Channing Fugate key to running success

Fullback's takedown of two defenders got attention

All the materials needed for a productive running game are on hand.

Some assembly is still required though.

Tennessee has a big-play threat at running back who will be back for another season, a young, talented offensive line that could be a load for years, and it seems to even have a weapon perfectly designed for picking up yardage on end-arounds and reverses.

Perhaps just as important, the Vols also saw firsthand in last Saturday's 24-14 win over Kentucky what fullback Channing Fugate is capable of as a lead blocker when he parlayed one punishing shot into a takedown of two defenders.

The next step is just making sure all those pieces are working simultaneously, which figures to be a major point of emphasis as UT prepares for a likely trip to the Music City Bowl in Nashville and tries to balance out an offense that at one point tried to throw on 20 consecutive plays against the Wildcats.

"I don't remember having an inept running game the way we have it," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. "On third-and-1, we get a negative-inch. We've had opportunities, we're just not very good running the football, so why wouldn't we throw it?

"Show me what running play is better than some of these throws we've got, and I'll put it in."

The Vols (6-6, 3-5 SEC) found some that worked late in the postseason-clinching victory, salting away the last five minutes of the fourth quarter all on the ground.

But that drive was really the only one they had all day where everything seemed to click for the least productive rushing offense in the SEC, with tailback Tauren Poole picking up a critical first down, the line getting a solid push up front and freshman Da'Rick Rogers adding another highlight to his reel of end-around carries.

The rest of the afternoon was another mixed bag when the Vols weren't airing it out. Poole averaged just 3.5 yards per attempt and wound up six yards short of 1,000 for the season.

Rogers added 30 yards on three carries, though it's difficult to build a rushing attack around a receiver. The line showed more flashes of potential by occasionally clearing some massive holes, but even it was overshadowed by Fugate's big block on the perimeter that helped spring Rogers in the third quarter.

But aside from versatile lineman Jarrod Shaw, everybody involved on the ground will be back for at least one more season - which figures to make those long streaks without a run pretty rare in the future.

"The blocking is coming along so great," Rogers said. "From what it was against UT Martin to now what it is against Kentucky, you can really see how the offensive line, the receivers, the fullbacks and running backs are all progressing in our blocking schemes.

"I saw it all opening up right in front of me (on Saturday). I mean, Fugate, he's another freshman that's playing a lot for us, and he's playing his tail off."

The fact that Fugate and the other young Vols are getting the chance to do it so often early in their careers and in meaningful games should pay off down the road.

In some ways it already did in helping UT lock up its bowl bid - though it will certainly be looking for more improvement on the ground with a couple more weeks of practice before the bowl.

"Eventually you've got to run it, and we did," Dooley said. "That four-minute offense at the end was awesome."

Now the Vols just have to get all those ingredients in order at the beginning of a game as well.

UT would take the four wins with Tyler Bray under center any way they came.

But for the third time during his breakout month starting for the Vols, the freshman quarterback added style points.

The SEC selected him as co-Freshman of the Week after Bray threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns, the third time he's been named to the league's weekly honor roll since he took over the UT offense.

Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins shared the award.

Bray also tossed for more than 300 yards for the third time in November, with more than 200 of them and both touchdowns in the victory over the Wildcats coming before halftime as he helped secure one more start during his freshman campaign.

A big part of his success has come from a dynamic relationship with senior Denarius Moore, who went over the 200-yard receiving mark for the second time this season thanks to a handful of deep balls from Bray on Saturday.

Moore finished the game with 205 yards on seven catches with a touchdown, earning him an honorable mention spot in the SEC's weekly awards.

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 » 48

mercuryvol writes:

On our way back,fast.

mdvol writes:

Face it folks....we're going to be good. Soon.

Hopefully Fugate can catch the ball on the wheel route as opposed to some other FB's like Cooper and Cory Anderson.

bigorange61 writes:

I posted this on another thread earlier today. Fugate had sick numbers in high school as a running back and a linebacker. Kentucky didn't offer him. We have a possible diamond in the rough.

mdvol writes:

in response to bigorange61:

I posted this on another thread earlier today. Fugate had sick numbers in high school as a running back and a linebacker. Kentucky didn't offer him. We have a possible diamond in the rough.

Yep. Just a measly 3 star guy from KY already busting people up in the SEC as a Freshman.

VolunteerLifer writes:

It's certainly understandable that our running game would suffer with such a physically immature line. As other posters have pointed out, there's a difference between engaging and holding a block on someone your size (pass block), and then trying to push them back and out of the way (run block). It makes what Poole did this year pretty amazing. We'll have a better running game next year as our line matures, and combined with Bray and this stable of receivers we could be hard to handle on offense.

givehim6 writes:

It will be nice to be able to run the ball and pass it as well next year and hopefully to get our special team unit on track too.

lofter writes:

I believe that next year will be as difficult as this year has been. We are losing a lot of talented seniors that will have to be replaced. CDD and his staff can do it, but it will be another tough year. THEN, things should really start improving

baldingalum writes:

In 2007, Scout had the Florida Gators signing a ridiculous 10 of the top 50 players in the entire country! That's insane. How did that senior class do? They just lost 5 games.

iowavol writes:

I got a feeling lofter is right. Only receivers caught the ball for most of the game if not the whole KY game. We got some good ones in rogers and hunter. We need more from them. We also have some significant senior leadership on defense we need to replace. Can Palardy be the answer he was supposed to be? Both punter (?) and kicker are gone. We will no doubt play a lot better, but will the results be that much better? I'm not sure. 2012, we could challenge for the SEC Championship.

Ironcity writes:

in response to baldingalum:

In 2007, Scout had the Florida Gators signing a ridiculous 10 of the top 50 players in the entire country! That's insane. How did that senior class do? They just lost 5 games.

I hate UF but I think 5 of the guys you speak of went early to the NFL. Thats a bad comparison.

bluetick writes:

Denarius was looking a bit like Stallworth with his route running from the middle to the end of the season. I hope to see him get picked in the NFL. 3rd round might be asking too much but who knows how well he will do at the combine.

OrangeMike writes:

I just wish the defense looked as promising as the offense. I fear next season will be another tough go, but hope springs eternal.

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

Tennessee hasn't ran an "end around" all year. These idiot sportswriters need to learn the difference between a reverse (which can be an end around if the ball carrier starts with his foot on the line) and a speed (or "jet," or "fly") sweep to a motion man like UT has run successfully to Rogers and Moore this season.

orangehuskr writes:

in response to mdvol:

Face it folks....we're going to be good. Soon.

Hopefully Fugate can catch the ball on the wheel route as opposed to some other FB's like Cooper and Cory Anderson.

Exactly! Wasn't there a time in the mid 2000's where our FB play was so atrocious we did away with the FB? Fugate's gonna be GOOD- let's get a playmaker back there like we had in Bryson and Bartholomew.

FWBVol writes:

in response to lofter:

I believe that next year will be as difficult as this year has been. We are losing a lot of talented seniors that will have to be replaced. CDD and his staff can do it, but it will be another tough year. THEN, things should really start improving

I have to respectfully disagree with you on that one.

I can't see how next year will be as difficult as this year. For starters, it will be the first time since 2006-2007 that we have run the same offense two years in a row. It also will be the first time since 2007-2008 that the same head coach has been on the job two years in a row.

We had a grand total of three or four combined starts on our offensive line at the beginning of the season and all of them belonged to Shaw. We will still be young on the line probbably starting four sophomores and a junior, but that will equate to more than 40 combined starts.

Those linemen that are freshmen this year will have had a full year in a college lifting and conditioning program.

That translates well for Bray at QB as he should have more to throw and for our RBs who will benefit from better running lanes.

Yes, we will miss Gerald Jones and D. Moore at wide receiver, but the Da'Rick R. and Justin H. have shown big play potential that is unbelievable and there are several other receivers waiting to step up.

Defensively we will be getting some help up front with some kids more suited to play DT. Linebackers will be OK although losing Nick will be a big blow. The secondary got better every week and should be good next year.

Add to all of that a coaching staff that knows the players as opposed to one that has spent the last 10 or l1 months getting to know the players and things have to be easier.

OK, I'm optmistic about the future of UT football, but I also know that things happen quickly and it doesn't take long to fall far. I think eight wins next year is realistic. Whether or not that happens only time will tell.

tnfanincali writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I have to respectfully disagree with you on that one.

I can't see how next year will be as difficult as this year. For starters, it will be the first time since 2006-2007 that we have run the same offense two years in a row. It also will be the first time since 2007-2008 that the same head coach has been on the job two years in a row.

We had a grand total of three or four combined starts on our offensive line at the beginning of the season and all of them belonged to Shaw. We will still be young on the line probbably starting four sophomores and a junior, but that will equate to more than 40 combined starts.

Those linemen that are freshmen this year will have had a full year in a college lifting and conditioning program.

That translates well for Bray at QB as he should have more to throw and for our RBs who will benefit from better running lanes.

Yes, we will miss Gerald Jones and D. Moore at wide receiver, but the Da'Rick R. and Justin H. have shown big play potential that is unbelievable and there are several other receivers waiting to step up.

Defensively we will be getting some help up front with some kids more suited to play DT. Linebackers will be OK although losing Nick will be a big blow. The secondary got better every week and should be good next year.

Add to all of that a coaching staff that knows the players as opposed to one that has spent the last 10 or l1 months getting to know the players and things have to be easier.

OK, I'm optmistic about the future of UT football, but I also know that things happen quickly and it doesn't take long to fall far. I think eight wins next year is realistic. Whether or not that happens only time will tell.

Thanks FWBVol, that was well said and kinda what I was just about to say. Just to add to what you wrote, I think our offense next year will be better in general with more experience at almost every position except receiver and another year with these coaches. The big key to next year will be our D.
We are not losing a whole lot there except at the linebacker spot, where obviously MLB NR will be sorely missed for his leadership as well as his physicality. I think Austin Johnson showed some flashes this year of being able to fill in for NR on the field if not in a leadership role. I believe we also lose one of the other starters at linebacker but can't remember which one. DE and the secondary should be pretty solid and if we can get MH and some of the others to step up and or play to their potential, the DT position should be better next year as well. And with another year learning Wilcox's system, the D should be pretty darn good next year. As others have said, 8-9 wins is not out of the realm of possibility and if things go really well in terms of injury's and luck, maybe even more than that. The schedule is not as brutal, with Oregon being replaced with Cincinnati....
I do see us being a contender in 2012 and beyond....

gnm53108 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Face it folks....we're going to be good. Soon.

Hopefully Fugate can catch the ball on the wheel route as opposed to some other FB's like Cooper and Cory Anderson.

Love that wheel route!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to lofter:

I believe that next year will be as difficult as this year has been. We are losing a lot of talented seniors that will have to be replaced. CDD and his staff can do it, but it will be another tough year. THEN, things should really start improving

I like 7-5 for next year. Anything better would be great. Anything less sad.

kyvol98 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

skm writes:

in response to lofter:

I believe that next year will be as difficult as this year has been. We are losing a lot of talented seniors that will have to be replaced. CDD and his staff can do it, but it will be another tough year. THEN, things should really start improving

i disagree lofter. yes, we will be losing some good, senior leadership, but those guys will be replaced with some very talented juniors and some guys returning from injury. our struggles this year were because of breaking in a new offense, new defense, new qb and basically having 4 inexperienced freshman on the OL. next year we will have a seasoned OL and one of the best QBs in the SEC. that QB will also have a very very good understanding of the offense next year.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to skm:

i disagree lofter. yes, we will be losing some good, senior leadership, but those guys will be replaced with some very talented juniors and some guys returning from injury. our struggles this year were because of breaking in a new offense, new defense, new qb and basically having 4 inexperienced freshman on the OL. next year we will have a seasoned OL and one of the best QBs in the SEC. that QB will also have a very very good understanding of the offense next year.

If we keep our offensive coaching staff intact I agree with you.This team really needs to be stable for the next couple of years.

VOLliven2it writes:

I want to see some really big runs and expect it, maybe even in the bowl. Next year we will be better. So will some other SEC teams. I am not willing to say 9 wins but 8 may be possible with a surprise perhaps for someone unexpectedly. I'm guessing if we have another chance such as LSU this year, we win. But keep in mind there will be new faces in key areas that have contributed to wins this year. In any event, I am excited about the bowl and in looking to next year, our recruiting and teams to come.
Ironcity--the Florida comparison is not bad. If five of the 5 star players left early, it proves the point even more. They had their own good placed above the team's. That is a valid concern with "those fantastic four and five stars".

bigorangezach89 writes:

Did Ben Martin get a medical redshirt?? If he did he would be great leadership for Tennessee next year.

bigorange61 writes:

I think we may be asking too much of next years team to do better than 7-5, but I do think it's possible. Here's how I break it down.

Good chance to win: Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky.

Toss Up: South Carolina, Georgia, LSU (All are home games)

Probably Lose: Florida, Alabama, Arkansas (All are away games)

FWBVol writes:

in response to bigorange61:

I think we may be asking too much of next years team to do better than 7-5, but I do think it's possible. Here's how I break it down.

Good chance to win: Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky.

Toss Up: South Carolina, Georgia, LSU (All are home games)

Probably Lose: Florida, Alabama, Arkansas (All are away games)

Of the toss up games and games you think we will lose, Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina are all replacing starting QBs. Granted South Carolina will be a much more run-oriented team than ever, but we had a chance against them this year after Bray entered the game so that game should be a win.

A strong argument could be made that Florida was the most miscoached team in the SEC this year with the way Urban played rotating quarterback. There are a lot of stories on the internet saying that the players are getting antsy and are unhappy with the way things were on offense.

Alabama should be better, but we will too. I think we played Bama they were playing their best football. We stayed with them for a half and then faded. That won't happen next year. If Ingram goes to the NFL that will hurt the Tide's running game, but they will still have Richardson. And if Julio Jones bolts to the NFL, which I think he should, that will be a big blow to an offense breaking in a new QB.

I don't expect us to go 12-0 next year. But when I look at the schedule and what I've seen from teams down the stretch there's not a team we play that was scary good the last half of the season and that's plenty of reason for me to think we can win eight or nine games and play everyone tough.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I have to respectfully disagree with you on that one.

I can't see how next year will be as difficult as this year. For starters, it will be the first time since 2006-2007 that we have run the same offense two years in a row. It also will be the first time since 2007-2008 that the same head coach has been on the job two years in a row.

We had a grand total of three or four combined starts on our offensive line at the beginning of the season and all of them belonged to Shaw. We will still be young on the line probbably starting four sophomores and a junior, but that will equate to more than 40 combined starts.

Those linemen that are freshmen this year will have had a full year in a college lifting and conditioning program.

That translates well for Bray at QB as he should have more to throw and for our RBs who will benefit from better running lanes.

Yes, we will miss Gerald Jones and D. Moore at wide receiver, but the Da'Rick R. and Justin H. have shown big play potential that is unbelievable and there are several other receivers waiting to step up.

Defensively we will be getting some help up front with some kids more suited to play DT. Linebackers will be OK although losing Nick will be a big blow. The secondary got better every week and should be good next year.

Add to all of that a coaching staff that knows the players as opposed to one that has spent the last 10 or l1 months getting to know the players and things have to be easier.

OK, I'm optmistic about the future of UT football, but I also know that things happen quickly and it doesn't take long to fall far. I think eight wins next year is realistic. Whether or not that happens only time will tell.

Nothing else to say but great post!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to NachoDaddy_76:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

IMO...Key to sucess on the offensive side is coaching stability.

On defense were gonna have to play some frosh or first year players.DT and LB are concerns.Plus we'll be one step closer to installing coach Wilcox's defense.Still think we'll be another year away before we're ready to go to a 3-4.

Vol_Doc writes:

in response to bigorange61:

I think we may be asking too much of next years team to do better than 7-5, but I do think it's possible. Here's how I break it down.

Good chance to win: Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky.

Toss Up: South Carolina, Georgia, LSU (All are home games)

Probably Lose: Florida, Alabama, Arkansas (All are away games)

Agree with some of the other posters. Good chance to win list is solid. Some of the Probably lose list may well be Toss up. A lot depends on possible loss of talent, especially at QB. Note how FL and TX struggled with new, though highly ranked, QBs. I see 7-8 wins as a strong possibility. 2012 should be even better.

rbut5252#220065 writes:

A number of years ago my absolute favorite play was a screen pass to Greg Amsler. Maybe we can see a reincarnation of that with Fugate.

tn_rockytop writes:

in response to OrangeMike:

I just wish the defense looked as promising as the offense. I fear next season will be another tough go, but hope springs eternal.

are defense will be better next year we are getting back walls and martin and other hurt players and some freshman will be bigger and we are signing a good class

DutchOrangeVolsOrange writes:

in response to AF1A4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok this star rating stuff is confusing to me. If you look at most of the schools that are winning, most of these schools signed 3 star players. Then a few 4 stars and even fewer 5 stars. I think USC trojans signed 6 5 star players. As of now there does not seem to be as many 5 stars guys out there as compared to last year. Most players are in that 3 star range. Seems to me, but it is more about how they get coached than what they are rated by rivals or scout. Maybe I do not get this. LOL

bigorange61 writes:

Good posts everybody. Yeah, my reason for the loss predictions are playing away. It's hard to beat Bama or Florida in their house. Arkansas can be tough, especially if Mallet is there. Don't expect he will but not sure about that.

Georgia has Murray who is playing well, and South Carolina has Lattimore. LSU has more luck than any team I know. So I think they could go either way.

This is my 40th season following the Vols. Dad got me hooked when I was nine years old. I think good things are coming if we are patient.

abnermc writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Of the toss up games and games you think we will lose, Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina are all replacing starting QBs. Granted South Carolina will be a much more run-oriented team than ever, but we had a chance against them this year after Bray entered the game so that game should be a win.

A strong argument could be made that Florida was the most miscoached team in the SEC this year with the way Urban played rotating quarterback. There are a lot of stories on the internet saying that the players are getting antsy and are unhappy with the way things were on offense.

Alabama should be better, but we will too. I think we played Bama they were playing their best football. We stayed with them for a half and then faded. That won't happen next year. If Ingram goes to the NFL that will hurt the Tide's running game, but they will still have Richardson. And if Julio Jones bolts to the NFL, which I think he should, that will be a big blow to an offense breaking in a new QB.

I don't expect us to go 12-0 next year. But when I look at the schedule and what I've seen from teams down the stretch there's not a team we play that was scary good the last half of the season and that's plenty of reason for me to think we can win eight or nine games and play everyone tough.

Garcia is back next year. USCe will be rated very high to start next season

PHAT_VOL writes:

What about giving Da'Rick Rogers a try at TAILBACK !
Go Vols !

Einstein writes:

I sure wish Hamilton had not chickened out of playing North Catolina to open the season next year. We would slaughter them. Can we buy our way back in?

klrigsby#1377153 writes:

in response to kyvol98:

and this one......

http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews/s...

Yes that kid from Danville is a true man child and will look and play great in Orange and White. Love stealing kids out from under the Cats noses.

Juzkruzin writes:

People or posters who keep on believing in the star rating is placing their faith in the opinon of one person (usually) there is no way Rivals or anyone else watch every player in America in one season. Morristown West had a 4* DE a few years back. Granted he had a great high school career. He was signed by AL and was projected to be a starter his sophmore year. Didn't happen, he end up third on the depth chart his sophmore year, starter a 2*, second string a walkon. Seems like for some reason, the stars never line up for all those 5* from Rivals. Like the projection of players on draft day. Someone from a small college, get's picked in the 1st round and they all start heaping praise upon him, thoughthey hadn't mentioned his name up to the time he was picked.
I hate the Cowboys, but look at all the Pro Bowlers they had from Alabama A&T, Eastern IL State, etc., and what about Jerry Rice from Miss Valley State, or Ed "Too Tall" Jones from a D2 School in TN.
My son wasn't even mentioned by Rivals, though he made All-State his Junior and Senior Year of High School. He got a scholarship and started as a freshman and played every game for 4 years, yet he wasn't even a one star according to Rivals. It is like every thing else, not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog!!

mountainbrook writes:

in response to Einstein:

I sure wish Hamilton had not chickened out of playing North Catolina to open the season next year. We would slaughter them. Can we buy our way back in?

TN may face them in the Music City Bowl game.

DutchOrangeVolsOrange writes:

in response to Juzkruzin:

People or posters who keep on believing in the star rating is placing their faith in the opinon of one person (usually) there is no way Rivals or anyone else watch every player in America in one season. Morristown West had a 4* DE a few years back. Granted he had a great high school career. He was signed by AL and was projected to be a starter his sophmore year. Didn't happen, he end up third on the depth chart his sophmore year, starter a 2*, second string a walkon. Seems like for some reason, the stars never line up for all those 5* from Rivals. Like the projection of players on draft day. Someone from a small college, get's picked in the 1st round and they all start heaping praise upon him, thoughthey hadn't mentioned his name up to the time he was picked.
I hate the Cowboys, but look at all the Pro Bowlers they had from Alabama A&T, Eastern IL State, etc., and what about Jerry Rice from Miss Valley State, or Ed "Too Tall" Jones from a D2 School in TN.
My son wasn't even mentioned by Rivals, though he made All-State his Junior and Senior Year of High School. He got a scholarship and started as a freshman and played every game for 4 years, yet he wasn't even a one star according to Rivals. It is like every thing else, not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog!!

Yup, It is the fight in the individual athlete,plus his work ethic and his God given talent and skill that can not always be judged by popular recruiting services. Still, it is fun knowing we got more 4 and 5 star Guys than the others Guys got. lol

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Face it folks....we're going to be good. Soon.

Hopefully Fugate can catch the ball on the wheel route as opposed to some other FB's like Cooper and Cory Anderson.

On offense anyway. I think Justin Wilcox will need at least one more season for him to (a), get the guys he needs and (b), teach his rather complex defensive schemes. I still think that due to personnel issues and the schedule, 2012 will be our breakout year. Of course, you can win lots of games scoring like crazy and playing marginal defense (ie, Auburn and Arkansas) but to establish a consistent pattern of winning, defense still wins championships and I think we're still a year away on that one. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to lofter:

I believe that next year will be as difficult as this year has been. We are losing a lot of talented seniors that will have to be replaced. CDD and his staff can do it, but it will be another tough year. THEN, things should really start improving

I'm not sure how "talented" some of these seniors are vs. how "gutsy" they played with their backs against the wall. Stocker, fair enough, probably a first rounder. Beyond that? Moore, Jones, Williams, or Walker will not be drafted before round 3, if at all. Shaw, maybe due to size but he hasn't exactly dominated SEC competition. Reveiz, Cunningham, Frazier, Lincoln ? No way any of them are next-level guys. Now before anyone gets upset, I am not saying these guys weren't some of the greatest Vols ever - not because of their abilities or futures but because of what they gave UT during our darkest hours. But every one of them, with the exception of Stocker, has someone on the depth chart behind them that has more talent and upside. If for nothing more than the schedule 2011 should be better but I really think by 2012, we will be amazed at what the two lower classes will accomplish. Go Vols!!!

utnut#215669 writes:

Could someone please tell me what happened to Dave Hooker?

92volalum writes:

first I did not think we would beat ole miss or kentucky but the ole miss was a gift per coach nutt because the QB Masolia (spelling) should not have been playing he still had serious issue due to the concussion and Kentucky is well Kentucky but I am impressed on how the team stay focused!!!!

IMO folks on here thinking we're back in 2011 isn't watching the same defense I'm watching... defense will be a liability next year one or two injuries and we'll be back in the same boat as this year. Tyler Bray does increase our chances of winning but he must do a better job of reading defenses and not hit the Eric Ainge soph slump. we all thought Eric was the second coming but oh how we were wrong... so lets wait and see.

Before we jump to 2011 and beyond it will be nice to play a team with a winning record not from the sec and win. If we do that in the bowl I will be impressed but if we get blown out then it was just bad competition in November and progress can be questioned...

Recruit baby recruit!!! give me all the 4 and 5 stars they can get because in the 90's we didn't win with a roster full of 3 stars...

Like another poster states just keeping it real and I say 2011 7-5 and best case 8-4.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

I'm not sure how "talented" some of these seniors are vs. how "gutsy" they played with their backs against the wall. Stocker, fair enough, probably a first rounder. Beyond that? Moore, Jones, Williams, or Walker will not be drafted before round 3, if at all. Shaw, maybe due to size but he hasn't exactly dominated SEC competition. Reveiz, Cunningham, Frazier, Lincoln ? No way any of them are next-level guys. Now before anyone gets upset, I am not saying these guys weren't some of the greatest Vols ever - not because of their abilities or futures but because of what they gave UT during our darkest hours. But every one of them, with the exception of Stocker, has someone on the depth chart behind them that has more talent and upside. If for nothing more than the schedule 2011 should be better but I really think by 2012, we will be amazed at what the two lower classes will accomplish. Go Vols!!!

I think Moore and Jones will do better in the draft than you anticipate. Moore went up and fought for passes that would have gone down as incompletions or interceptions had they gone to a different recever. I can see Moore going early in the third round, and I can't imagine Jones not getting drafted.

I hate to agree, but you're right about Nick Reveiz. If he were a bit bigger it would help. I like him but he may not make it.

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

I think Moore will get drafted somewhere and probably stick around the league for a few years as a journeyman 3rd or 4th WR. He's got talent, heart, and good speed to go with ok size--he's at least as good as Robert Meachum and a lot of other great Vol WRs who've had pro careers.

I think Jones'll get a look as a free agent but I honestly can't see him playing in the NFL for very long. He's just too slow and not real big, either.

I think Stocker'll get picked up somewhere, too, especially now that all the spread offenses make it harder for pro teams to find decent TEs. Don't expect him to be a really high pick, though. I'll be shocked if he goes in the first 3 rounds.

Williams and Walker might be late round picks if they have good workouts, but neither one have the raw talent that NFL teams look for. They aren't big enough to be run-stopping DEs at that level, not quick enough to move to LB, and they're not good enough at rushing the passer to make their money there.

I respect the rest of the senior class for their contributions, but I don't see any of them getting drafted. A few will get training camp invites and Reveiz might even make it as a special teams/backup guys. In terms of NFL attention, all of these guys are going to suffer from the lack of a big-time teammate or two to draw the scouts in for pro day.

I want them all to do well and achieve their dreams, though!

murrayvol writes:

in response to 92volalum:

first I did not think we would beat ole miss or kentucky but the ole miss was a gift per coach nutt because the QB Masolia (spelling) should not have been playing he still had serious issue due to the concussion and Kentucky is well Kentucky but I am impressed on how the team stay focused!!!!

IMO folks on here thinking we're back in 2011 isn't watching the same defense I'm watching... defense will be a liability next year one or two injuries and we'll be back in the same boat as this year. Tyler Bray does increase our chances of winning but he must do a better job of reading defenses and not hit the Eric Ainge soph slump. we all thought Eric was the second coming but oh how we were wrong... so lets wait and see.

Before we jump to 2011 and beyond it will be nice to play a team with a winning record not from the sec and win. If we do that in the bowl I will be impressed but if we get blown out then it was just bad competition in November and progress can be questioned...

Recruit baby recruit!!! give me all the 4 and 5 stars they can get because in the 90's we didn't win with a roster full of 3 stars...

Like another poster states just keeping it real and I say 2011 7-5 and best case 8-4.

A roster full of 4-5 star players didn't seem to help FU this year.

USnavyFEvol8251 writes:

Call me crazy...but I don't think it is completely out of the realm of possibility for us to win an SEC East title next year. I'm not saying I expect it, but if it were to happen, I wouldn't be too surprised. After looking at the schedule I don't see us losing any out of conference games. Bama will be lost McElroy and most likely Julio Jones and Ingram. UGA will most likely lose their big threat, AJ Green. Florida will get stronger, but I see us getting a lot stronger as well. LSU, well they are LSU...don't get me started on this years game, but I see next years outcome a lot different. Although USC brings back Jeffreys and Lattimore, and possibly Garcia, we have them at home. They are the team that gives me the most scare. We also play at Arkansas which will be tough. But, realistically, because of the fact we lose a lot of leadership on the defensive side, I think anything less than 7-5 is a big disappoinment, although I won't be surprised at a 9 or even 10 win season. I'm not at all saying I expect 9 or 10 wins, but I don't think it's impossible. Who knows, maybe we get in a top 10 recruiting class that lives up to it's expectations, or even a lower rated class that highly exceeds expectations, i.e. a lot of Channing Fugates, 3-star recruits who show A LOT of promise their freshman year. Get some meat on Bray's bones, toughen up that young o-line, get our freshman receivers playing like Moore and Jones, get a little better play out of the secondary, fill in the holes we will leave at linebacker, and PLAY BETTER SPECIAL TEAMS!! I see a real bright future for these Vols! Like I said, less than 7-5 next season disappoints. 8-5 looks good. 9-4 or better looks GREAT! I would really love to see an SEC championship by 2012...I believe that's a realistic goal. V-O-L-S GO VOLS GO!

orangecountyvols writes:

Greg Amsler? Yes indeed, we remember him.............so does UVA in the Sugar Bowl.

Gone are the days when the fullback actually carried the ball. How many games have we seen the Vols have 3rd and 1 or 2, and we handed the ball off to the tailback 5 yards deep in the backfield and he got stuffed??? Once upon a time, we had guys like Sam Henderson, Roland Poles, Mario Brunson etc.........
who took the short handoff and would drag people 2 or 3 yards, or more, and get that crucial first down or touchdown.

The good old days...............

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