Chris Walker: 'The bar has been raised'

Vols look ahead to high-scoring Oregon offense

Tennessee's Denarius Moore gets past UT Martin defender Derek Welch for  a 42-yard touchdown pass reception during the second half Saturday, Sep. 4, 2010 in Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee's Denarius Moore gets past UT Martin defender Derek Welch for a 42-yard touchdown pass reception during the second half Saturday, Sep. 4, 2010 in Neyland Stadium.

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The Tennessee defense checked off pretty much everything on its list.

Tackles for loss? The Vols picked up nine of them.

Playing time for the young guys? Seemingly the entire roster had a chance to make a hit.

Big plays? Prentiss Waggner gave UT a huge one to cap off its 50-0 blowout against UT Martin in the season opener on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium, picking off his first career pass and taking it 54 yards for a score.

If the Vols were looking for an ego boost defensively heading into a brutal two-week stretch against ranked opponents, it got everything it could have wanted in the shutout of the Skyhawks. Of course, the same is true for Oregon's offense after it decimated New Mexico 72-0, and something will have to give when the No. 11 Ducks come to town Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.).

"I mean, they scored 72 points and didn't punt the ball and shut the team out," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "They looked pretty awesome.

"I don't know (how much playing UT Martin helped). I'm sure we'll look at the film and see we made a lot of mistakes that we're going to have to correct. That's a hard one to answer. . . . I know the team we're playing beat a team by about 70-something, didn't they? How's that for confident?"

The Ducks were piling up those points against a higher level of competition than the one UT faced, but neither figures to enter the week with any shaky nerves or uncertainty.

Oregon obviously had no trouble moving the ball and also racked up 720 yards of offense, and it showed no signs of struggling without former Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Jeremiah Masoli running its high-powered attack. And though the Skyhawks won't be confused with the Ducks anytime soon, Dooley's defense opened on the right foot by giving up just three first downs, a measly 142 yards of total offense and grabbing a couple interceptions - the last of which wasn't exactly a strength for the Vols a year ago.

"What I was most proud of defensively was we played with real good energy, and we did not have a lot of pre-snap mental errors and we tackled well in space," Dooley said. "Those three things right there are why we played well, because we were obviously a more talented team.

"We didn't go out and hurt ourselves, we lined up where we needed to line up, we executed what we needed to execute and we tackled well - so that was what I was pleased about on the defense."

The offense didn't give Dooley much to really worry about other than a rough second quarter, though the Vols have chalked that up to a valuable learning experience for a new offensive line and a first-time starter under center in Matt Simms.

UT's offense surely won't draw many comparisons with Oregon's, either, but as long as it continues to get help on the other side of the ball it could have a shot to at least keep pace with it.

"It was great to get the shutout, because we haven't had one since we've been here," defensive end Chris Walker said. "It just feels good for our program to get off on the right foot. We know that after we watch this film, we have to prepare well for Oregon.

"Oh, we already know the bar has been raised."

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Comments » 81

dwa7#337691 writes:

early prediction:

O Ducklets 22
UT Vols 24

in a real UPSET!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

UT VOLS 31
OREGON DUCKS 17

as another poster said, in an REAL UPSET!!

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.

west_GA_Volsfan writes:

As a poster put on earlier today, next week the VOLS eat Duck l'ORANGE. UT 24, OR 21. GBO

GerryOP writes:

One down and 11 to go ... we're still undefeated.

How 'bout them Vols?!?!?!

oskie_score writes:

I believe even the waterboy played a couple of snaps. chuckle

Nice win, congratulations Coach Dooley, Chris W. and et al.

oskie_score writes:

31-24, VOLS!

GerryOP writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very good lil' naffy, you can do it. Just keep practicing ... "Go Vols!" I think you've got it!

VolO writes:

Enjoy this week, Vol Fans. I'm afraid come Saturday evening we all (including myself), will be brought back to reality.
GBO!

dalvol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Naffy needs to go root for some other team. He is such a downer, not to mention just downright rude.

bobo96 writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good point.

Game on. Difference is, we are playing in Knoxville.

Let's tee er up already. ;)

10SE writes:

I am still holding out hope for this season. I'm not counting on much, but a big win next week would be nice.

nepperso#220348 writes:

I don't care how "great" Oregon is. This game is in Knoxville, and I can't stomach another PAC-10 team coming into our house and winning so early in the year. Tennessee MUST find a way to gut one out and win next Saturday. A loss could go a long way toward a losing season, but a win.. yeah a win over Oregon could be just what this program needs to start the long climb back to relevance.

volman79 writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Way to give up 36 points to hawaii there montie good riddance to u and your idiot son. Go Vols

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You need to worry about the TROGANS(shout out to markieth ambles, there) giving up 36 to what is not much more than an FCS team. Oh, and I think it was SoCAL boys play calling at the end that ultimately sealed it? Ya turd burglar.

Orangeatang writes:

Oregon is gonna beat the holy phooey out of us. Oh God!!

Brillovol writes:

In a nailbiter...
UT - 24
Ore - 23

7_Game_Maxims 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.

Good idea! What would be cool is if when we are on D and we are all yelling OOOOOO! we change that to GOOOOOOO! and when the ball is snapped we all yell VOLS! I'll do it Saturday.

7_Game_Maxims writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What cost us that game was immature play calling. Have fun with that for the next year and a half.

LVVOLJJ writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We'll play Rocky Top while you live with Coach Integrity. Can't wait to hear your sorry story in a few years, dumbo troll.

7_Game_Maxims writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This time? We were embarrassed EVERY time little pipsqueak opened his mouth last year. We are glad you have him and are hoping like crazy his visit didn't do permanant damage.

beartn#223846 writes:

Hope I'm wrong, but I don't see how we win this one unless Oregon is way overrated. I think Jones is definitely out, and Moore may be out as well. We can't afford to lose many starters this year.

On the plus side, Ole Miss looks like it should be a win this year.

VolGrad writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You guys have plenty of your own issues to deal with, including one that was once ours.... Good luck with that.

GBO!!!

VolGrad writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You guys have a coach who likes to rip his shirt off in front of the football team, and you think we are going to be embarassed? LOL!!!

BigBadVol writes:

I'm vacationing in Oregon right now. The fans are worried about TN. They are not taking TN for granted. A lot of them watched the TN/Martin game and said TN looked pretty good to them. Oregon is not used to traveling so far so early in the season. We will see. I say TN 38 OR 31

OrangePsyched writes:

This is the game we've been waiting for the last few weeks. Everyone said we shouldn't overlook UTM and we didn't. Don't know if anyone read about Masoli saying his first week of practice at Ole Miss that the Pac 10 defenses weren't close to the speed of the Ole Miss defense. Everybody talks about the speed of Oregon but I don't believe that they will outrun us consistantly. Also one of our defensive players said that we didn't use much of our blitz package against Martin. I believe the game will be won on turnovers and field position. ROCKY TOP!

VolGrad writes:

Right now many of us are looking through orange-colored glasses and drinking the orange koolaid. But, if our Vols pull out a victory against Oregon, we will enter the "delusions of grandeur" stage.... Hmmm, I'll drink to that.

Though I believe this game will be closer than many predict, I still think we lose: Vols 24 Ducks 28.

Man, I feel real bad for admitting that. Oh, well, perhaps we win it on a late TD 31-28. Yeah, that feels much better.

Go Vols!!!

smokeybitesback writes:

bring back SMOKIES ON THE PROWL for the next 2 games..you wanna talk about an old tradition bring it back. i will be there coming from SC..like CDD said big boy football starts this saturday, lets be the big boys and send oregon on a long tearful ride home..GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!! momentum and heart plus a lot of young talent wanting to prove themselves can be great game winners

jryevols#222657 writes:

Well the bones never lie , hasn't remarked to my early preditions and regardless of everyone's comments , I still remain confident in my perfect predictions. I predicted UT OVER UTM 56-6 , didn't miss that one by much. Tennessee Vols will beat the Ducks in game two 36 - 28. As I had predicted that will place us in the tope 25 against Florida so that the networks will derive a higher ROI for their ads of broadcast. Tennessee will beat Florida 26 - 17. That is as much of the season as you will get for now , other than Tennessee will beat Alabama as well 16 - 13 ( we get the feild goal) this year.
Don't need the bones , this one you can take to the bank. No bookies allowed to post

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to chuma:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

let me try ...its 18-18 after 4 qrts and Oregon get the ball first and instead of trying to score a TD the just want to try for the 2 point conversion and they make it and they go up 20 to 18 and then Tn gets the ball at the 25 yd line and Poole goes for 25yds and a TD and Tn wins 24-20...Its simple how they win by 4.Thats the best I could come up with.LOL

xpsyclonex2002 writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's the same Oregon team that's gonna eat USC'c lunch for the next few years isn't it? Enjoy being a middle of the PAC team in a middle of the pack conference!

VolO writes:

in response to justdooleyit2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh mi amigo, I do have faith! I've learned over the years and especially now to expect the worst and hope for the best. I'll never turn my back on the Vols! GBO!

TheBanker writes:

Let me be clear; UT does not fear ANY opponent!!
We may show our opponents the respect they deserve, but we do not walk in anguish of what they will do to us. I remember a poet by the name of Rudy Rae Moore who said, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Because I am the baddest MoFo in the valley"! Never underestimate the resolve of a confident heart and a smart game plan.
To that end, I say BRING IT!!! UT by 20.

CroKev writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I doubt USC v. Hawaii was on national TV but in case it was, were you embarrassed?

KarnsVol writes:

Gerald Jones not playing will hurt. But I think the largest stadium in the South and the largest crowd Oregon will see all year could be a major factor if we the fans will rise to the occasion. I feel okay about our chances.

sambad 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.

Great idea!!!!

VolNationSoldier writes:

I am a bit nervous about this week's game but I do believe we can get it done. Just to put things in perspective for the Duck fans. Last I recalled your offense has been pretty inept against Justin Wilcox and his defense at Boise St. Although young, I believe our talent pool is far better than anything he had at Boise. So if you are thinking about hanging another 70pts this week.....think again. A little history lesson here, last year you scored only 8pts against Boise!!! Go VOLS!

seaplane#216536 writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'd be worried more about having a "hole" in my trojan!

Couchdummy writes:

in response to TheBanker:

Let me be clear; UT does not fear ANY opponent!!
We may show our opponents the respect they deserve, but we do not walk in anguish of what they will do to us. I remember a poet by the name of Rudy Rae Moore who said, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Because I am the baddest MoFo in the valley"! Never underestimate the resolve of a confident heart and a smart game plan.
To that end, I say BRING IT!!! UT by 20.

Thanks Barack, you have a way with words.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

let me try ...its 18-18 after 4 qrts and Oregon get the ball first and instead of trying to score a TD the just want to try for the 2 point conversion and they make it and they go up 20 to 18 and then Tn gets the ball at the 25 yd line and Poole goes for 25yds and a TD and Tn wins 24-20...Its simple how they win by 4.Thats the best I could come up with.LOL

Team one scores a touchdown and extra point to go up by seven. Team 2's coach has a hugh wager on the game so he kicks a field goal and loses by four but covers the spread.

tenecvol4 writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sure SoCal guy you beat UCLA last year 24-7?? With the best team money could buy-- lets see how you dorks do this year with Lame and Money - I mean Monte-- and players who have to pay their own way and drive their junkie cars instead of their free Escalades

tenecvol4 writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

By the way SoCal guy if you saw the UCLA game and the p-- poor play calls that cost us the game-- thats your coach now --lots of luck for the next 5 years-- you better stock up on Cal weed so you can handle the next few years - Lame still hasnt shown he can coach - the only thing he's got goin for him is a hot wife

ImaGATORmyGirlfriendsaVOL writes:

Cmon now Vol fans, you cant have it both ways...When Lane was here, you bragged that he was an outstanding coach, and was going to lead you back to prominence...

Now that he's gone, he's going to drive USC into the ground.

So, either he was going to drive TN into the ground and you were all wrong last year, or he's going to lead USC back to prominence

I think Oregon wins, and wins by 14+ this weekend. Thats my prediction, and I'm allowed to have it. Can TN win? Yes...But, it would require a perfect game by TN, and Florida's center playing for Oregon...

BubbaJ writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lane, you are such a jerk!

mtowntim writes:

23/20 VOLS of course!

TKO writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

dgcarter43 writes:

I hope this win doesn't make the team overconfident as it has some on this site.Are the Vols capable of beating Oregon? Of course. It will take a perfect game from a lot of young, inexperienced players which is highly unlikely. Our best chance is that, due to the enviroment of 100,000 fans, Oregon commits unforced mistakes, which could very well happen.On the other hand, Matt Sims will have a lot more pressure than he had last week and how he handles it will have a hugh effect on the outcome. Win or lose, coach Dooley is on the right path for success. Oregon 28-17

utfan36 writes:

i watched or. play sat. all they have is a great runing back. ut wins this game by 10! our (ut) def. is back! and that is what it is going to take to win this game def. wins championships off.sells tikets! go vols!!

cc623 writes:

in response to SoCalGuy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How many yards did the "used rubbers" give up to a pitiful(at least their defense was) Hawaii team?How many of your fans will be crying every time they face a "spread attack" or an "option attack" team?Answer everybody because Monty will let them rack up the yards.If it's a "traditional pro-set" he is great.

Just think you guys have the EXACT reason that game was lost to UCLA in NEYLAND last year for a coach and he brought most of his goons with him.Here's to the downfall of U SuC and enjoy PROBATION...

cc623 writes:

in response to ImaGATORmyGirlfriendsaVOL:

Cmon now Vol fans, you cant have it both ways...When Lane was here, you bragged that he was an outstanding coach, and was going to lead you back to prominence...

Now that he's gone, he's going to drive USC into the ground.

So, either he was going to drive TN into the ground and you were all wrong last year, or he's going to lead USC back to prominence

I think Oregon wins, and wins by 14+ this weekend. Thats my prediction, and I'm allowed to have it. Can TN win? Yes...But, it would require a perfect game by TN, and Florida's center playing for Oregon...

Should you not be more worried about all those footballs on the "carpet" and your horrible offense without Tebow?The nation has already been made privy to all they need to see so good luck trying not to go from competing to hoping to beat UK in one season...

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