Vols at a loss after resounding beating by Georgia, 41-14

Turnovers, penalties, lack of execution

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley yells, 'don't look at the score, play football.' at his players on the bench during the second half Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley yells, "don't look at the score, play football." at his players on the bench during the second half Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.

Game Recap: UT vs Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. - All Georgia needed, it turned out, was a Dooley back on the sideline. Even if it was on the other sideline.

Derek Dooley's short-handed, youthful Tennessee team was just the cure Saturday for what has been ailing Georgia's Bulldogs through a soul-searching, four-game losing streak.

That streak ended with a resounding 41-14 spanking of the error-prone Vols before a Sanford Stadium crowd of 92,746.

Thus, it wasn't much of a homecoming for Dooley, the Athens native who grew up between the legendary hedges watching his dad Vince become Georgia's all-time winningest coach.

"I thought we were (ready),'' said Dooley, "but it's hard to say we were ready when we go out there and get run out of the stadium from the first play to the last.''

There was no question as to the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-3 SEC) being ready - they led 17-0 in the first quarter.

The Vols (2-4, 0-3), meanwhile, were their own worst enemy.

Turnovers? Three of 'em.

Execution breakdowns? An ill-timed botched shotgun snap that nearly resulted in a safety (or worse) certainly qualifies.

Penalties? That too, as if Georgia needed any more help.

Trumped in the motivation department? Apparently.

"Georgia came out strong,'' said UT tailback Tauren Poole, one of 15 Georgia natives in a Tennessee uniform. "We didn't respond. We didn't respond at all.

"Initially, I think we were ready but we started looking at the scoreboard and hanging our heads.''

The scoreboard looked worse to the Vols every time Georgia freshman quarterback Aaron Murray got on the field.

Murray was 17-of-25 passing for 266 yards without a turnover.

He threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, including a 35-yard jaunt on Georgia's opening possession.

In his second game back from an NCAA suspension All-American receiver A.J. Green was virtually uncoverable. He had six catches for 96 yards, one of them a touchdown in the second quarter.

"He looked like he's in the NFL already,'' said Poole.

"On four, maybe five of those, we had him doubled in some fashion,'' Dooley said.

Georgia amassed 402 yards of offense and its defense held up its end of the bargain.

The Vols managed 269 yards, of which only 9 came on the ground. Poole chugged for 51 yards but four sacks and the errant snap reduced the net to a single forlorn digit.

The Bulldogs ended Matt Simms' no-interception streak in the first quarter by snagging a tipped pass.

They twice forced fumbles from Eric Gordon in the return game and converted each into touchdowns.

"They were hungry and ready,'' Dooley said.

"They looked like what everybody expected Georgia to look like this year.

"They've got a good team.''

Georgia coach Mark Richt no doubt slept better Saturday night. Disenchantment had grown to the point some felt a loss to a Dooley-coached team in Sanford Stadium would be a kill shot to his regime.

Moot point - at least for another week.

"You can't play the way we did today unless the guys are sticking together,'' Richt said.

"We knew,'' added Murray, "that we were capable of coming out and playing like this.

Dooley actually felt the same about his team - only he thought the breakdowns would have come last week at LSU in the Vols' first road game.

Instead they tumbled out in a flood Saturday.

Murray broke containment to race for Georgia's first score. Three plays later, Bacarri Rambo intercepted Simms.

"Not enough air on the ball,'' said Dooley. "The guy was open.''

UT could have minimized the damage but Marsalis Teague couldn't handle what would have been a drive-stopping interception.

At least Georgia had to settle for a Blair Walsh field goal and a 10-0 lead.

Not for long. Gordon fumbled the kickoff return and three plays later Murray hit Rontavious Wooten for the score to go up 17-0.

Tennessee finally answered as Simms found Justin Hunter for a 38-yard touchdown.

Trailing 17-7, the Vols forced two consecutive Georgia punts and seemed to be gaining traction.

But the second punt was fumbled by Gordon. Murray & Co. were back in business at the UT 37. Forget traction.

The touchdown came on a 22-yard strike to Green and it was 24-7.

More bad news was imminent. On Tennessee's first play after the kickoff, center Darin Gooch snapped the ball, hoping to catch Georgia offside, but Simms wasn't looking.

Simms covered the loose ball for a 23-yard loss at the Tennessee 3.

"Gooch was seeing shadows,'' Dooley said of the mishap he considered a fourth turnover. "I guess the (Georgia) guy's shadow was offside.

"That's about the story of our day.''

Add a personal-foul penalty on the ensuing Georgia punt return to the story.

After the flag, the Bulldogs started at the UT 21 and Walsh's second field goal made it 27-7 at the half.

"We didn't handle adversity well when it came,'' said senior linebacker Nick Reveiz, "and it came early and often.''

The third quarter saw UT drive 71 yards for a score, a 2-yard run by Poole. That success, however, was sandwiched by Georgia touchdowns before and after and the deficit grew.

The fourth quarter was scoreless, barely.

Dooley lifted Simms to get freshman Tyler Bray game experience and Bray drove the Vols to the Georgia 3 before his fourth-down pass was broken up.

Now Tennessee turns to an open date and then a visit from Alabama on Oct. 23.

"We have got to go forward,'' said Poole. "We've got no choice.''

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 228

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

I hate being 2-4, series of unfortunate events, this just gets me down, that and I live in atl

mdvol writes:

Our freshmen played like freshmen today. The good news is they will become sophomores and juniors. Eric Gordon will rebound and be a big playmaker for us the rest of the season.

Vols need this week off to get healthy for the NOT undefeated Crimson Tide!

We will upset Alabama in Neyland.
Tear down the goal posts and carry Dooley off the field.

LADAWG writes:

how bout them dawgs

psychovol2 writes:

Hammy looks pretty smart now for cancelling the NC game next year. UT couldn't have beaten the little sister's of the poor today.

givehim6 writes:

Vols need a week off, Bad!

LADAWG writes:

in response to unleashedslimsmokey:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You probably should have brought them because whatever you have sure isn't working. UT got beat down by a superior academic and athletic institution.

9krpms writes:

I had an odd thought today, where would we be if we had stuck it out with Fulmer? I was all for moving on at the time, but my gut tells me we're competing to win the east if it were not for all the coaching chaos. This isn't a shot on Dooley, I like the guy. The thought just popped in my head today. I think we're 9-3 this season with a shot at wining the east. Now, 4 wins is still my expectation.

TommyJack writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Quite possibly the all time worst post on this site.

9krpms writes:

in response to LADAWG:

You probably should have brought them because whatever you have sure isn't working. UT got beat down by a superior academic and athletic institution.

Seriously, your team is 2-4 and your running your mouth? lol, classic uga fan. Granted your team is better than ours, but that really is saying nothing at this point in time.

Colliervol writes:

Always interesting how one play can turn a game. We're down 17-7 and force a punt where we will get good field position and momentum on our side. BANG. Fumbled punt, air goes out of Big Orange balloon.....game over. Not saying we would have won because Georgia was playing well. But I'm willing to bet it would have been closer if Gordon doesn't fumble that one.

Question though. I didn't get to watch the whole game. Was Darden returning any kicks at all? I thought he did well in the LSU game and I didn't hear his name called at all. Don't know why Gordon was returning them unless Darden was hurt. Surely he won't return any more this year. You can't give away 3 turnovers and 17 points in the first half and beat anybody.

psychovol2 writes:

in response to LADAWG:

You probably should have brought them because whatever you have sure isn't working. UT got beat down by a superior academic and athletic institution.

What a classless act to come on an oposing team's site and gloat. Get a life.

shulessjo writes:

Just hang in there... we are two years away... get used to it... and get over it.... Thanks Fulmer and Kiffin

PUL4VOLS writes:

Before you Doggers get too high on this win, remember, you were suppose to beat us. We made our season last year against you. You paid us back this year. It is too bad we gave you so much. But admittedly, GA was more ready to play. There are more games to go. Now we will see what direction both teams take. Personally, I think there is a less than 27 point difference in the two but that's the way it was today. Still a Vol-er right here always will be.

arkyvol writes:

of two minds about this. for more years than i care to remember, i've been wasting crisp autumn saturdays exulting or suffering with the vols on t.v. if this is any indication, i'm gonna have the opportunity to get out in the woods while i'm still able. thanks, hammy--you showed me what's really important.

Ironcity writes:

Liked the way Bray and Hunter looked. Other then that we need a lot of good things to happen to compete with any team in the SEC.

Dee Line is awful and the defensive ends have been a huge disappointment so far. I like Chuck a lot but he had some experience at the end spot and its not showing up on the field.

Go Vols enjoy the week of and lets catch Alabama napping in 22 weeks.

govols1234567 writes:

Bulls*it. There is really no excuse for today. A loss might have been understandable. But a 41-14 blowout? I like Dooley but this is pathetic. How do you almost knock off a top 15 (or 10 in some polls) team and then lose this badly to a team who hasnt won a game in 4 weeks? Or maybe it figures GA would finally find a rythm against Tennessee. This one is almost as hard to swallow as the LSU game. I guess my point or word im trying to emphasize is pathetic. But im still bleeding orange and the year is young. Gotta stay a little optimistic. Also im not trying to discredit GA. They played great.

SavTnVol writes:

Dear Coach Dooley..that was hard to watck...what is going on with the defense?..who is responsible for teaching the basic tackling?..please get it fixed...GBO

doh writes:

after watching south carolina today they may set the all-time sack record against our offensive line. I still think 6-6 is going to happen.

spacehistorian writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Always interesting how one play can turn a game. We're down 17-7 and force a punt where we will get good field position and momentum on our side. BANG. Fumbled punt, air goes out of Big Orange balloon.....game over. Not saying we would have won because Georgia was playing well. But I'm willing to bet it would have been closer if Gordon doesn't fumble that one.

Question though. I didn't get to watch the whole game. Was Darden returning any kicks at all? I thought he did well in the LSU game and I didn't hear his name called at all. Don't know why Gordon was returning them unless Darden was hurt. Surely he won't return any more this year. You can't give away 3 turnovers and 17 points in the first half and beat anybody.

I felt the same way that we were in the game & could respond after a good defensive stop but the Gordon fumble just convinced Mo to stay on Georgia's side this afternoon. We can play with most teams when we play mistake free (see last week's game at LSU) but this team just doesn't have the talent, depth and ability to overcome turnovers, bad snaps, dropped INTs & untimely penalties. We saw that result today and we need the week off to regroup and get ready for a now once defeated Alabama team that will be coming to our house out to prove they still are an elite team that can win the SEC. Then we have to go play a cocky SCAR team that is sky-high after beating Bama & playing for their 1st SEC East finish in their history. I'll be glad to see November get here with the chance to get our act together and win some games to finish this season on a high note. GBO!

mercyseat writes:

wow... our defense was really bad. Have they been practicing or going to knitting class? We looked really slow in the backfield, but I thought evans,and waggner played alot better today. The gamecocks handed alabama their azz, so today wasnt a total loss. I loved it!

dvol writes:

in response to SugarBear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Man you are one lost Puppy. The buck for this mess lays firmly at Phil's and Mike's door. Bringing back Phil to do what? Clean up the stadium after the game.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to govols1234567:

Bulls*it. There is really no excuse for today. A loss might have been understandable. But a 41-14 blowout? I like Dooley but this is pathetic. How do you almost knock off a top 15 (or 10 in some polls) team and then lose this badly to a team who hasnt won a game in 4 weeks? Or maybe it figures GA would finally find a rythm against Tennessee. This one is almost as hard to swallow as the LSU game. I guess my point or word im trying to emphasize is pathetic. But im still bleeding orange and the year is young. Gotta stay a little optimistic. Also im not trying to discredit GA. They played great.

Dude, this was a funny read. It sounds bi-polar. You take each point of view in almost every sentence. Thanks,I needed a chuckle tonight..no I didn't, Yes I did....

wheatbarley writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Quite possibly the all time worst post on this site.

The last time I saw a post that bad, the cider at Mrs. Mendlebright's had turned hard.

mercyseat writes:

in response to LADAWG:

You probably should have brought them because whatever you have sure isn't working. UT got beat down by a superior academic and athletic institution.

If beating 16 freshman players make you feel superior, then we will save you a spot in the music city bowl.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to spacehistorian:

I felt the same way that we were in the game & could respond after a good defensive stop but the Gordon fumble just convinced Mo to stay on Georgia's side this afternoon. We can play with most teams when we play mistake free (see last week's game at LSU) but this team just doesn't have the talent, depth and ability to overcome turnovers, bad snaps, dropped INTs & untimely penalties. We saw that result today and we need the week off to regroup and get ready for a now once defeated Alabama team that will be coming to our house out to prove they still are an elite team that can win the SEC. Then we have to go play a cocky SCAR team that is sky-high after beating Bama & playing for their 1st SEC East finish in their history. I'll be glad to see November get here with the chance to get our act together and win some games to finish this season on a high note. GBO!

Excellent post..I agree wholeheartedly

HoustonVol writes:

I had a hunch this was coming. One - the UT/UGA games are rarely close. Usually one team blows out the other. Two UT played a near perfect game against LSU. We were due some mistakes, and they happened. Three UGA actually has a QB, LSU and UF do not. We are a very young team, and it showed today. We all know that this season will look ugly at times. However a foundation for the future is being laid. When these freshmen are Juniors and Seniors we will be one of the most experienced and talented teams in the nation. Our day will come. We just have to be patient and keep supporting our coaches and players. Recruits will see our support during the tough times and will look forward to being here when we are back on top.

govols1234567 writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Dude, this was a funny read. It sounds bi-polar. You take each point of view in almost every sentence. Thanks,I needed a chuckle tonight..no I didn't, Yes I did....

Na dude just trying to stay optimistic about the season while being pissed on todays performance (as im shure a lot of people are). If thats bi-polar then I guess a lot of people including myself should get diagnosed.

mercyseat writes:

in response to govols1234567:

Bulls*it. There is really no excuse for today. A loss might have been understandable. But a 41-14 blowout? I like Dooley but this is pathetic. How do you almost knock off a top 15 (or 10 in some polls) team and then lose this badly to a team who hasnt won a game in 4 weeks? Or maybe it figures GA would finally find a rythm against Tennessee. This one is almost as hard to swallow as the LSU game. I guess my point or word im trying to emphasize is pathetic. But im still bleeding orange and the year is young. Gotta stay a little optimistic. Also im not trying to discredit GA. They played great.

It's called heart, and better play calling, and no turnovers. The vols left their heart at home and their focus on the bus!

govols1234567 writes:

in response to mercyseat:

It's called heart, and better play calling, and no turnovers. The vols left their heart at home and their focus on the bus!

Psh Then they need to stop doing that crapp.

huntined#565710 writes:

We just got our tails handed to us today..it will be a long year and a lot of our fans will want it to end way before it ends..we will get some licks in but most of the games we will have it tough,,

SummittsCourt writes:

This is what makes losing last week all the more painful. If we win that game I guarantee the Vols come out a different team this week.

But, they are young and inexperienced and it is showing. Dooley has his hands full but I believe he will turn it around in 2012.

HtownVol writes:

This is a sad time for me. Football is huge in my fall weekends. Unfortunatly I love one college team and one NFL team. Sadly the NFL team is Buffalo. I dont know which team is playing worse. I dont miss a second of either teams games and it is very hard to do.

I want to believe in CDD and staff but after today it is hard to see the light at the end. The coaches reallt should have kept this game close. UGA is not a great team. The excuses only go so far. The starters we have should have been able to play with UGA and from the first play UGA just played to win and UT laid down and took it. It is just hard to go with the depth and inexperience issues today. I know Eric Gordon did his part in UGA winning but our O-Line never played good today.

I am sorry to be nagative but Justin Wilcox is not showing me that he can coach in the SEC. The 78th ranked Offense put 41 points in 41 minutes.

Hopefully this is just me commenting out of frustration but I am starting to wonder if I can be excited about UT football any time in the next few years.

Oh, VandyKid as bad as I see UT football being we are still not close to Vandy. They will always be the "little brother" of the SEC.

We still have at least 2 more W's this year in the other 2 schools in Tennessee.

I am for playing for the future with T Bray. What do we have to lose?

Dont take away my fan card for the negativity. I will have a different view on the UT football program after I sleep off the loss.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not. To worry
You will still finish after us

VolWoman writes:

in response to spacehistorian:

I felt the same way that we were in the game & could respond after a good defensive stop but the Gordon fumble just convinced Mo to stay on Georgia's side this afternoon. We can play with most teams when we play mistake free (see last week's game at LSU) but this team just doesn't have the talent, depth and ability to overcome turnovers, bad snaps, dropped INTs & untimely penalties. We saw that result today and we need the week off to regroup and get ready for a now once defeated Alabama team that will be coming to our house out to prove they still are an elite team that can win the SEC. Then we have to go play a cocky SCAR team that is sky-high after beating Bama & playing for their 1st SEC East finish in their history. I'll be glad to see November get here with the chance to get our act together and win some games to finish this season on a high note. GBO!

Good post. We have to play perfect to beat most teams. Anyone who expected a team that needed OT to beat UAB could be over the painful loss AND beat a Georgia team ready to have a break-out game & play like the team they were thought to be is thinking too optimistically. Add the extra incentive to play for Richt's job & it was a disaster waiting to happen.

volhusker writes:

Free to good home, one SEC football team, plays best with highschool kids, would love a home in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.If interested contact Hammy

rab63 writes:

What's up with #25 (Evans)??... plays db on our left side. I don't think he made a single tackle even though he had a bunch of chances. Seems like Ga. recognized it too as they kept running plays to his side. He's a junior and should know how to tackle by now.

ChuyitoDawg writes:

UT just happened to fall in on the wrong time and the wrong place. I mean no disrespect to Volnation but it was only matter of time until our team took it to somebody. Our boys came out as if their hair was on fire and played their guts out. UT has nothing to be ashamed of, your boys are too young and inexperienced. Not a knock on your team, its a fact. Your boys will only get better.

GO DAWGS!!!!!

imw8n4u writes:

ok - so what is the rule on the muffed punt? Seems like it goes back and forth, and always against whatever team I happen to be rooting for.

Colliervol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Quite possibly the all time worst post on this site.

How could that be possible TJ? It's the exact same thing he's been posting for over a year now and he never has anything new to add. If this was his worst post, I guess he's had nothing but "worse posts" since he started.

Maybe I should use the term "she" since I'm pretty sure it has to be Vicky.

gvegasvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Quite possibly the all time worst post on this site.

No...yours is!

tensie2004 writes:

I was very embarrased by the efforts of our team and coaches today. Apparently they didn't learn anything from the lsu lose. The lack of talent is not dooley fault, that still goes back to fulmer.

Colliervol writes:

in response to govols1234567:

Bulls*it. There is really no excuse for today. A loss might have been understandable. But a 41-14 blowout? I like Dooley but this is pathetic. How do you almost knock off a top 15 (or 10 in some polls) team and then lose this badly to a team who hasnt won a game in 4 weeks? Or maybe it figures GA would finally find a rythm against Tennessee. This one is almost as hard to swallow as the LSU game. I guess my point or word im trying to emphasize is pathetic. But im still bleeding orange and the year is young. Gotta stay a little optimistic. Also im not trying to discredit GA. They played great.

Pretty simple answer. We play disciplined against LSU with what, one turnover? We have 3 in the first half and give up 17 points as a result. This team has to play flawless football to stay in any game it plays because there is too little talent and depth out there. Just the way it's going to be for a couple of years.

VolFanNC writes:

Bad OL, bad DL won't win many games. Not having any good DTs is killing us. No pressue up the middle, QBs are comfortable and picking us apart.

OL could have been ok without injuries, but losing 3 starters with our depth is not something we can recover from. 5-7 at best this year.

LADAWG writes:

Last year you guys would come post on every GA blog or article and talk about how great you were. How the Lane train was here to stay and help you hoist a crystal trophy. wow how times have changed. Now when you guys get your tail handed to you and your program is in disarray; you can't handle when we return a little smack talk. This makes us classless? I think it means your thin skinned. Worst fans and program in the SEC. I saw your wonderful fans spitting on people as they walked outside Neyland last year. Spitting. I will be here all year boys. Love beating you guys again, and certainly will relish each loss with as much gusto as this one. Tell us how the view is from the cellar.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

The University of Tennessee should hire a President and fire him immediately.

vol88 writes:

in response to LADAWG:

how bout them dawgs

How 'bout 21 losses against 7 wins? Call me back in a few years, loser.

vol88 writes:

in response to LADAWG:

Last year you guys would come post on every GA blog or article and talk about how great you were. How the Lane train was here to stay and help you hoist a crystal trophy. wow how times have changed. Now when you guys get your tail handed to you and your program is in disarray; you can't handle when we return a little smack talk. This makes us classless? I think it means your thin skinned. Worst fans and program in the SEC. I saw your wonderful fans spitting on people as they walked outside Neyland last year. Spitting. I will be here all year boys. Love beating you guys again, and certainly will relish each loss with as much gusto as this one. Tell us how the view is from the cellar.

You're (that's correct grammar, by the way, not 'your') a real ambassador for the Dawgs. Everybody has stories of the other team's fans spitting, etc. Bottom line, your team won a very rare game against my team. Enjoy it, son. It won't last. It never has, and it never will.

Colliervol writes:

in response to Bryanbleedsorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure why Phil would be loving every minute of it. He's the primary cause of the mess we are in today.

Exactly where is all that "talent" that you speak of? So much talent that we have to deal with:

-12 true freshmen playing significant minutes
-a 260 lb walk-on DT who should be on the scout team
-a 260 lb freshman DE playing a bunch at DT
-a converted WR starting at corner
-a junior college kid who shows up a week before fall practice who is starting at center
-3 true freshmen starting in the O-line which is unheard of at this level
-a junior college QB starting who really is not an SEC caliber QB
-a 5-10, 220 lb middle LB who, while he plays with a ton of heart, probably would not start for a lot of schools in this conference.

Do I need to go further or will that suffice? This team has the least talent and depth of any team in the last 30 years and any knowledgeable person will tell you that. Dooley is doing all that he can with an empty cupboard. End of discussion.

TommyJack writes:

in response to rab63:

What's up with #25 (Evans)??... plays db on our left side. I don't think he made a single tackle even though he had a bunch of chances. Seems like Ga. recognized it too as they kept running plays to his side. He's a junior and should know how to tackle by now.

I noticed the same thing...several times...the kid does not want to hit.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to SugarBear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

in the short run the answer is NO and thats why people must show patience-------players want to go to winning programs and play for championships so it should be understandable that we cant expect top 10 classes when we are down----the Koolaiders think its a god-given right we should always have top 10 classes just cause we are Tenn but it dont work that we----you earn better players by giving them something to be proud of coming here---we got to slowly get better before we can expect them to want to flock to Tenn-----patience is needed but few here have it---we havent done much this decade even with top classes so thats no guarantee anyway----I'm no Fullmer hater but if you suggesting DDs personality and style is less condusive to winning over recruits thats rediculous

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