'It was a tough day' for Vols' offense

Some extra catching practice during the week helped.

It didn't hurt that Savion Frazier added some sticky gloves to his equipment, either.

But perhaps more than anything, peer pressure and a desire to end the ceaseless hard time the Tennessee linebacker has been receiving ensured that if another pass came his way, Frazier wouldn't put it on the ground. So after dropping four interceptions in the second UT scrimmage a little over a week ago, the Vols' senior responded by hanging onto a Tyler Bray attempt on Saturday at Neyland Stadium - and for good measure returned it for a touchdown.

"About time I got me one," Frazier said. "Got one, took it to the crib, so I'm excited. Oh yeah, I'm just excited, man. I've been dropping them, so it was a lot of hard work after practice catching them balls paying off now.

"The guys have all been on me, so I had to make the play. I told them I was going to catch it when we got back in here, and I couldn't let them down."

Frazier had to get another chance first, and a struggling offense in the situational scrimmage delivered one for him to provide a highlight for a unit that had collectively had issues forcing turnovers so far in camp.

They came in bunches in the last meaningful game-like simulation until the season opener against UT Martin on Sept. 4. UT didn't release official statistics from the closed workout, but based on various accounts from players and coach Derek Dooley, the defense came up with five interceptions after only getting one takeaway through two scrimmages.

Obviously Frazier had his hands in both the low number coming into the weekend and the much higher one leaving it.

"Yeah, he caught one," Dooley said. "I guess our quarterbacks were thinking he can't catch, so if we're going to throw it to them, throw it to that guy. He proved them wrong today.

"I got on the defense because they weren't creating enough turnovers, so then they created them and now I'm in the tank because we gave them up. You know, it's like nothing's ever good enough. I don't know, they're feeling good about it on defense and they should be, because we're going to need to get some this year - but we can't spit them out. We're going to have to create turnovers, we're going to have to protect the ball and we're going to have to be good on special teams just to have a chance to win. That's where we are."

Those three principles are pretty much universal for coaches everywhere, though Dooley stressed them again as particularly important because of three other factors that apply specifically to the Vols - youth, inexperience and lack of depth.

Dooley repeatedly indicated that those weaknesses were exposed during the situational, end-of-game work on Saturday on both sides of the ball, though the offensive woes and four interceptions by Bray appeared to have him more frustrated than at any other point this fall.

"Our youth and inexperience was really exposed today, and we need a ton of work at this stuff," Dooley said. "We got affected a lot, we couldn't manage the offense as well as we need to, made some bad mistakes, so it was really a good indicator of where we were when it got to crunch time. Youth and inexperience just showed.

"The players that had experience were calm and played well, and the ones that didn't and are new, the freshmen, really struggled. We'll have to watch the film and correct it. It was a tough day."

Certainly it was for the offense, though the defense deserved some of the credit for that.

And Frazier made sure to play his part this time.

"We harp on turnovers every day, on trying to get our hands on the ball and today we were able to get our hands on some of them," Frazier said. "That's good, we love to see that. You want to get your hands on as many balls as possible."

Keeping them there had been the problem for Frazier, but he won't have to hear about that again for a while.

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Comments » 65

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

Go away troll!

Back to football; I think it is great; the defense should be far more superior to the offense at this point. This is where our experience is. Our defense is going to have to win us some football games and hopefully the offense can catch up at some point; much like the Georgia game last year when things starting clicking for Crompton. We really have 3 weeks to get it right; two weeks of practice leading up to the UT Martin game and then week leading up to Oregon who I believe is ranked 11th in the country.

LifeIsOrange writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is my first post so I apologize for this but........ NIT ? GET REAL

rockytopatl writes:

No stats and no witnesses except the coach and a couple of players allowed to talk. It's kind of like covering a murder with only a couple of suspects, the victim and a couple of family members present.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

sounds like our inexperience is going to hurt us significantly for awhile. Need to grow up fast!

jwpickard11 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

it takes scrimmages to be real

LifeIsOrange writes:

in response to PlaidinOrangeandWhite:

Go away troll!

Back to football; I think it is great; the defense should be far more superior to the offense at this point. This is where our experience is. Our defense is going to have to win us some football games and hopefully the offense can catch up at some point; much like the Georgia game last year when things starting clicking for Crompton. We really have 3 weeks to get it right; two weeks of practice leading up to the UT Martin game and then week leading up to Oregon who I believe is ranked 11th in the country.

If our offense shows up ,we can beat oregon. Wilcox will have a nice game plan. He shut em down last year and I would say he had less talent. Lets just hope Simms keeps improving and keeps his turnovers down.

UTByrd writes:

Always remember: The info we are getting is the same info our opponents get. Get it.
Go VOLS!!!!!

KNSsports (staff) writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

According to UT, since it was a situational scrimmage no official stats were kept.

whistlinwingman writes:

in response to KNSsports:

According to UT, since it was a situational scrimmage no official stats were kept.

No stats released is a good thing IMO.

"Dooley repeatedly indicated that those weaknesses were exposed during the situational, end-of-game work on Saturday on both sides of the ball.." They EXPOSED weaknesses purposely. Therefore stats are irrelevant at this point. Hope the players learn from the mistakes. Kudos to Dooley and company.

duke.moses#299699 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you kidding me? A tarhole fan on our site? Isn't it past your cookies & warm milk with bedtime stories??? Please don't back out of the contract so we can kick your tarhole the next 2 years!!!
TARHOLE

tennezz writes:

Sounds a little like Fulmer...watch the film and correct it!

DaddyVol writes:

in response to allVolinGA:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank you Junior Samples. Tell Roy, Grandpa, and Lulu I said hello.

OrangePsyched writes:

Not bad that defense stood tall today. Offense has gotten the better of them in previous to scrimmages. Usually D shows better at the beginning. Finally they are doing there thing with intensity and schemes. Offense know they need to get better and defense has some positive vibes going on with them....win, win. ROCKY TOP!

texasvol73 writes:

I really want our team to do well, and I am going to cheer as much as ever...so please take this comment for what it is: It's going to be a loooong season, and I haven't been this non excited about the beginning of a season in a very long time. I just hope our fans are realists this year and will support these players throughout this season.

p66ayers#1376155 writes:

Who really cares anymore.I get so tired of reading the same 'ole phooey. Tired of the Fulmer bashing. Fulmer brought us something no one else could. If he didn't have to keep up with the rest of the NCAA and recruit every thug piece of trash who wanted to f off away from mama house he would still have a job. Good luck Coach Dooley or whatever your name is.

LiveFaith writes:

Four dropped INTs by the same LINEBACKER in the previous scrimmage. Did I read that right?

If that happened we could be in a world of hurt. That's horrible. UT Martin may be licking their chops at this point. :-o

I hope things are not this gloomy and CDD is truly pulling a Lou Holtz when speaking @ the teams ability.

The 2006 team showed some flashes, but has it not been since 2001 that UT actually had a decent offense? It's been defense saving us for a loooong time now.

pickinhick writes:

Pessimists look at this and worry about our offense. If our offense looked good, they would harp on our defense.

What if, we have a good defense and our offense has been getting the best of them- until today? As an optimist, I think maybe we are pretty darn good on both sides and might surprise a few people this year. GBO!

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

Cripes, what is wrong with you guys?? Dooley is irritated because Bray and the other freshmen were messing up.

The tone was also that the defense was 'okay', but offensive mistakes played a role it.

I know you guys are starved for football news, bu tease up. Situational scrimmages by their nature are tougher than just moving up and down the field.

Finally, you should know we won't be a great team. Most of us just want to see us play hard, fight, and get better.

manoffewwords writes:

in response to always_vol:

Cripes, what is wrong with you guys?? Dooley is irritated because Bray and the other freshmen were messing up.

The tone was also that the defense was 'okay', but offensive mistakes played a role it.

I know you guys are starved for football news, bu tease up. Situational scrimmages by their nature are tougher than just moving up and down the field.

Finally, you should know we won't be a great team. Most of us just want to see us play hard, fight, and get better.

agree 100%

shulessjo writes:

Any update on Justin Hunter/ NCAA clearing house? Maybe its out there and I missed it?

nola_vol writes:

in response to tennezz:

Sounds a little like Fulmer...watch the film and correct it!

As opposed to what other coach, at any level?

And, yes, the only way to get better is to work harder (every coach works hard--they just use different similes to describe it, like, heck).

brokebackvol writes:

in response to always_vol:

Cripes, what is wrong with you guys?? Dooley is irritated because Bray and the other freshmen were messing up.

The tone was also that the defense was 'okay', but offensive mistakes played a role it.

I know you guys are starved for football news, bu tease up. Situational scrimmages by their nature are tougher than just moving up and down the field.

Finally, you should know we won't be a great team. Most of us just want to see us play hard, fight, and get better.

hear, hear. We have a tough couple of years ahead, but at least it ain't with that azz from southern cali.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I think we are being primed for the worst this year. I'm ready to support what ever we put on the field. I think we can evaluate the coaches chances for the future. I do expect to see improvement as the year progresses and not be blown out in every game. If we finish off November with wins then it will be a good year.

Southland writes:

I guess people still think their lame fat jokes about Fulmer are funny. They never were funny. He will go down as one of the top Vols of all time. Can any of you wanna be comedians say that?
Pay attention to the present. Sounds like we need to run the ball a lot. Our QB's are not developing. This makes for a long year. Great receivers do not mean the QB's can get the ball to them

TommyJack writes:

in response to p66ayers#1376155:

Who really cares anymore.I get so tired of reading the same 'ole phooey. Tired of the Fulmer bashing. Fulmer brought us something no one else could. If he didn't have to keep up with the rest of the NCAA and recruit every thug piece of trash who wanted to f off away from mama house he would still have a job. Good luck Coach Dooley or whatever your name is.

Wrong. FHCPF had no problem recruiting thugs.

BeRealistic writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

I think we are being primed for the worst this year. I'm ready to support what ever we put on the field. I think we can evaluate the coaches chances for the future. I do expect to see improvement as the year progresses and not be blown out in every game. If we finish off November with wins then it will be a good year.

I agree, maybe a 3-9 or 4-8 season.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Wrong. FHCPF had no problem recruiting thugs.

Nor does any other SECHC.

TKO writes:

4-8

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TKO:

4-8

Your odds in life??

92volalum writes:

in response to bigpapa:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I like kiffin's approach..lol more fun on a sat night

92volalum writes:

CDD can keep his practices closed and put up a wall around the football team but come sept he has to show vol nation what he has been working on... all this secrecy to a fan base that is fragmented and stunned he better hope he puts a well coached product on the field...

if they stink and are not well coached he will see empty seats because IMO he is not building a lot of excitment thru the fan base like the prior staff..i know everyone is glad he's gone but he at least had everyone excited about the season and not just the real vol fans...

I'm still going to support them but this is just my observation that could backfire on CDD.

UTfor53 writes:

in response to 92volalum:

CDD can keep his practices closed and put up a wall around the football team but come sept he has to show vol nation what he has been working on... all this secrecy to a fan base that is fragmented and stunned he better hope he puts a well coached product on the field...

if they stink and are not well coached he will see empty seats because IMO he is not building a lot of excitment thru the fan base like the prior staff..i know everyone is glad he's gone but he at least had everyone excited about the season and not just the real vol fans...

I'm still going to support them but this is just my observation that could backfire on CDD.

We were excited about the prior staff because we thought we wanted a change! After what happened we are shell shocked, and still unsure. I think CDD and staff will be a welcome relief, and will bring us back to being a powerhouse.

UTfor53 writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto!!!

jcp201 writes:

I support all Vols teams, but I wish the bashing of Fulmer would stop. It shows low class. If TPTB and some fans had treated Fulmer as he should have been treated, then we wouldn't be in this predicament right now. Also, the school would be getting far more respect by everyone else. It's a sad day when a man who won a National Championship for us and had a winning record is treated so badly by the fans of the school..

mrvol2u writes:

in response to bigpapa:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

U bad!
Thanks for the laugh.

UTSage writes:

This is my first post. I have been reading these posts every morning for years and i am very disappointed that after all the stuff UT has been thru over the past few years that real UT fans can't pull together and support the team that they say they so dearly love. I, myself, will support DD and his staff as well as all of the players regardless of how the season turns out. Our offense may be struggling and our defense may be struggling but they are still the Vols and they will get the job done this season. So, in my OLD opinion, we should pull together and support what we have. If this offends anyone, I apologize.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to 92volalum:

CDD can keep his practices closed and put up a wall around the football team but come sept he has to show vol nation what he has been working on... all this secrecy to a fan base that is fragmented and stunned he better hope he puts a well coached product on the field...

if they stink and are not well coached he will see empty seats because IMO he is not building a lot of excitment thru the fan base like the prior staff..i know everyone is glad he's gone but he at least had everyone excited about the season and not just the real vol fans...

I'm still going to support them but this is just my observation that could backfire on CDD.

Unfortunately, you might be right. There has been alot more to be disappointed in than to be positive about. NCAA investigating, key players quitting, injuries, embarrassing schedule changes, arrests. I can honestly say, this is the least excited about college football I've ever been at this time. Now, once the games start and the wins start coming, things will probably change, but right now, I just dont feel like there's much to be positive about with our program.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to jcp201:

I support all Vols teams, but I wish the bashing of Fulmer would stop. It shows low class. If TPTB and some fans had treated Fulmer as he should have been treated, then we wouldn't be in this predicament right now. Also, the school would be getting far more respect by everyone else. It's a sad day when a man who won a National Championship for us and had a winning record is treated so badly by the fans of the school..

ditto. I always wondered if those who bash people for being critical of Kiffin/Dooley and say they arent real fans are the same ones that bashed Fulmer for years before he was finally fired.

HtownVol writes:

All these 3-9 4-8 predictions are being very unfaithful in our Vols. Do you really think UK and Vandy are going to beat UT? I know UK gave us a run last year but the UT players will find a way to keep the LONGEST winning streak over another team (in all of D1 football) alive. And I have not seen one pre-season SEC standings prediction that has Vandy above last in the SEC. Vandy will actually be a easy "W". UK will be a good tough game but like I said UT always finds a way (3 years ago - 5 OTs, last season...)

So lets break it down (I am sorry I know these are pointless).

UT-M
UAB
Memphis
Vandy
UK
All Wins..

If UT can win just one game vs.. (does UT-M count towards the 6 wins??)

Oregon
USC
Ol Miss
LSU
UGA
UF
Bama

Then UT is Bowl eligable. I will not predict W/L for the questionable games, but I have confidence in UT that one or more of these games will be a Win for UT.

I understand we as UT fans should not set our expectations too high, but I will be confident in UT that we will play in a bowl game. If we end up with only 5 wins I will not be disappointed, as long as I see that this staff gets the team to play hard, smart and never give up.

Pompey writes:

in response to texasvol73:

I really want our team to do well, and I am going to cheer as much as ever...so please take this comment for what it is: It's going to be a loooong season, and I haven't been this non excited about the beginning of a season in a very long time. I just hope our fans are realists this year and will support these players throughout this season.

...I agree, this season will seperate genuine Vol fans from situational free loaders, fair weather trolls, and various rif raf....

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to 92volalum:

CDD can keep his practices closed and put up a wall around the football team but come sept he has to show vol nation what he has been working on... all this secrecy to a fan base that is fragmented and stunned he better hope he puts a well coached product on the field...

if they stink and are not well coached he will see empty seats because IMO he is not building a lot of excitment thru the fan base like the prior staff..i know everyone is glad he's gone but he at least had everyone excited about the season and not just the real vol fans...

I'm still going to support them but this is just my observation that could backfire on CDD.

Not sure I agree with your point on the previous staff. All their hoopla and bravado still didn't get the fan base to sell out Neyland on a consistent basis. It's the product on the field, not the hype by the coaching staff or media, that gets the fans back. The fanbase knows what difficulties lie ahead. It's just a matter of the "thick-and-thin" fans being patient. The fairweather fans be damned.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to 92volalum:

CDD can keep his practices closed and put up a wall around the football team but come sept he has to show vol nation what he has been working on... all this secrecy to a fan base that is fragmented and stunned he better hope he puts a well coached product on the field...

if they stink and are not well coached he will see empty seats because IMO he is not building a lot of excitment thru the fan base like the prior staff..i know everyone is glad he's gone but he at least had everyone excited about the season and not just the real vol fans...

I'm still going to support them but this is just my observation that could backfire on CDD.

oh, I don't know how many are 'stunned'. Phil had his 2 losing season, Kiffin was a blink, now CDD is here. Kind of like a car sputtering to a stop when your alternator belt breaks:

you have some warning signs, you finally roll to a stop, fix the problem, and move on.

I think CDD can get us bank on track to a 9-win team...I do NOT know if he can get us to a 12-win team.

My biggest concern with CDD: he will get angry and say some things he regrets. My second concern is that Hamilton rides him hard. I've noticed a couple of times Hamilton has treated CDD more like an employee than he did Phil or Kiffin.

VolfanClinton writes:

We would win more games this year if Kiffin were coaching...He at least knew how to coach our guys up...Look how we played Alabama and Florida last year, and helped develop Crompton.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am thinking that way too....our fans should be unbelievably vocal in that (oregon) game.

NW4life writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah. I think UT fans are pinning their hopes on Def Cord. Wilcox; but to think the success he had at Boise State in shutting Oregon's offense down will translate at UT I think is short sighted. Yeah, there is more talent at UT than Boise; but if you dissect the state of the two programs, from the coaching to the A.D. I think you would have to favor Boise right now. It's just a better football program at this time. Maybe even a better program than Oregon has.

TommyJack writes:

in response to VolfanClinton:

We would win more games this year if Kiffin were coaching...He at least knew how to coach our guys up...Look how we played Alabama and Florida last year, and helped develop Crompton.

Disagree, ClintonVol. We basically played "keep away" with both FL & AL.
Crompton was coached from extremely horrible, to mediocre (on occasion).

jcp201 writes:

It's sad that we now "meet our seats" instead of bidding on them for twice or three times the cost.

With the treatment of Fulmer, I wondered what big name coach would want to come to a school where they shamefully fire and disrespect a man who won them a National championship and gave them a winning record? What if they don't win right away? I've seen this happen at other schools and it seldom played out well.

It made sense to me. When Kiffin took the job with his losing NFL record, he had nothing to lose and apparently everything to gain. USC is his.

Cutcliffe almost took it but thought better of it. Duke adores him, and won't treat him like Ole Miss did.

And then...

Enter Coach Dooley, who I think may actually be a good hire. Saban liked him well enough, he took him to Miami with him.

I will say this, with so much new and untested, if CDD can pull off a somewhat winning record, he'll definitely gain a ton of my respect.

As always, I will be cheering win or lose, and hoping for the best.

NW4life writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's good to hear UT fans sounding more confident than their coach. It will take an excellent game plan and overall team performance to beat Oregon. I think it is pretty unlikely; but if the D can pressure the rookie QB and shut down the running game, well, who knows? Depth will be a huge, probably back breaking issue for UT in every game this season, yes, even against the UT Martins and Kentucky's of the world, so I can't agree with your early season predictions.

Volfantm writes:

Read the rivals preseason rankings yesterday.
http://collegefootball.rivals.com/con... Even if they are way off its pretty gloomy. Oregon #4, Vols #49. Breakdown of Ore schedule includes this comment. "A non-conference schedule of New Mexico, Tennessee and FCS member Portland State doesn't seem too challenging." The Vols evaluation is pretty out of date but the comments on players who need to have a good year that are already out for the year really point out the lack of depth. Hope the rest of the Vols can stay healthy and surprise some people.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolfanClinton:

We would win more games this year if Kiffin were coaching...He at least knew how to coach our guys up...Look how we played Alabama and Florida last year, and helped develop Crompton.

That remains to be seen. We stunk against VT, though we had a shot until D. Moore dropped the sure TD pass. I do remember wishing very much we had NOT gotten knocked down to that bowl.

I agree with Crompton. He went from horrible to an NFL QB...and the NFL does't typically draft 'horrible' qb's.

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