Wilcox doesn't have 'magic pill' but has frustrated Oregon

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There were no classes at Oregon that taught how to stop its spread offense.

Prior experience shutting down the Ducks apparently doesn't qualify Justin Wilcox as an expert either.

But the former Oregon defensive back helped build his reputation as one of the top coordinators in the college game by bottling up his alma mater last year at Boise State, and Tennessee could certainly use his secrets against the No. 7 Ducks (1-0) on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.). The problem is Wilcox swears there aren't any.

"There is no magic defense out there," Wilcox said after practice Wednesday. "There's no magic pill for any of that stuff. I think the key to playing good defense against anybody is you have to play disciplined, you've got to play assignment football and you've got to tackle well. There are going to be times when people have to make some one-on-one plays in the pass game and in the run game, and you've got to get people on the ground.

"Especially with these guys, because they create so much space. They've got such good speed - that's their advantage. That's how they create those explosive plays, they get one-on-one and make somebody miss."

The Ducks didn't get any room to operate against Wilcox and the Broncos a year ago, and the only explosion was the one after the game when the frustration from a 19-8 loss spilled over into a sucker punch from Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount.

Until that point, Boise State did all the hitting - holding that high-powered spread attack to a meager 152 yards, just six first downs and only one third-down conversion to give Wilcox another signature moment on his resume.

It also gave him a second win over his old school to go with a 37-32 decision at Oregon in 2008, though the Vols (1-0) have tried all week to downplay anything they can really take from those games.

"It's a different scenario, it's a different team, but we do obviously have similar defenses - I mean, it is the defense that Boise ran that you saw again on Monday night (against Virginia Tech)," linebacker Nick Reveiz said. "Basically there are a lot of similarities, but with Coach Wilcox, it's a different team, it's a different league, it's a different year.

"So, we're not banking on what happened with Boise State and Oregon. This is Tennessee 2010, but we're excited with our ability and what we have there."

Whether or not that ability is better, worse or equal to Boise State's has been up for debate, though UT has generally recruited at a much higher level than the Western Athletic Conference member.

Attrition over the last couple of seasons has helped level any of the difference between the two programs. But with all things being equal, there's now one major similarity in the guy calling the shots.

"I don't like comparing players or programs, I really don't," Wilcox said. "I think we have a lot of great kids on this team. I think we're working hard and making progress in a lot of areas, on the field and with our approach off the field. How to practice, how to finish in practice and how to finish in games - that's not an overnight thing, and the guys are working at it and we're getting better and better.

"But these games come down to fundamentals. It's not some magic thing that you just do this week."

If anybody has the formula for stopping the Ducks though, it's Wilcox. The secret might be out if it works again with new ingredients.

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Comments » 155

nakamine writes:

Well...hopefully we can have the kind of defense they have at Boise St. in a year or two, then this might be relevant. Either way, GL to the BO on Sat. Here's to an upset!

chrisw2967 writes:

Just coach them up JW and lets play some football.

slipshuck writes:

vols gonna be ok...

MothershipChip writes:

It is going to be an awesome game, GO BIG ORANGE!!!!

Razor784 writes:

I think he's being modest, i'm just glad he's on our side for this game

DiegoVol writes:

If we shut down Oregon...I'm gonna bet and say Wilcox is offered a few HC positions.

Goosfraba writes:

Wilcox is the man! Dooley did a great job getting him to come here. After seeing them play and hearing their philosophies on football, I think our future is in good hands. Tennessee seemed to look better fundamentally and everyone knew their assignments. I haven't seen a Tennessee team like that in a long time. Those factors can make up for the lack of depth we have against Oregon and the rest of the year. This should be an awesome game that we can win. Wilcox is being modest, I think he might be the key to the upset. Go Vols!

volsfannsc writes:

This game will be decided by a turnover or a special teams play. UT's defense will slow down the Ducks. I believe overall it will be tit for tat. The line is at 12.5 and I for one will take that. One mistake by either side will determine the outcome. GBO!

FWBVol writes:

I believe that Justin Wilcox is going to be the X factor in the game. That said, Justin Wilcox's job is to put the Tennessee defense in position to make the plays on the field, but it's the players that will have to execute that game plan.

A win over Oregon will go a long way to rebuilding Tennessee's national reputation. I wish I could be there Saturday, but I'll be watching it on my big screen in the comfort of my best recliner.

ZTaylor writes:

If the crowd gets loud and stays louder then our guys can win this one.

Let's go fans and make some noise. Scare the feathers off of the ducks.

mjaichele#464960 writes:

Do Duck's have large talons?

10ECMATT writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And the headache it all will bring. Duck u. Go Vols!!!!!!

PintailDrake writes:

Vols here is a video of what we did to USC last year on Halloween:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIrAIK...

There is no "magic pill" to beat the Ducks. It will come down to who wants it more on Saturday.

ALL_VOL75 writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL "jarred corn" as you so eloquently put it... is Moonshine!

VolsToTheWall writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

....what did you used to think of when you thought of TN. i live here and all i think about is dirt, moonshine, corn, and moonshine

Greenblood writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey since you keep pokin' your head out, why don't you do a little prodding to add Alabama to Oregon's schedule in a couple years. Next year, Oregon is playing Tennessee AND LSU, let's get a little PAC-10 - SEC goodwill going here!

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

....and if the skirts on your team work hard, they may actually score a touchdown against us.

another proud alabubba fan since 2008.

VolsToTheWall writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

come on man....can you not think of a better joke about oregon than sheep? lets be creative here...but its not like oregonians know comedy, the last funny thing to come out of there was the goonies.

OrangePsyched writes:

Duck fans talk about playing in hostile environments before but here is one thing that the fans nor team has ever encountered. UT players run through the T..ROCKY TOP...Kickoff..ROCKY TOP..UT first down..ROCKY TOP..UT makes stop on third down..ROCKY TOP..UT gets interception..ROCKY TOP..UT gets fumble recovery..ROCKY TOP..halftime..ROCKY TOP..Vols win the game..ROCKY TOP. Teams don't realize what this does to the psyche over a 3 hr to 4 hr period of time. It's our mantra. GO VOLS..ROCKY TOP BABY!

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

bamabeacher at the famous (mall) I meant the famous walmart of america.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football...

VolsToTheWall writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

bamabeacher at the famous (mall) I meant the famous walmart of america.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football...

left his lovely wife at home

http://ymswwc.files.wordpress.com/200...

UTSportsFanatic writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And I see you don't understand the part about strangers coming to Rocky Top:

"Once two strangers climbed old rocky top
Lookin for a moonshine still
Strangers aint come down from rocky top
reckon they never will."

Let me spell it out for you - strangers that come to Rocky Top are never seen again...

Enjoy your trip.

VOL03_NC writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Proudly made in the USA!

BamaVol writes:

in response to 10ECMATT:

And the headache it all will bring. Duck u. Go Vols!!!!!!

See who's laughing after the game

txsvol#372416 writes:

While it's not worth re-copying, if there are gourmet tailgaters for Saturday's game, I posted Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Duck l'Orange about mid-way down the 9/5 article "Barmer shines in first start for Oregon." (Sept 6 @ 1.49 am.) Most of the rest look like good recipes for ducks in a hunting camp! I haven't been duck hunting in almost 20 years. Go Big Orange 'Duck l'Orange' eaters! SAVol

DannyVol writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Look at Bama chiming in. What, nothing going on down there? Bug zapper on the blink??? Hey, I heard that Dareus is having a great week of practice...on the scout team.

Better let us worry about Oregon and stay focused on the Nittany Lions. They might just start the series of losses I've been predicting for y'all a little earlier than I thought. You will definitely lose at least 2 of 3 at Arkansas, vs. Florida, or at SC.

volfaninutah writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Figured you would laugh at that quacker. Everytime I think of Oregon, my mind goes to the hairy armpitted tree huggin' women out there. Geez, I can't stop laughin'

nakamine writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

While it's not worth re-copying, if there are gourmet tailgaters for Saturday's game, I posted Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Duck l'Orange about mid-way down the 9/5 article "Barmer shines in first start for Oregon." (Sept 6 @ 1.49 am.) Most of the rest look like good recipes for ducks in a hunting camp! I haven't been duck hunting in almost 20 years. Go Big Orange 'Duck l'Orange' eaters! SAVol

Duck l'Orange is freaking amazing, and I've tried one of Emeril's recipes for it. It's not for the beginner, but it's awesome.

VolNWA writes:

Different sports I know, but this game reminds me of a recent game with some "short-handed" Vols playing against a "high-powered" team.

Although I also felt a little worried before that game, I can only hope we play like our BasketVols did in January against Kansas.

If we do hold our own, doubting us may become considered "for the birtds."

nakamine writes:

in response to VolNWA:

Different sports I know, but this game reminds me of a recent game with some "short-handed" Vols playing against a "high-powered" team.

Although I also felt a little worried before that game, I can only hope we play like our BasketVols did in January against Kansas.

If we do hold our own, doubting us may become considered "for the birtds."

That my friend, was a great, great moment. Here's to an upset.

foglineduck writes:

in response to Greenblood:

Hey since you keep pokin' your head out, why don't you do a little prodding to add Alabama to Oregon's schedule in a couple years. Next year, Oregon is playing Tennessee AND LSU, let's get a little PAC-10 - SEC goodwill going here!

Hey Greenblood I'm down with that. I got nuthin' against them southern boys. Anyone that loves football like they do can't be all bad ya know. I just wish they weren't so arrogant about it. Maybe if we played each other a litte more we might could learn some respect for each other eh?

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Scram, bammer.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That sounds almost poetical.

TnScooby writes:

Wow for a team who just started actually being relevant in Division IA football, their fans seem to be doing an awful lot of quackin'....Just be sure and take all your feathers back to Oregon with you...To quote the famous Daffy Duck: "Have your feathers numbered for just such an occasion" !!!

Go Vols!!!!

DUKLVR22 writes:

in response to Goosfraba:

Wilcox is the man! Dooley did a great job getting him to come here. After seeing them play and hearing their philosophies on football, I think our future is in good hands. Tennessee seemed to look better fundamentally and everyone knew their assignments. I haven't seen a Tennessee team like that in a long time. Those factors can make up for the lack of depth we have against Oregon and the rest of the year. This should be an awesome game that we can win. Wilcox is being modest, I think he might be the key to the upset. Go Vols!

Banking on what happened against Boise last year is great! Blount had an ankle during camp and was terribly out of shape. No magic pill just too slow. Insert LMJ and the offense was able to get back to normal in a couple of weeks. The team you will see Saturday night will look alot more like the one that visited Ann Arbor in 07 (39-7 Ducks). I know this will be a tough game but count on Oregons Offense in full effect. You guys are way overlooking Oregons Defense. Good Luck...looking forward to the game!Wish you were comming here next year!!Beat Florida!!!!

TnScooby writes:

BTW, There is a great place to go for Vol stuff from a Vol in California....The Duck stuff is pretty interesting....

http://norcalvol.wordpress.com/

Just thought any info is good info..lol.......

abnerPeabody writes:

Fulmer and Chavis are still looking for some magic dust so they can stop the spread.Maybe Wilcox can find some Saturday.Stopping the spread and option offense has never been very successful at Tennessee.I don't look for it to be stopped this week either.Sure hope we do but Wilcox had better find the magic dust this week for it to happen.If not,it will be a long drive home.GO BIG ORANGE!!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to VolsToTheWall:

left his lovely wife at home

http://ymswwc.files.wordpress.com/200...

Now that's what I would call"a lot of woman".

BadBob70 writes:

in response to Goosfraba:

Wilcox is the man! Dooley did a great job getting him to come here. After seeing them play and hearing their philosophies on football, I think our future is in good hands. Tennessee seemed to look better fundamentally and everyone knew their assignments. I haven't seen a Tennessee team like that in a long time. Those factors can make up for the lack of depth we have against Oregon and the rest of the year. This should be an awesome game that we can win. Wilcox is being modest, I think he might be the key to the upset. Go Vols!

"hearing their philosophies"... yeah, Fulmer would have never allowed such talk from his coaches! He knew so much more than anyone else, he didn't want to take the chance of divulging any secrets.

Yes, I loved the defensive line plays. Unlike Chavas, Wilcox remembers how deep linebackers should play without stumbling around for half a season trying to decide if LB's need lateral movement, or should shoot a gap at the snap of the ball.

kyvol98 writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is never a direct call. Don't you have to get Sarah to ring him?

hufstedler02 writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I do hope you are joking. Please tell me that when the line says, "that's why all the folks on Rocky Top get their corn from a jar", you know it is not talking about jarred corn. It is corn liquor. I hope you really know that. If not, then all I can say is wow

jcp201 writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That song will haunt your dreams if things go the way I hope.

Mule_Days_King writes:

I wonder if it pained DC to copy/paste Rocky Top.

bigtimevol writes:

in response to AF1A4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't think rain would be an advantage for us...it rains more days than not in that area of the country.

utfan36 writes:

cjw will have are d ready to play. look at what his def did last years ducks high powered off. they shut them down and done with avg players ! look at what bs done monday nite the same kids cjw coached at bs last year. i think we(ut)have the best dc against the spread in college football.

utfan36 writes:

12 man will be a factor in this game! when or goes on off YELL&SCREAM so they cant hear anything! wish we could bring our cow bells!!!

VolBy3 writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just pay attention Bammer and take good notes. We'll show you how to beat the ducks. If you're lucky, maybe you'll get to play them in the chicken bowl this year. GBO!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to DuckFansRock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Donald,

Regardless of what happens, this we know...........it won't be because of anything you did.

So that's something to remember when you waddle on back .

volinvegas writes:

watched the UTM game again last night. noticed a lot of arm tackles from LBs. Not gonna cut it against the ducks. coach em up CJW.

jbocap writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You can count on me Nick.....Neyland Stadium needs to be rockin everytime the Ducks have the ball. MAKE SOME NOISE ON ROCKY TOP!!!!

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