Report card: UT vs. Vanderbilt

Game recap: UT 24 vs. Vanderbilt 10

The interception streak ended in the first half, and Tyler Bray added a second one later in the game. But the true freshman was again solid on third down, threw a couple touchdowns to balance the equation and kept his record perfect as the starter.

Running backs C+

David Oku provided a spark early in his first significant action in weeks. The sophomore caught a 34-yard pass down the left sideline in the first half to set up a touchdown, and he finally showed some fight running between the tackles early in the game as well. Tauren Poole put the game away with a 28-yard scoring scamper.

Wide receivers B

Justin Hunter added to his highlight reel with another acrobatic touchdown. Da'Rick Rogers also showed an ability to adjust to the ball, coming back for an under-thrown ball to turn it into a 21-yard gain late in the first half. Gerald Jones had another big night converting first downs.

Running lanes were few and far between, even with Zach Fulton getting back in the lineup. Bray seemed to have enough time to work in the pocket, and UT was generally proficient in picking up the blitz. But the blocking up front on the ground needs to improve.

The pressure was inconsistent throughout the night. Malik Jackson and Gerald Williams both had good days, but they would have been a lot better if Jackson's roughing-the-passer penalty didn't wipe out a Jackson interception return for a touchdown.

Some breakdowns occurred when Vandy's Larry Smith was able to sneak past the defensive line, but Nick Reveiz had a particularly good outing in his final trip to Vanderbilt, finishing with nine tackles (six solo). Herman Lathers racked up a team-high 10 tackles, but LaMarcus Thompson had his ups and downs.

Prentiss Waggner made a slick interception in the first half to again solidify himself as the team's top ball hawk. Janzen Jackson made a number of big hits and had one of the biggest plays of the game, picking off backup quarterback Jared Funk near the goal line in the fourth quarter. Eric Gordon was reliable after missing chunks of practice during the past week because of a concussion.

Anthony Anderson made his punt-returning debut and followed suit by doing what others have done with the job: fumble it away. Short kickoffs were also a regular occurrence and punter Chad Cunningham was far from spectacular. The Vols, though, scored a rare field goal block to save face a bit.

Derek Dooley's choice of punt returner didn't work, which he repeatedly stressed in the postgame news conference was an embarrassment to him personally. His late choice to go for a first down instead of try a long field goal with a seven-point lead was a smart gamble.

The Vols will take the result, though they're well aware they way they got it won't get them into a bowl game.All month UT has faced elimination games to make it to the postseason, and collectively they did enough to make it to the final knockout round. They'll just need to throw more punches on offense.

- Austin Ward and Andrew Gribble

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Comments » 82

volcop writes:

you left out the grades

volcop writes:

" they way they got it "

asleep#212036 writes:

The grades won't be good, we know that. However, at this point in the season every game is pass/fail so although tonight we probably made a "D", we move on. Go Vols!!!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to volcop:

you left out the grades

Now. Now. There was one B and one C so I guess that is about a C+. That sounds about right for this game.

djohnnyg writes:

Where's the doofus that was saying "Fear the Dores" before the game?

wyomingvol writes:

So far we have a running back and wide receiver grade, unless someone has been drinking more CLC's than me.

I like it, grade your own.

That said, a W' is a W' and propts to Dooley'Poole and company for taking it home on
4th and 2...

Go Vols. I will hang up and listen to ya'.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I guess most positions were just auditing this game since no grades were given.

slipshuck writes:

why cant ANYONE field a punt?....

therealUT98 writes:

I believe that this team will have to have a very GREAT week of practice.. I know we lack depth but our secondary has plenty of playmakers, but they haven't really shown up against the really big recievers. Ex. A.J,Jeffrey, Jones. Cobb is another playmaker, JJ needs to get his fellow db's ready

dvhill100 writes:

Not a real surprise they were a little flat after getting up so well for Ole Miss. Fortunately, Vandy wants the money of SEC football but does not want to do what it takes to field an SEC caliber football team.

I truly believe this week they will practice much better and be ready for KY. I look at KY-UT being about equal in skill level. It should be a good game. Hopefully the Vols will bring their "A" game. If not, KY is fully capable of ending UT's streak and bowl hopes.

vol98champ writes:

I give the officiating crew an F. Even when they got it right, which was seldom, they looked like they didn't have a clue.

jobrando#216494 writes:

This C game will have to jump to a B+ to beat Kentucky's Cobb and company.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

This C game will have to jump to a B+ to beat Kentucky's Cobb and company.

Wrong, it will need to be an A game. Cobb and a 0-25 motivated, bye week team can and will beat any B graded team.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Not a real surprise they were a little flat after getting up so well for Ole Miss. Fortunately, Vandy wants the money of SEC football but does not want to do what it takes to field an SEC caliber football team.

I truly believe this week they will practice much better and be ready for KY. I look at KY-UT being about equal in skill level. It should be a good game. Hopefully the Vols will bring their "A" game. If not, KY is fully capable of ending UT's streak and bowl hopes.

well if Vandy didnt have high academic requirements which is admirable to those of us who think achievement isnt just measured by football won/loss records then they could acquire the stupider better players too that the rest of the SEC gets

they gave us all we wanted in that game as confirmed by Tim Priest--------they did what they wanted most of the game and stymied us much on D---------they got nothing to be ashamed about with their showing

CCLC writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Wrong, it will need to be an A game. Cobb and a 0-25 motivated, bye week team can and will beat any B graded team.

You got that right! Kentucky beat SC, had an answer for Auburn, should have beat Miss St and Georgia but ran outta time. Cobb will be well rested. It won't be an easy game for the Vols.

CrankE writes:

Did you guys forget to actually...you know, GRADE this?

Mirrors the game I guess.

Oh and Vandy wins the prize for the funniest college football moment of all time. Spiking the ball with :02 to go and the clock runs out. That's got to be the funniest thing I've ever seen on the field. Priceless.

iadvol writes:

Officiating crew looked like dumb and dumber on the field yesterday. The head ref was pathetic and appeared to overturn some of the calls in favor of Vandy e.g. stocker pass interference. My 8 year old son asked me if the refs worked for Vandy. If that was a one score game, the refs throw the game. seriously!

Down_The_Field writes:

A - numbers on score board

VolTitan writes:

Yeah they were a little flat and the mistakes came often plus could the Zebras call a worse game in their life??? The Luke Stocker call was a complete joke to say the least, but the bottom line it is still a win, and this late in the year we will take it.. Go Vols

kd45music writes:

Good teams win when they're not playing well. In that sense,last night's win was a step in the right direction

CCLC writes:

in response to iadvol:

Officiating crew looked like dumb and dumber on the field yesterday. The head ref was pathetic and appeared to overturn some of the calls in favor of Vandy e.g. stocker pass interference. My 8 year old son asked me if the refs worked for Vandy. If that was a one score game, the refs throw the game. seriously!

I thought the refs usually only worked for LSU?

crutch1966 writes:

jantzens belly shirt. F-

VolTitan writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I swear your little knowledge about football is really embarrassing to your self so I would just bow out real nice and quiet like.. UT played a flat game but did you even watch any of the games this year or do you just watch the highlights from ESPN??? I hope people like you are around when them freshmen get a little age, you will live on crow!!!!

xrayorange writes:

ky does not have a chance here..we are playing for our bowl life..

volstokke writes:

A win is a win. Anytime we play Vandy its there biggest game of the year. So we always get there best effort. We do have to play better against Kentucky. This is probably a good thing for this team to have a game like this. Coach Dooley will get the players attention this week. Its gonna be all about Cobb this week. Also remember who coachs @ Ken. theres some guys who know how big a game this is. Coach Sanders and Martin are gonna be telling those guys how UT doesn't respect them at all. The cats will come in this game with a chip on there shoulder. So this will take our best game from everyone. GO VOLS!

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Anyone read the twitter scroll? Mike Hamilton is blasting KNS for shoddy journalism, haha!

DebtisDumb writes:

I must admit I was already looking ahead to Kentucky after the Ole Miss game. After we went up fourteen 0 I think our team did too. The game really wasn't as close as the score indicated (we would have scored on the Stocker PI, Interception taken back etc.)

kiddtigger#228291 writes:

Even good Tennessee teams have struggled against Vandy. Look, sloppy as parts of this game were, Tennessee came up with a big play when they needed to( Jackson's interception and Poole's TD run). They overcame penalties and bad calls. Granted this isn't a very good team but let's give them some credit for getting it done. They'll watch the film and the coaches will get them ready for UK. Like Dooley said, this next game will be like a playoff. Win and you get rewarded.

537081 writes:

We sucked all game. Ky wont need any jelly if we don't play better next week. Cobb will kill us if we don't do better. The whole team needs to step up.

arkyvol writes:

i'd love to have seen what grade the offensive line earned.

TKG_VOL writes:

First time I've ever ordered the game from ESPN Gameplan. Had Direct TV. Is the picture quality always that bad on Gameplan? Looks like the camera is out of focus the whole game. Orange blurrs playing black blurrs. I was hoping for a better performance from our Vols but a W is a W. Bray had an off game but so did our receivers. How many dropped passes did they have? Need a better performance to beat KY. GO VOLS.

jjsteel writes:

in response to slipshuck:

why cant ANYONE field a punt?....

fair catch and let it bounce

tombo7#479857 writes:

Hey VandyGrad, come on out, let's chat.

UTByrd writes:

in response to vol98champ:

I give the officiating crew an F. Even when they got it right, which was seldom, they looked like they didn't have a clue.

I agree. How in the world do they call interference on Stocker? Terrible call. There were several others. I guess refs can have off days just like the players. Glad to have the win.
Go VOLS!!!!!

volbob writes:

No surprise in it was a letdown after Ole Miss. A win is a win. In the best years we have games like this one. The ref's should be re-trained - the most painful game I've seen in a long time. No clue, too many "consults" with each other, biased calls, etc. Whatever, we won. GBO!

TKG_VOL writes:

Why in the HECK did the SEC network carry the SC-Troy game and not the TN-Vandy? Only reason I could come up with is no one would order the SC - Troy game on Gameplan but Tenn fans would order Tn game. Picture quality sucks on Gameplan.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to IBleedOrange444:

Anyone read the twitter scroll? Mike Hamilton is blasting KNS for shoddy journalism, haha!

yeah, that was funny.

John_10065 writes:

Next week is going to be very tough. The boys have come a LONG way this year but UK must be licking their chops at a chance to end the streak and put the final nail in the coffin at a bowl bid for UT. It's been the best chance they've had in quite a few years.

We better play them at 100%, 100% of the game.

Hounddog writes:

The Vols play was subpar last night. This happens a week before the final SEC game that determines if we go to a bowl. I think this sets things up perfectly. Hounddog

DennisVols writes:

Earlier this year we lose a sloppy game like this.
I'll give them a "A" for Another win. This is the longest win streak since '07 for UT. It wasn't pretty but in the end it counts on the good side.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!!

92volalum writes:

We won and I'll take it.. However, we are still a very bad team.
1.The ol can't open holes against a vandy def that's terrible? I just don't understand it. 2.The defense was out of position just like all season and the def play calling on third and long is like chavis. We either blitz or make a great play and he rushes 3 undersized lineman on 3rd and long...
3. When we're 3rd and long our RB still miss picking up the blitz 50% of time and you know kentucky is going to blitz bray a lot.

In summary we are still bad but we're just playing worse teams. I'm not sure how bad kentucky is but if we don't get up on them early and make them one dimensional I fear we'll lose IMO. If we can't run on vandy then who can we run on. That's the only reason we beat Ole miss.

recruit baby recruit... we have to have top 10 classes.. anything less is unacceptable!!!

britt writes:

in response to SirSpanky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

he could almost call out the whole team. seems like everyone weve put back there has put it on the ground

utfan36 writes:

weres vandygrad at this morning!lol

92volalum writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First of all... vandy is vandy and will always be vandy in football.

IMO I agree with on several points especially speed. I remember the days when our 3rd stringers would be in the game at the start of the 2nd qtr and they would blow right past the vandy def. Also you are right on two bad teams UT is no where near being an 8 win team but with some outstanding recruiting we'll be back to winning 8-9 games but he question is can CDD win championships and only time will tell..

On sitting home at christmas if we play like we did tonight we will be beat by kentucky for sure!!!

UTByrd writes:

in response to jjsteel:

fair catch and let it bounce

I have and still want Rajion Neal to return punts. Is he in the Bluetick doghouse?
Go VOLS!!!!!

ridge_runner16#368042 writes:

Any win this year is a good win but it was ugly. I am tired of the grades the running backs keep receiving, there is nothing wrong with our running backs just the play calling. As I have stated all year, you can not run against a defense who knows exactly when you are going to run. A 25 play snapshot of last night game had 16 passes and 9 runs (one and end around) all runs came from QB under center; out of the 16 passes 2 came from QB under center the rest from shotgun. I counted 12 in the box for the defense one time on one of the running plays. All the defenses have figured out when QB goes under center 97% of the time it will be a run. A Jr. High school coach could figure this out...so I can't see why the O play calling continues to be the same and then everyone complains about the running game being weak. KY knows this and will be putting at least 10 guys in the box while QB is under center and daring us to beat us with the pass, so the OC needs to mix it up or he needs to be sent packing with the rest of the Kiffin flunkies. UK has been talking all year, how weak UT is this year and how they are going to kill us...I work for the VA Medical Center on UK campus and had to listen to how this is the year the streak ends and how sorry the VOLS are this year and I am sick of it. If we play like last night we will get drummed. This might be the best UK team has had in 25 years. Our coaches need to look at some film and wake up and mix up the play calling and grind this game out with a big running game; They need to lay the challenge down to our young players. GO VOLS! Stroke the Kitty Cats!!!!

snuffysmiff writes:

What this game says is this: Vandy couldn't beat the worst football team UT has fielded in over three decades on a night full of UT mistakes. A mediocre team would have slaughtered UT last night. UT did its best to hand Vandy the game on a silver platter and Vandy couldn't handle it.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to TKG_VOL:

First time I've ever ordered the game from ESPN Gameplan. Had Direct TV. Is the picture quality always that bad on Gameplan? Looks like the camera is out of focus the whole game. Orange blurrs playing black blurrs. I was hoping for a better performance from our Vols but a W is a W. Bray had an off game but so did our receivers. How many dropped passes did they have? Need a better performance to beat KY. GO VOLS.

Interesting observation. I have Dish and thought about getting Gameplan but instead watched it for free online at espn3.com. I was impressed with the picture quality there.

Go figure. Go Vols!

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ut played thier worst game of the season(beside georgia) and that was CANDYS superbowl.

you want to talk about how CANDY played 3 1/2 qts and all this meaningless garbage. we(UT fans) could do the same thing and point out how it should have been a blow out. offensive pass interfence on stocker. interception for a td called back so lets not even play that game.

youve been on here all year talking mess about how CANDY was gonna beat us down this year and how terrible UT is. now CANDY got whooped so take ur medicine. and learn once and for all when youre a CANDY fan you should never talk smak.

now go change ur screen name and act like a kenSCHUMKy fan in case UT plays like that again and loses.

congrats on the moral victory.

mercyseat writes:

in response to 92volalum:

We won and I'll take it.. However, we are still a very bad team.
1.The ol can't open holes against a vandy def that's terrible? I just don't understand it. 2.The defense was out of position just like all season and the def play calling on third and long is like chavis. We either blitz or make a great play and he rushes 3 undersized lineman on 3rd and long...
3. When we're 3rd and long our RB still miss picking up the blitz 50% of time and you know kentucky is going to blitz bray a lot.

In summary we are still bad but we're just playing worse teams. I'm not sure how bad kentucky is but if we don't get up on them early and make them one dimensional I fear we'll lose IMO. If we can't run on vandy then who can we run on. That's the only reason we beat Ole miss.

recruit baby recruit... we have to have top 10 classes.. anything less is unacceptable!!!

Your critique is spot on! I have a terrible feeling about this next week.Even Nick reveiz was missing tackle after tackle. One step forward and two steps back. No continuity on defense and I don't think we even got to the quarterback until the 3rd quarter! Bad, just very bad.

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