Sirmon downplays familiarity with Ducks

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For two programs that have never played, Tennessee and Oregon share some striking connections.

The strongest might be UT graduate assistant Peter Sirmon, a former four-year starter (1996-99) at linebacker for the Ducks who spent last season at Oregon as a graduate assistant.

"Nothing (like this) comes to mind, but there's a lot of instances where coaches leave one school and end up at another," Sirmon said after the Vols finished Wednesday's practice in preparation for Saturday night's game against the No. 7 Ducks (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.)

"I don't know when the last time, maybe nine or 10 years ago, when Oregon played an SEC team - it doesn't happen very often. It's kind of a fluke thing that it's happened right now."

Sirmon, who spent five of his seven NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans, doesn't think the familiarity gives either side an advantage.

"I think everyone kind of knows what Oregon does," said Sirmon, who works with UT's safeties. "I don't think there's any secrets. They do a nice job of continually doing what they're good at."

What the Ducks excel at is running the football. Oregon averaged more than 230 yards per game rushing last season and torched New Mexico for 369 yards in the season opener.

"They don't let other defenses affect what they do," Sirmon said. "They create a lot of space, and the guys they have in the skill positions are tough to tackle.

"(Defending Oregon) takes a lot of discipline. More than anything you've got to be great tacklers, and you can't be overwhelmed when they make some plays. Getting them out of their rhythm is the tried-and-true way to slow 'em down a little bit.

"It's a huge challenge. I was fortunate to be a part of it last year."

Sirmon said he doesn't have any extra motivation in facing his alma mater and former employer.

"Every time you go out there on Saturday you want to do your best," he said. "There's nothing more than you put your time into something, (and) you want to see it be as successful as it possibly can."

Contagious Confidence: Gerald Jones' hand injury has forced UT's younger receivers into a more important role as visits from Oregon and No. 8 Florida loom.

Receivers coach Charlie Baggett has liked what he's seen from freshmen Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter and sophomore Zach Rogers.

"I think they'll play well when they get in there," Baggett said.

"If I show confidence in them, they'll have confidence in themselves, and that's the way I try to coach. They'll make mistakes because they're young and inexperienced, but I'll think it'll be the kind of things that we can live with."

Baggett was also glad to have Denarius Moore back practicing on a limited basis.

"His ankle's healed and he's ready to go," Baggett said.

"The timing with the quarterback and the timing in the passing game is one of the things you don't want anyone to miss practice time because it hurts."

Pope Returns: Center Cody Pope was limited at practice after spending part of Tuesday at UT Medical Center as a precaution.

Status Update: Tight end Luke Stocker wore a non-contact red jersey at practice as he deals with nagging shoulder soreness.

Safety Tyler Wolf (back) returned to practice and defensive tackle Minor Bowens is out with a staph infection.

Patrick Brown is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 81

sidwalkvol writes:

I could have sworn we played Oregon, and I think while Johnny Majors was coach.

oskie_score writes:

Hunter, D. Rogers, & Z. Rogers BUT no mention of #80 Matt Milton-conspicuous.

Contain & tackle...I don't care how fast or quick their RB's are if Tennessee keeps containment, forces the play inside and wraps up on the tackle it will be a long day for the quackers!

Curious to see how Barner & James respond to consistent BIG hits...AJ, CW, GK, JJ, MJ, et al lay the wood to our feathered guests!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to sidwalkvol:

I could have sworn we played Oregon, and I think while Johnny Majors was coach.

Oregon State Beavers in 77 and 78. I think I attended the first one. Barely remember it.

Ironcity writes:

in response to oskie_score:

Hunter, D. Rogers, & Z. Rogers BUT no mention of #80 Matt Milton-conspicuous.

Contain & tackle...I don't care how fast or quick their RB's are if Tennessee keeps containment, forces the play inside and wraps up on the tackle it will be a long day for the quackers!

Curious to see how Barner & James respond to consistent BIG hits...AJ, CW, GK, JJ, MJ, et al lay the wood to our feathered guests!

I wonder if they are thinking of redshirting Milton. I didn't think to look to see if he played against UT Martin.

mdvol writes:

You guys PLEASE take a look at the "featured story" in the Oregon paper. After you read it, you will understand how the PACK-10 got it's name!!! LMAO!

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindduck...

Vols win Saturday!

We are going to surprise some damn people.
You know the rest.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

77 was a win 41 to 10.
78 was a tie 13 all. No losses, according to UTsports.

skip22 writes:

mdvol i just about pissed myself reading your comment on that site

nakamine writes:

A class player at MLB for the Titans...I'm glad he stayed in TN.

duke.moses#299699 writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's Duck Season, No it's Rabbit season, no it's Duck Season!!!!
Kill the DUCKS!!!! I hate the quack attack!!!
Go Big Orange!! It's time for you to put Tennessee back in the national picture. Win this game and the Gators look extremely beatable next week!!
Kill the Ducks!!

sidwalkvol writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

uh, in the SEC we play defense. Yes, we had a couple of years of offensive struggles... anybody have the numbers comparing numbers of pros on the offensive side of the ball from the two schools?

mdvol writes:

On a serious note...
We have a player out with a staph infection??? That is not good. Wonder if precautions are being taken in the locker rooms, etc. This got out of hand in the NFL. Serious stuff.

UTByrd writes:

in response to mdvol:

You guys PLEASE take a look at the "featured story" in the Oregon paper. After you read it, you will understand how the PACK-10 got it's name!!! LMAO!

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindduck...

Vols win Saturday!

We are going to surprise some damn people.
You know the rest.

How about we call it the "Quack 10"?
Go VOLS!!!!!

mdvol writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Last three road games the Quack Attack has given up....
51 to unranked Stanford - LOSS
41 to unranked Arizona - Win by 3
26 to Ohio State - LOSS

We happen to play a little "D" in the SEC. Oh, and we run the same pro-style offense as the above teams that cranked on you guys. The road is not kind to the Ducks. Vols win.

VOLSGURLINCHARLOTTE writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Okay, that must be the reason Oregon has so many National Championships. By the way, does your mother know you are in the basement trolling on an opposing teams website. It is way past your bedtime. SMOKEY LOVES THE TASTE OF DUCK!!

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Eat fecal material DC.

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to mdvol:

You guys PLEASE take a look at the "featured story" in the Oregon paper. After you read it, you will understand how the PACK-10 got it's name!!! LMAO!

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindduck...

Vols win Saturday!

We are going to surprise some damn people.
You know the rest.

Thanks for the link, that's 2 minutes of my life I'll never get back!

VolGrad writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Uh, yeah. I guess you didn't get the memo, but we haven't been very good the past couple of years. That is why we have a new head coach.

Duhhhhhh!

Greenblood writes:

in response to FEARinSEC:

Thanks for the link, that's 2 minutes of my life I'll never get back!

I'm going to repeat the same thing in every reply. You guys resort to ridicule as your defense because you don't have any other leg to stand on. Keep bashing the duck, fine. Bash the local media, fine. Keep touting your precious "tradition"; I'll try not to puke. The ridiculous "feature story" in the Oregonian is what it is, but in the end, it doesn't matter, because it doesn't change the fact that the skill positions of the Oregon Ducks are vastly superior to their counterparts on the Volunteers. We will defeat you on Saturday, simple as that.

everydayisorange writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Due to three coaching changes in three years our player #s are down. However, over the past 15 years, the vols have been ranked in the top 20 in defence nationally. We will be stout on defence again this year, which gives us a good chance at an upset. Offence sells tickets, defence wins championships and you can"t win if you don"t score.

nakamine writes:

Obvious trolls are obvious. The only person that looks ridiculous by responding is you.

OrangePsyched writes:

Specquackular..I won't comment on as he is a troll but not a Duck troll. Just trying to stir things. To greenblood...you don't have better players at the skill positions. You may have more depth and experience but that is all. We have a chip on our shoulder and 100,000 rabid fans. We will summon the ghost of General Neyland and execute the maxims Saturday. Our win will shock the world (ESPN) but not the hill. ROCKY TOP!

UTByrd writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe Coach Wilcox's D put a whipping on the Oregon O....last year. What happened to your "team"? Even the cellar dwellers in the SEC have good defenses. It's just their offenses can't handle the SEC defenses.
Here's hoping we have a great game with the VOLS on top at the end. By the way, I have a lot of respect for Oregon.
Go VOLS!!!!!

Greenblood writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Specquackular..I won't comment on as he is a troll but not a Duck troll. Just trying to stir things. To greenblood...you don't have better players at the skill positions. You may have more depth and experience but that is all. We have a chip on our shoulder and 100,000 rabid fans. We will summon the ghost of General Neyland and execute the maxims Saturday. Our win will shock the world (ESPN) but not the hill. ROCKY TOP!

I'm sorry, man, but when you have to channel the ghost of someone to win a football game, you're in trouble! :)

UTByrd writes:

in response to specquackular:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What was truly remarkable that year was the fact UT's defense finished 4th in the country. That defense never has been given the credit it really deserved. Even with such a terrible offense, meaning the D was on the field all the time, they still finished 4th. Amazing.
Go VOLS!!!!!

nakamine writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's obvious that you don't watch games outside of UT games if you discount the Ducks as countless on this site have made fools out of themselves trying. They are in an envious position in the football world right now, and the ones feeding the trolls are exposing themselves as the butt-hurt, glory hunting, orange kool-aide drinking fans. We should chill out and let the game unfold.

nakamine writes:

in response to UTByrd:

What was truly remarkable that year was the fact UT's defense finished 4th in the country. That defense never has been given the credit it really deserved. Even with such a terrible offense, meaning the D was on the field all the time, they still finished 4th. Amazing.
Go VOLS!!!!!

That was probably the gutsiest performance game in and out I've ever seen on one side of the ball.

foglineduck writes:

in response to skip22:

mdvol i just about pissed myself reading your comment on that site

That's allright. You'll all be pissed when the Ducks hand your checkered butts to y'all on a platter. Ducks 52, Vols 14

nakamine writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You don't watch many games, do you? Leave a football discussion to the grown ups little man. They are heavily favored and the only real "weakness" you could point out at the moment is the first road test for the young QB. Take off the orange shades and maybe a reality pill, and this would be obvious. I'm a UT fan, but I know the difference in pride and ignorance. Here's to an upset!

nakamine writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's obvious that you're the kind of fan that makes us look bad by being a complete and utter moron. Try branching out and watching more than one football game a week. You might actually learn a thing or two about the game that way.

nakamine writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who said anything about a blowout? You can add lack of reading comprehension along with your ignorance about football. I watched us beat up on a glorified high school team last week, and you think we have a great defense because of that? Like I said, chill out and let the game unfold idiot, lmfao.

nakamine writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not exactly, but I didn't expect to find so many ignorant so called fans. Being a homer is one thing, but being completely oblivious to the game of football is another. It's not too much to ask to see more intelligent and insightful posts on here, is it? When the best that the troll feeders have to say is , "SEC, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH", then it's time to stop feeding, yeah?

nakamine writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly...wasn't me bro.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another fool out to play? Am I being self righteous by pointing out the inherent law of the internet? If you don't know what you're talking about, someone is going to call you out on it. Of course you would rather read generic "Go Vols" posts, since it's a lot easier for your brain to handle. If you can't grasp opinionated comments, that's a personal problem.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So I guess it "is" opinion that we have a defense and an offense after watching us play a high school team in a scrimmage, but to claim that as fact, as quite a few of "you" (the ignorant orange kool-aide drinking fans and not the intelligent fans that watch more than 12-13 games a year) have claimed, is still naive. Say what you will about me, but to call me out as a fan basher only highlights your own insecurities. Guess you'd like this site to stay as dumbed-down as KNS' coverage of UT sports.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Haha, there ya go! You've basically admitted that you are afraid of intelligent debate, and are unwilling to attempt trying it. Sorry if I actually know the plays that are run with out some play-by-play guy calling it on offense/defense, but no need to get hateful because of it. Some of us are actual fans of the game, and I apologize if that offends you.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would doubt that, as if you would've read the previous posts between me and the uninformed fan, you would see that this started because I pointed out how meaningless it is to flame an obvious Duck troll whose team is #7 in the country, and deservedly so. He flamed me for no apparent reason, thus the "flame war". If you've watched as much football as you claim, than you would understand how pointless it is to do that until the game has been played.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'll admit that I'm new to the site as far as posting, and I'm used to more informed forums. I'll try to lighten up a little on the kids if that pleases you. Agreed?

nakamine writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Since I am a Vols fan, I've heard worse than you know, since I do frequent more...intense forums to put it lightly. With that said, going to those forums keeps me level headed (and let me tell you the USC ordeal is the best thing to ever happen to a Vols fan posting on the same site as Trojans fans, haha) as far as the national scene goes. I expect some homerism here, but the level it goes to is almost belligerent, is it not? Whatever, as I'll certainly get used to it. Like I said, I will try to take it easy on the ones that do not have a clue. Like I've said numerous times, I hope an upset is imminent, and could make our season. Here's to that upset!

nakamine writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fantastic post sir, though I might have to deduct you a few points for the "fowl" pun, haha.

nakamine writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Haha, I get your point...I really do neither. Just figure out strengths and weaknesses and that's about it. The only time I really get into smack is a Bama/FL game, due to the high amount of friends I have that root for those teams. Both Indy games for my Titans fits in for the same reason as well (also for weeding out the lowest form of fan on the planet...the Indy/TN fans). I also hate gloating, so I feel you there as well.

nakamine writes:

Btw, that last line wasn't about trash talking in general, it was about feeding the trolls without something of substance to say, as you did 4 or so lines up.

CroKev writes:

in response to nakamine:

Btw, that last line wasn't about trash talking in general, it was about feeding the trolls without something of substance to say, as you did 4 or so lines up.

OK kid, I agree with most of your logic but I cannot ever see wanting to have you on "my side." You're a bit arrogant and you evidently think you're intelligent. You say you're a new poster so we'll go easy on you. But if you're going to hog this site with dozens of posts to each article, you're really going to make it unpleasant for everyone and quickly wear out your welcome. Temper yourself a bit and you'll do fine.

nakamine writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's a fine price for tix man. I'm thinking I'll try my chances on scalpers as usual. Your girl is pretty lucky to get out to two really good games in one week. Color me red, for sure.

nakamine writes:

in response to CroKev:

OK kid, I agree with most of your logic but I cannot ever see wanting to have you on "my side." You're a bit arrogant and you evidently think you're intelligent. You say you're a new poster so we'll go easy on you. But if you're going to hog this site with dozens of posts to each article, you're really going to make it unpleasant for everyone and quickly wear out your welcome. Temper yourself a bit and you'll do fine.

Honestly, I'm not that bad unless I'm provoked. I'm sure you're the same.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Damn bro...you're reading between lines that aren't there. Are you dead-set on proving me wrong on not feeding trolls? I can be arrogant at times, yes, but is there a reason for you to get all butt-hurt about it? I've stated a few times now that I'll tone it down on this forum bub, chill.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, since you can root for two teams IN THE SAME DIVISION...smh. That's my main problem with it, but I also understand that most NFL fans around here are pretty casual, so whatever. I like razzing my friends about it though. Come on now...not too late to join the CJ/VY bandwagon.

nakamine writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just re-read that, and if you're just an Indy fan, you're fine. It's the ones who "like" both the Titans and the Colts that irk me.

hufstedler02 writes:

in response to nakamine:

Not exactly, but I didn't expect to find so many ignorant so called fans. Being a homer is one thing, but being completely oblivious to the game of football is another. It's not too much to ask to see more intelligent and insightful posts on here, is it? When the best that the troll feeders have to say is , "SEC, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH", then it's time to stop feeding, yeah?

Then go back to the Oregon sites where they are having the same unintelligent conversations. The difference is that you will agree with them. Saturday will be here soon enough. That is when all of the talking will end. Someone will be happy and someone will be making excuses. I can't wait for Sunday morning. lol

skm writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you dingdong. they dedicated a whole article to just this subject. look at your front page :)

lay off your paper. they are firing editors and writers left and right because nobody reads it anymore.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to nakamine:

Just re-read that, and if you're just an Indy fan, you're fine. It's the ones who "like" both the Titans and the Colts that irk me.

As a Vol fan since the days before there was any in-state NFL team to root for, I think I am one among many who don't have a dyed-in-the-wool allegiance to any NFL team. Therefore, I am perfectly comfortable describing myself as one who "likes" both the Colts and the Titans. I must say I prefer the Colts because of Peyton and former coach Tony Dungy. I have great respect for Jeff Fisher as a coach but comparatively little for Adams as an owner. If the Colts can't win, I prefer the Titans to win. When Peyton retires, I might become more of a Titans fan than I am now, but no NFL team will EVER mean as much to me as the Vols.

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