Adams: Fans can help against Oregon

John Adams
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Good thing Tennessee's next game will start an hour later than the season opener. Its fans can use the extra time for preparation.

Oregon vs. UT is one of those games in which crowd involvement could play a huge role. For UT's sake, it better play a huge role.

All of the more tangible measuring sticks, such as talent and experience, favor the Ducks. The Vols can only hope to counter that with stadium size, crowd noise and jet lag.

You might regard that as flimsy evidence on which to build a case for an upset at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night. But if you need a favorable witness, I recommend the California Golden Bears of 2006.

Their cross-country September trip was an unmitigated disaster. They ventured east with a top-10 ranking and intentions of taking down Southern California's Pac-10 dynasty by the end of the season.

Neyland Stadium was supposed to be a launching pad. It turned into a crash site.

There's not room here to fully account for all that went wrong for Cal but I can offer a synopsis: Its future NFL tight end (Craig Stevens) got knocked silly on the opening kickoff; its future NFL running back (Marshawn Lynch) was limping by the end of the first quarter; and its future NFL cornerback (Syd'Quan Thompson) could barely stay within shouting distance of UT wide receiver Robert Meachem.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention quarterback Nate Longshore, who was starting his first college game on the road. He played as though he had been introduced to the sport moments before kickoff.

UT fans should be heartened by those memories, because there are striking pregame similarities between that matchup and Saturday's.

Those Vols were coming off a 5-6 season. These Vols were picked to finish as low as fifth in the SEC East.

Oregon and Cal also have plenty in common, starting with their highly acclaimed, offensive-minded head coaches. Four years ago, Cal's Jeff Tedford was supposedly an NFL coach in waiting. Oregon's coach Chip Kelly comes up in almost any discussion of the spread-option offense.

As you could surmise from Oregon's 72-0 victory and school-record 720 yards against New Mexico in Saturday's season opener, it has the same kind of offensive firepower that Cal possessed in 2006.

And it also has a quarterback preparing to make his first college start on the road. Sophomore Darron Thomas, who won the starting job in preseason camp, did just fine in his home opener against New Mexico, which is akin to saying UT's new starting quarterback, Matt Simms, did just fine in his team's 50-0 victory over UT Martin on Saturday night.

As dominant as UT's looked in that victory, you have to question whether it's ready for an offense as talented and balanced as Oregon's. You also have to question if Oregon's offense, especially its quarterback, is ready for the full Neyland Stadium experience.

The sheer height of the stadium is a distraction for first-timers. The sound can be a bigger distraction than the sight, provided, of course, the crowd is fully committed.

UT fans can lose interest or turn downright docile depending on the nature of the opponent or the course of the game. But don't try convincing the 2006 Golden Bears of that. They never heard what hit them while falling behind 35-0.

The Vols and their crowd rarely have been so in sync. They were so together, you couldn't tell who was reacting to whom.

Coaches love to talk about team chemistry. But that victory was as much about team and crowd chemistry. It was a game in which everybody mattered, from the guy behind center to the guys and gals in the upper deck.

Four years later, Oregon will give the Vols and their fans another opportunity to get it together.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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

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Comments » 148

TommyJack writes:

That Adams. Always trying to help.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

THE 12TH MAN WILL BE HUGE!!!!

NCVOLFAN writes:

Great game last night. I would love to have a little more fan interaction in the game that goes beyond singing rocky top after a score. I would like to propose that when the stadium announcer says first down we all say "Go Vols". We really cheer and get loud when the defense needs to make a stop, and we cheer and clap when a first down is made, but I believe a chant such as "Go Vols",when prompted would be great.
Let's get the word out and start this tradition when we take on the ducks this Saturday in Knoxville.

VolsToTheWall writes:

in response to NCVOLFAN:

Great game last night. I would love to have a little more fan interaction in the game that goes beyond singing rocky top after a score. I would like to propose that when the stadium announcer says first down we all say "Go Vols". We really cheer and get loud when the defense needs to make a stop, and we cheer and clap when a first down is made, but I believe a chant such as "Go Vols",when prompted would be great.
Let's get the word out and start this tradition when we take on the ducks this Saturday in Knoxville.

i propose you write my next paper for me.

west_GA_Volsfan writes:

Is this really an Adams post? I thought he was always negative on UT. In this article, he's actually offering hope and encouragement to fans. GBO

volfan112 writes:

I will be there, screaming til I cant anymore.

ncvol17 writes:

As DD said ' it's Big Boy Ball' time now. It now becomes interesting doesn't it? GBO

mdvol writes:

I was at the Cal game in 2006. I will be at the Oregon game this week. I'm expecting a full house of 102,000 screaming Volunteers! We WILL make the difference!

We are going to surprise some damn people.
We will upset either Florida or Alabama.

ssgdebity writes:

That was my 1st ever game last night with my family. I would have to say I had an awesome time. In regards to this story if the fans bring the noise they being Oregan will have a rough time. I was sitting on the upper level above the exit where the players come out. And last night all 99,183 fans played a factor in the games outcome. So that is what we need to do. Get over 100,000 people and get loud and stay loud when they have the ball. And for the record that when the football team ran through the T was the second most awesome sight I have seen. The 1st awesome sight was seeing more than 15 MLRS, 1 MLRS holding 12 rockets, unleashing all 12 rockets at the same time on the Iraqi soldiers. WHen the rocket buster kicks in, it breaks the sound barrier. And seeing 15 takes with 12 rockets was awesome.

UTME06 writes:

The '06 Cal game was the absolute loudest I've ever heard the stadium. When the T opened, I stopped hollering, looked at my buddy beside me (who also had stopped hollering) and we both knew the outcome of the game at that moment (we couldn't discuss it due to the jet engine decibel level, but we were on the same page). We even got ol Phil fired up... do you remember him chasing down the ref on the sidelines showing him where the receiver had stepped out?

Oregon, as I've been told, has the most vocal crowd of the Pac-12/10... but I don't care, they can't hold a flame against the south.

I'm in WA now, and I have done some smack talking this offseason, so I can't be there. But everyone get in there and scare the pants off these left coasters. From the east bleachers to you old farts in the west, get up and get loud. Your voice has all day to heal up on Sunday.

murrayvol writes:

Good piece John. Could be the beginning of something loud and proud.

UTME06 writes:

in response to bankofdad3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, if we want to get down to it, it was Cut who made the difference that year.

I loved Phil. I have a signed ball from Battle - Dooley, and Phil gets the place of honor in the center. But we all have to let it go. We could be consistently winning 7 every year, or be hoping for 7 but also have a promising future to go with it. We'll turn this cycle soon, but biatchin that Phil is gone is not really productive. We have a classy coach, that needs to start hitchin some 4 and 5 stars, but has all the tools to make bring us back. Embrace that.

westennvol writes:

Oregon's O racked up 720 yards on New Mexico. This is a team that was 1-11 last year and had the 113th ranked defense.

TeamXer writes:

in response to NCVOLFAN:

Great game last night. I would love to have a little more fan interaction in the game that goes beyond singing rocky top after a score. I would like to propose that when the stadium announcer says first down we all say "Go Vols". We really cheer and get loud when the defense needs to make a stop, and we cheer and clap when a first down is made, but I believe a chant such as "Go Vols",when prompted would be great.
Let's get the word out and start this tradition when we take on the ducks this Saturday in Knoxville.

Something as simple as standing and screaming on opponent's third downs would be nice.

NCVOLFAN writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't think it's just celebrating first downs; it is a way to keep the fans engaged with the game.
I believe unified fan responses are great, that why Rocky Top is so effective after we score.
I have been to several other stadiums and seen those fans engaged in the game when they are waiting to respond to the team.
Saying "Go Vols" after a first down provides support to the team more than just clapping and screaming. Spread the word for next Saturday night and let's be a part of somethinng new and showing support to our Vols and the new coaching staff. Just think, in addition to all the times we got to sing Rocky Top against UTM, we could have shouted "Go Vols" over 20 times.

nocleats writes:

Bring your noisiest friends, make big noise. Leave the kids at home.. This will be big boys night, NOISE!

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to volfan112:

I will be there, screaming til I cant anymore.

That'll make 2 of us (at least).

I love this story. The tone, the message... this is what
our paper can do to help. And he's 100% correct. We can
not only make it harder for them, but we can keep our
guys going with that extra energy. I loved how, on saturday, the defense was constantly getting the crowd
into it. They seem aware that we are a weapon.

Let's keep it going. I, for one, believe.

nor_cal_vol writes:

Excellent article. I live in the Bay Area and have spoken to many a Cal fan who made the trip to Neyland. They were all gobsmacked by the level of energy and noise in the old house that day - each person I have spoken to said they have never witnessed anything like it at any sporting event. To this day, when I tell a Cal fan that was there - or someone who knows somebody who was there - their comment is one of reverence.

DaddyVol writes:

in response to west_GA_Volsfan:

Is this really an Adams post? I thought he was always negative on UT. In this article, he's actually offering hope and encouragement to fans. GBO

This is reverse psychology on Adam's part.

What he really wants, is for Oregon to post this article on their locker room bulletin board...as a means to fire up the Ducks.

Then, he hopes (after an Oregon win), to write one of his usuAL negative articles about Tennessee.

It's the big set-up.

Fans...don't trust him.

Vol Players...keep yOur heads screwed on, and.........

GIVE YOUR ALL FOR TENNESSEE!

andy112382#209793 writes:

Probably the best thing I ever read from John Adams! Unfortunately I live down here in Augusta, GA and don't have the funds to make the trip, so someone please yell twice as loud so you can make up for me not being there!!!

Oregon has the sports guru's drooling over their performance, so imagine the shock if we stop'em and beat'em!

RaineyVol writes:

That was a pretty good article ... that Cal game was amazing... lets bring that game to the Ducks come Saturday... LETS GO BIG ORANGE... YEAAA BAAAABAAAAYYYYY!!!! ORANGE CRUSH!!

adamsmith5529#630125 writes:

I was at that game. It was my wifes FIRST UT game.....She was an ALABAMA fan before i took her to neyland stadium for the first time, and she left a UT fan. We had a great time. if i wasn't gonna be in miami i would be there for sure!!! Go VOls!!!

lvhemphill#250428 writes:

in response to UTME06:

Well, if we want to get down to it, it was Cut who made the difference that year.

I loved Phil. I have a signed ball from Battle - Dooley, and Phil gets the place of honor in the center. But we all have to let it go. We could be consistently winning 7 every year, or be hoping for 7 but also have a promising future to go with it. We'll turn this cycle soon, but biatchin that Phil is gone is not really productive. We have a classy coach, that needs to start hitchin some 4 and 5 stars, but has all the tools to make bring us back. Embrace that.

Star ranking to Dooley (him being a individual evaluation guy, like his mentor Sabin) isn't going to mean much as he is going to trust his evaluation and his own rankings over the recruiting service rankings. I'd rather have a team full of guys like Bates than than a team full of so called heartless, lazy, to full of himself talent like Albert Haynesworth. So in summary, I trust Dooley's judgement of so called talent more than yours, so keep your arm chair quarterback opinions to yourself you don't know what your talking about.

bigtimevol writes:

Very positive article...great to see a biased article from a UT sports page.

etsuvol99#227561 writes:

Anybody who doesn't plan to make noise please stay home. This means all the blue-hairs on the West sideline. Give your tickets to your young whippersnapper grandchildren.
Also, anybody attempting a baby into the game should be turned away at the gate. Kids old enough to watch the game are fine, but I saw somebody at the UT-M game holding a kid that could not have been more than 6 months old. That's child abuse subjecting him to that much noise.

Jakevol writes:

Ducks are so fast they might run right by our 12th man. Yes their good. 720 yards is unreal what they laid on NM. Yeah, everything we can to do to help the guys,, get out and help them. It's a hard road this year, we must all pull on the rope the same time.

Jesus1Family2Career3Vols4 writes:

JA is spot on. One item he neglected to mention was that Cal (Berkley,CA) located in Northern California has weather similar to Eugene, OR. Anyone been on weather.com to check out the temp's in Eugene lately? The temps this week are highs in the 70's with some morning lows down into the 40's. Yes, I am grasping for straws. Do any of you remember the Cal game from'06? Cal played poorly; I believe some of it had to do with the high humidity that day!

Lets all hope Mother Nature is decked out, head to toe, in her beautiful American Daisy Orange come Saturday afternoon. I don't believe The Quake Attack will be acclamated to the 80's nor the humidity.

God Bless America. How 'bout them Vols?

Couchdummy writes:

Good comparison to California, John. Enjoyed the article.

CCLC writes:

Savor the moment. It's not like everyone hasn't played their own cupcake---- sooooo. First statistical rankings have Tennessee leading the SEC in 3 categories:
Pass Efficiency Defense
Scoring Defense
Net Punting

just sayin'

Ref: /web1.ncaa.org/football/exec/rankingSummary?year=2010&org=257

CCLC writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let me get this straight ....
You are on a Vol page bragging about your team, not an SEC team but a team with a mascot that goes by the name "Ducky".
The "Ducks" have won all of three conference championships....in the mighty Pac Ten----3! Thats "3" in 52 years since you joined that mighty conference.
THE "Ducks" have played in 2 BCS bowls. And are 1-1 in said bowls.
You are talking smack to one of the most storied programs in SEC football history. Unfreakin' believable. Act like you've been there before; otherwise--------------->
STFU!

just sayin'

CCLC writes:

"The Oregon Ducks have an in-state rivalry with the Oregon State Beavers in which they play for the Platypus Trophy." Ducks...Beavers...Platypus trophy...are these football team names or elementary school girls swim team names.

Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.

CCLC writes:

Quack....quack.... quack....GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Ducks!
quackquackquackquackquackquackquackquackquackquack!

That just won't get it in the South! Sorry,,,,but NO! No fear factor at all.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to etsuvol99#227561:

Anybody who doesn't plan to make noise please stay home. This means all the blue-hairs on the West sideline. Give your tickets to your young whippersnapper grandchildren.
Also, anybody attempting a baby into the game should be turned away at the gate. Kids old enough to watch the game are fine, but I saw somebody at the UT-M game holding a kid that could not have been more than 6 months old. That's child abuse subjecting him to that much noise.

How about you keep your "blue hair" comments to yourself? I've been making noise in Neyland Stadium longer than you've been born, and plan on making some this Saturday night.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

CCLC writes:

Yes___Im______A______DUCK______FAN.
How do you even say that with a straight face.....
LMAO!

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad you are here to share your infinite wisdom about how your Daffy's are gonna slaughter the Vols.
Let me call Coach Dooley and let him know that he needs to call your coach and forfeit right now. Why should UT even be on the same field with such a storied program as Oregon? I mean, all you need to do is show up, right? Yep, it's a guaranteed victory for the Daffy's.

Mule_Days_King writes:

Gonna get this comment removed, but what the heck.

Take out the U and substitute an I.

TNVol72 writes:

Is it the Oregon Ducks or the Oregon Dicks? I always get that wrong? And, the uniforms... what's with the uniforms? They all look like a bunch of displaced green flies! Nasty colors, guys! Vols: 30 Dicks: 21

DuckingtheTrend writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

jrod: WE know about SEC football, we've waxed Mississippi State twice in the last eight years. The Ducks have two games with UT and two future games with UGA. No introductions needed, know we're coming to Neyland and we're ready to smack your team in the mouth. Saturday is going to be an ugly wake up call from the Pac-10.

CCLC writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Quack off, duck head!

CCLC writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

QUACK:
–noun
1.a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan.
Oregon Quacks??????????

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to DuckingtheTrend:

jrod: WE know about SEC football, we've waxed Mississippi State twice in the last eight years. The Ducks have two games with UT and two future games with UGA. No introductions needed, know we're coming to Neyland and we're ready to smack your team in the mouth. Saturday is going to be an ugly wake up call from the Pac-10.

MISSISSIPPI STATE?? You smack talk about beating Mississippi State twice in 8 yrs? MSU hasn't been close to being a factor in over 10 yrs. Try something else to back up your argument.

RJ_Vol writes:

I knew Adams was a cheerleader.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to etsuvol99#227561:

Anybody who doesn't plan to make noise please stay home. This means all the blue-hairs on the West sideline. Give your tickets to your young whippersnapper grandchildren.
Also, anybody attempting a baby into the game should be turned away at the gate. Kids old enough to watch the game are fine, but I saw somebody at the UT-M game holding a kid that could not have been more than 6 months old. That's child abuse subjecting him to that much noise.

"Anybody who doesn't plan to make noise please stay home. This means all the blue-hairs on the West sideline."

Well, there are still tickets available for sale, so my presence as a non-yelling observer won't make any less noise than an empty seat would. Thank goodness my seats are on the 1st row of the upper deck, where no inconsiderate idiot can stand up and block my view.

When I was younger, I used to wonder why the folks in the west stands didn't get too excited. Decades later, I understand. The older fans have lived through excitements and tragedies in their lives far more important & meaningful than any UT football game. Many of those folks should be commended just for making the effort to drive (sometimes hundreds of miles) and fight the mob of people just to get to Neyland Stadium. I imagine you haven't been living long enough to have seen half the games many of those fans have seen.

Those older folks do get excited. In 1982 after the victory over Alabama, men with canes were hobbling down the stairs to get onto the field. My favorite part of the famous picture of Johnny Majors being carried out to shake Bear Bryant's hand isn't the look on Majors face or his players -- it's the absolute pandemonium among the Vol faithful in the background - in the WEST STANDS.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

That Adams. Always trying to help.

you can't be serious???-----many here go out of there way to express disdain for adams cause they thing its just the popular thing to do but I've before thought you a fairer, more objective poster---so you are in the adamns hating koolaid too?----theres should be nothing here even for an Adams hater to not like----so you really think we have the horses to win this game without full benefit of home field advantage?

CCLC writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Look Duck fan (still can't say that with a straight face- I guess its because we actually hunt and eat ducks in the South,cultural thing maybe)...you started this foolishness. The "terd" (your spelling) up the nose and disrespect for the Vols set me off. The SEC may fight among itself but we all stick together and make absolute war on pretend football teams that pick on one of our brothers..... hate it for you.
I can't tolerate rude behavior like yours.
just sayin'

TommyJack writes:

Stop it! Terrible thread.

OrangeCrush1222 writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, can we ask a favor of you? Since it's on national television, can your players all please refrain from sucker punching any of our guys after we beat you and, if possible, can you PLEASE ask your player to try to not come into the stands after fans while security is escorting them out? If that's too much to ask, I understand. Otherwise, thanks in advance and we'll see you guys on Saturday!

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

In what way, Mr Daffy, did I show ignorance? Never once did I mention anything about players or talent.
What I did comment about was YOUR arrogance and lack of knowledge about the game of college football. Whenever you decide to discuss the merits and aspects of the game on Saturday, fine. But when you come here and spout nonsensical opinions and bash another program without cause then you will get hammered.
As far as history of the program goes. If the Ducks HAD a history you might be more inclined to appreciate a history. Try again, little man.

CCLC writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

PAC-10 is on its way out.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to Yes_Im_A_Duck_Fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well Daffy, at least you got one thing right...we DO play in the best conference.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

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