes:

in response to rclarkfork#639958:

Have to like the fact that the offense is taking care of the ball.....very nice with a center and two QBs who are fairly new to each other, yes they have spent the entire summer working on snapping the ball but that is nothing like going against a live defense...great job guys

I have to admit I am tired of hearing how having a new center is causing issues....I watch middle school teams snap the ball without fumbles...its simple concentration.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

Thomas started at D-Tackle. That could mean he's really good or that no one else stepped it up at that position. I hope it's cause he's that good. Really hoping Arthur Jeffrey has a breakout season.
Only 3 more weeks until kickoff!!!!! I can't wait!!!!

nola_vol writes:

The following quote by Simms (from today's Austin Translation http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward/2010/0...) makes me feel better about his 50% completion rate:

"I felt good because I haven't turned the ball over yet, and that's the biggest thing for me -- learning to get rid of the football when it's not there. A few times early in the scrimmage we were covered pretty well and I just threw it away, so I'm happy with my decision-making."

That will also help the O-line's confidence (once they figure out all these blitz schemes they're facing in practice!).

littleorange writes:

Isn't it time for some hayseed talent expert to start a quarterback controversey?????Ala Manning/ Stewart ,Crompton/ Stevens......

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Did anyone notice Hunter's receiving numbers? I hear he is a stud right now.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Could it be that this is the second season under the same coach for the offense? Maybe thats has something to do with the offense doing a better job than the "D".
GO VOLS !

iowavol writes:

in response to burntorangeVOLffle:

3 tds to 0 says otherwise.

Agree. Chattanooga newspaper is reporting that many of his initial passes were thrown away. In addition, there were a lot of sacks - good for defense, bad for a QB who held onto the ball too long - don't know who got sacked. Got to trust the coach if he says Matt's ahead, then he must be ahead.

Chatt paper also reporting the Savion Frazier dropped 3 INT's that hit him in the hands. Who threw the balls?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to rclarkfork#639958:

Stats mean absolutely nothing at this point....As Dooley said before this scrimmage, we will allow the defense to show the offense a few more looks in this one.....the defense is showing the offense very few looks at this point so I would not get too down on the defense at this point. Yes we are not strong at DT but I can guarantee you that Wilcox is not going to just sit back and say let's see if our basic defense can stop you. They are going to show a lot of different looks and the majority of them have not even been shown yet so at this point it's best to draw no great conclusion from the results or any of the stats.

R C

Very well said

whistlinwingman writes:

in response to yabadabadoo1026:

Simms 11-22 235 3 64

Bray 16-28 246 0 66

you are seeing what you want to see--these stats do not give an edge to Bray---who had the 3 TDs?---still no clear #1

Valid point!

Psychovol writes:

Usually the D is ahead at this point. I take this as a good sign for the offense. The D is learning a new system while the O has the same coordinator but different play caller. The D will be ready and the test will be when Oregon comes calling.

nola_vol writes:

in response to iowavol:

Agree. Chattanooga newspaper is reporting that many of his initial passes were thrown away. In addition, there were a lot of sacks - good for defense, bad for a QB who held onto the ball too long - don't know who got sacked. Got to trust the coach if he says Matt's ahead, then he must be ahead.

Chatt paper also reporting the Savion Frazier dropped 3 INT's that hit him in the hands. Who threw the balls?

Or who ran the routes?

If Savion's INT-drops occurred in the flats... QB's fault. But over the middle? A lot more chance the receiver's route was not what the QB anticipated.

If we'd watched it together in slow-mo from the Goodyear blimp, I doubt we'd know any more than we do now.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to nola_vol:

The following quote by Simms (from today's Austin Translation http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward/2010/0...) makes me feel better about his 50% completion rate:

"I felt good because I haven't turned the ball over yet, and that's the biggest thing for me -- learning to get rid of the football when it's not there. A few times early in the scrimmage we were covered pretty well and I just threw it away, so I'm happy with my decision-making."

That will also help the O-line's confidence (once they figure out all these blitz schemes they're facing in practice!).

nothing wrong with a 50% completion rate when throwing the ball downfield for 20 yd avg---are you one who is impressed by 60% rates from Cutcliff offense dink and dunk 5 yard out passes?????-----I prefer going north to going east/west

uncle_loue#473937 writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

was palardy kicking behind the second team line? might make a difference with first team blockers.

Jason55 writes:

Why is Da'Rick still on the team?? I thought he was on probation..

nocleats writes:

^^^ TROLL ^^^
Do Not Reply To This Post.

givehim6 writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Looks like Bray put up the best numbers once again. It's hard from just seeing the stats and not the actual play, but he's looking like the No. 1 quarterback.

Just what I was thinking RockyTop. I read on here once CDD maybe going to use Simms for the first part of the season when we play the tougher opponents then Bray towards the end.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

so far, it doesn't look like Palardy is the second coming, as many had predicted.

orangeman1 writes:

If anyone cares Crompton went 6 of 11 for 81 yds and an interception in San Diego's preseason game. He actually did better than Volek. Maybe he will prove me wrong, but I never thought he would play in the NFL

tnsportsman writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You got that right RR! Chaney is one of our keep secrets. The offense is better than most thought and that's good. We want our offense on the field 40 minutes per game, not the defense!

LETS GET IT UP, ITS FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe they are still trying to find the right holder..That does make a difference, IMO.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good Post, Richie!!!

Off topic, but can u give some info on that Newberry kid??

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

Could it be that this is the second season under the same coach for the offense? Maybe thats has something to do with the offense doing a better job than the "D".
GO VOLS !

Good Point!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

There are some very good and informative posts on here, Vol fans!! Good job!!

Pompey writes:

in response to burntorangeVOLffle:

3 tds to 0 says otherwise.

...can anyone site a scrimmage where Simms stats were better than Brays......

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