More than just Cobb for Vols to chew on

Vols ponder Randall Cobb equation in upcoming Kentucky game

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Almost without fail, the first name that comes up is the same.

When it comes time to discuss how to stop Kentucky, Tennessee is well aware its defensive mission starts with do-it-all weapon Randall Cobb.

But that's not where it ends, and the Vols have had no trouble rattling off a lengthy list of players that gives them plenty to prepare for with the Wildcats coming to Neyland Stadium for the regular-season finale on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.).

"They have the formula," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "They have a veteran quarterback, they have two receivers that can pierce you, one of them being an all-purpose guy who's a phenomenal player they can move all over the field, and they have a good solid, excellent running back. When you have all those parts in place, you're going to be good - and they are good.

"You look at the two teams going to the SEC championship game, they beat one (South Carolina), and the other one (Auburn) who not many teams have come close to beating, they're sitting there tied with them midway through the fourth quarter. We've got our hands full."

Cobb alone is enough to cause major problems for a defense, particularly given a diverse set of skills that allows the Wildcats (6-5, 2-5 SEC) to also use the receiver as a rusher or quarterback in their WildCobb formation.

But quarterback Mike Hartline is playing at the highest level of his career and comes into the weekend second in the league in passing yardage. Despite missing time with injury, running back Derrick Locke has averaged more than 100 yards in his seven games this season. And though Cobb is clearly the top target in the passing game, the Vols (5-6, 2-5) and their improving secondary will also have to worry about two more big, physical receivers in Chris Matthews and La'Rod King.

"That's one thing we noticed in the film room when we started watching it," cornerback Prentiss Waggner said. "Not only is Randall Cobb very explosive, but they have a lot of size at the receiver with the King and Matthews kids.

"To say they're so big (at least 6-4), they also know how to make plays on the ball and they position themselves very well, something like a basketball player."

Waggner is capable of going up and banging with them at 6-2 himself, and collectively the Vols have shown a better ability to box out receivers lately with nine interceptions in the last three games.

But the critical test is coming - and not just in the secondary.

"They've got a great running back in Locke, their line is solid, and they've got two solid receivers to go along with him," defensive end Gerald Williams said. "They'll really compete."

Follow The Leaders: The season captains don't necessarily hold that title officially all year, but the election process Dooley employs before the final game of the regular season ensures they were acting like it the whole time.

The votes came in this week, with the Vols appointing linebacker Nick Reveiz, tight end Luke Stocker and running back Tauren Poole with the honor.

"I'm trying to promote leadership throughout the year," Dooley said. "I told the team before they voted there are several qualities they should look for in a captain, one of them, of course, is doing your job, that you're putting it all in with great passion and the team can count on you to do your job every day. The second thing is your ability to affect others in a positive way - does that person not only do his job, but then also help others to do their job. Then third, he represents all the values of the organization and gives it to the team.

"Those three guys fit all the criteria, so I think the team made some great decisions."

Bumps And Bruises: The Vols continue to limit the reps for quarterback Tyler Bray during the open portion of practice with some soreness in his right shoulder, but it's not expected to keep him out of the lineup against Kentucky or affect his throwing motion.

Cornerback Prentiss Waggner and wide receiver Zach Rogers were both in red, non-contact jerseys, but Dooley didn't indicate there were any pressing injury concerns for UT this week.

"Nothing new," Dooley said. "I think a lot of the guys, we've had some guys banged up and we're recovering.

"Lot of guys we've been kind of limiting out there, and hopefully it will help on Saturday."

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 36

ncvol17 writes:

This will be our toughest test against the hated Cats in many years. Their talent is better than most years.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to ncvol17:

This will be our toughest test against the hated Cats in many years. Their talent is better than most years.

Yeah ky is a pretty good team but OUR VOLS are getting better too. Both teams are 2 & 5 in the SEC and ky has not won on the road this year, that's big! Coupled with the 25 yr losing streak and the fact ky normally plays flat at Neyland, THE BIG ORANGE should WIN!

VOLS, focus, protect the damn ball and WE will WIN this game!

GO VOLS, BEAT ky!

wigmeister writes:

KY is better than in the past. More people to have to worry about. Cobb is still the key. We should have had him. Took Fulmer too long to offer!

Play smart, protect the ball, cut out the penalties, & play good D and the victory should be ours!

utfutbolfan writes:

GET THE "W" UT!!! Put Janzen on Cobb....he should be Cobb's shadow all day long.

mercyseat writes:

PLEASE DON'T MUFF THE PUNTS!!!! Also, defense create some dam turnovers and capitalize on them.I hope Coach Chaney calls a good game. I hope we come out with guns ablazin. Rattle the Qb and keep them off balance,and OFFENSE PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK! If they could only give Bray an extra 2 seconds to throw the dam ball, he could pick them to pieces.Gotta win, GBO!!!!!!

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to utfutbolfan:

GET THE "W" UT!!! Put Janzen on Cobb....he should be Cobb's shadow all day long.

You got that right!

cloudodust writes:

The OL can help save Bray's shoulder by opening up some holes for the RB's. Knock 'em on their collective Bluebutts...

Weatherman writes:

Get in the backfield defense, blitz, send in the tuba section, anything you can think of to make this KY QB hurry, and thus, make mistakes! This might hurt his numbers, but it sure will help us. GO VOLS!

Laydbakvol writes:

From the sound of the article Tenn should just roll over and forfeit. A little info on our match ups would have been nice. I think we have have more than a decent chance the way our D-line and secondary have played of late.

cloudodust writes:

in response to Laydbakvol:

From the sound of the article Tenn should just roll over and forfeit. A little info on our match ups would have been nice. I think we have have more than a decent chance the way our D-line and secondary have played of late.

After 11 games and with an opponent that we're equal to, IMHO, it'll be Wilcox's biggest test. Of course, it'll be up to his players to carry out the marching orders and stay focused. but again, after 11 games, we're not as young as some people on these boards seem to think we are and were through October. I heard about it here after the defense got waxed against Alabama coming out after the half. That waxing was due to coaching not adjusting but staying the course because it worked for 30 minutes, why not 60. We lost our youth on the defense in October you Wingnuts...GBO...

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to mercyseat:

PLEASE DON'T MUFF THE PUNTS!!!! Also, defense create some dam turnovers and capitalize on them.I hope Coach Chaney calls a good game. I hope we come out with guns ablazin. Rattle the Qb and keep them off balance,and OFFENSE PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK! If they could only give Bray an extra 2 seconds to throw the dam ball, he could pick them to pieces.Gotta win, GBO!!!!!!

I'll be proud if we see a lot of Ky punts.

Get 'em, Vols.

PUL4VOLS writes:

We are young and lack depth. That is what waxed us against Bama in the second half and other teams. We got tired. I am tired of being reminded we don't have Cobb. We know that! We will have him in our end zone if the defense does not play well Sat. Our dealing with him is a big key.
Over all the Kitties are a bit better than we are but we are at home. The variable is which of our two teams shows up on Sat. I am hoping it will be the one we saw and welcomed Nov. 13th. UK is coming and coming hard at us. Let's pull even harder for the Orange and White and believe they will bring home a win. GO VOLS!

cloudodust writes:

This year's Tennessee team can and will beat Kentucky.
A Happy Thanksgiving to all.

volsfannsc writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great prediction...almost as great as your prediction that Vandy would pull out a win. Grief, last week our boys played their worst game ever and look at the score against your 'dores. You would probably become a rich man if you stayed off our site and wrote fiction novels - you're good at it.

82cat writes:

If Kentucky doesn't beat UT this year they should immediately disband football.

OK Kentucky fans just like last year you have ran your mouth all year, you have more experienced talent and are basically playing our freshman jv team.

so one more time

If Kentucky doesn't beat UT this year they should immediately disband football.

last time uk won:

Reagan was president

We are the world was no# 1 song

wrestlemania 1 debuts

new coke is released

Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.

The computer game Tetris is released.

so hey it's been a while you are the favorite time to put up or shut up.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Calvin Coolidge was president the last time Kentucky beat the Vols.

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

thank you for that pick. ur the same idiot that predicted a MEMPHIS/OLE MISS/CANDY victory.

and from reading ur posts i can tell u kno nothing about football.

but keep making predictions and one day one will happen

BOOK IT!

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

enjoy the moral victory.

and CANDY is where they always are...at the bottom.

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

I'll be proud if we see a lot of Ky punts.

Get 'em, Vols.

i agree. just dont put anybody back there and let the ball go where it goes.

if they down it at the 1 thats better than a turnover at the 15.

volinvegas writes:

My first trip to Neyland Stadium was the 84 Kentucky game. It was a great game that went down to the wire, with UT running out of time at the end. I think we would have won it if spiking the ball to stop the clock were legal back then.

It was tough watching the Wildcats carry the beer barrel off the field that day. It's a shame that trophy was retired in the interest of political correctness.

FarmerVol writes:

Happy Turkey Day, even to the Vol haters. TN 24 KY 21. Bray 1 TD Pass, 1 QB sneak, and Poole - 1 35 yd breakaway. KY 1 - retrned punt, 2 Hartline dumps to swing backs in the red zone.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Sanders uses Cobb in many ways..Very Versatile..Cobb finds the end zone against everybody;We will be no different..Pretty simple plan..Make first downs;rest the defense and match them point for point..Bad play calling and 3 and outs will lose the game

Down_The_Field writes:

VOLs 35
kats 17
final

GO BIG ORANGE!!

Orangelife writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, UT did play a bad game. Cant help it if Vandy is so bad that they've only kicked 8 field goals and missed 2 of them. We both had TDs called back. And last time I could remember a Vandy student knew that a football game lasted not 3 or 3.5 quarters, but a whole 4. Or is it because you have your head shoved so far up your elitist arse, you can see a world where we can take half stats of everything to make vandy sound better than (pick a MAC team).

Make like a sheppard and get the flock outta here

volnbig11land writes:

Please KNX, make it a pay site.........

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Vol fans!

psychovol2 writes:

Stick to the maxims and stomp the smurfs. Make a Cobb salad out of KY and eat the kittens.

UkJarhead writes:

It's obvious why TU didn't heavily recruit Cobb. He has been a college athlete for 3 years and has never been arrested. He didn't fit the profile for a top notch TU recruit....

HtownVol writes:

I love it. The VandyNad can no longer talk about Vandy beating UT so now he/she is saying "Vandy showed how to..". This clown just does not understand that Vandy will NEVER be even a average football team. UT is playing with their worst team in decades and still our worst team is average. Vandy's best team can only wish they were average.

This week VandyNad is a Cat fan. Next week it will be whoever UT (hopefully) plays in a bowl game "will learn from what Vandy did".

Did you even watch the game? How did Vandy outscore UT 10-3 in the final 3.5 quarters? I remember Poole with a TD in the last few minutes of the game. Maybe I am wrong...no I am not wrong, you are. As you are with every comment you make.

I am actually starting to enjoy your idiotic comments. You are wrong on most of your stats, you switch your predictions after they are proven wrong, you show us how much Vandy fans are jealous of UT and best of all you are a Vandy fan. I know its hard to find other Vandy fans but I am sure there are a couple of them out there. Go find them and maybe they will take you seriously.

GO VOLS!

Vol_USArmy_Soldier writes:

It's been a while since I've posted, but I need to get my two cents in before kickoff:

Go Vols, beat the Cats!

Vol_USArmy_Soldier writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

It's obvious why TU didn't heavily recruit Cobb. He has been a college athlete for 3 years and has never been arrested. He didn't fit the profile for a top notch TU recruit....

Only a #$%* jarhead with an inferiority complex about his team would want to compare football programs and the athletes based on off-the-field antics. I happen to prefer comparing "W"s and by last count your bottom-dwelling Cats have 25 straight fewer Ws against my Vols.

By the way, wanna' explain this 25 Oct arrest of a UK student-angel, eh Seinfeld?

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&expI...

Next UK troll please. GBO!!!

Vol_USArmy_Soldier writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VandyGrad, I've been reading your posts all season. I'm now unequivocally convinced the KNS staff hired you as comic relief. No one could really be this dumb, right?

I, for one, truly hope that you continue to hang around the site. Your observations and the ensuing Vol fan responses provide me with no end of amusement.

Thank you.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to 82cat:

If Kentucky doesn't beat UT this year they should immediately disband football.

OK Kentucky fans just like last year you have ran your mouth all year, you have more experienced talent and are basically playing our freshman jv team.

so one more time

If Kentucky doesn't beat UT this year they should immediately disband football.

last time uk won:

Reagan was president

We are the world was no# 1 song

wrestlemania 1 debuts

new coke is released

Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.

The computer game Tetris is released.

so hey it's been a while you are the favorite time to put up or shut up.

Hell, Reagan was still in his FIRST term.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Calvin Coolidge was president the last time Kentucky beat the Vols.

Larry King was only 297 years old last time KY beat the Vols

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

It's obvious why TU didn't heavily recruit Cobb. He has been a college athlete for 3 years and has never been arrested. He didn't fit the profile for a top notch TU recruit....

Why are you talking about Tulane? When did Randall Cobb transfer? what was it about Cobb that drew him to CUSA? As a Tulane Alum, I feel cheated. What's a man to do?

Too many log drills, dude. lay off for a couple days, it'll be all right.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Hell, Reagan was still in his FIRST term.

Hell, I think Lincoln was in his first term!

UkJarhead writes:

in response to usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid:

Why are you talking about Tulane? When did Randall Cobb transfer? what was it about Cobb that drew him to CUSA? As a Tulane Alum, I feel cheated. What's a man to do?

Too many log drills, dude. lay off for a couple days, it'll be all right.

I am aware you used to be called UT. I am leading the charge for it to be officially changed to what we already refer to as TU- Thug University!!!!

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