Adams: Enough ineptness to go around

John Adams

Game recap: UT vs. Florida

As the teams waited for play to resume late in the fourth quarter, two Florida offensive linemen extended their hands to Tennessee defensive tackle Gerald Williams.

I can only guess what the handshakes meant with five minutes to play in a game that was going Florida's way.

Perhaps the Gators were thanking the Vols for their abundance of third-down defensive breakdowns as well as those crucial turnovers, which helped hand Florida a 31-17 victory Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

Or maybe the players had developed a respectful kinship for one another over the course of a game that indicated these programs aren't as far apart as they used to be.

Never mind that Florida is ranked No. 10 in the country. Or that UT has given up a total of 79 points in back-to-back home losses for the first time in school history.

One team looked just as inept as the other for much of the afternoon.

At Florida, which has won two of the last four national championships, that's cause for panic. At UT, which has lost 15 of its last 28 games, that's called progress - be it ever so slight.

Imagine what most Florida teams of the last couple of decades would have done to a UT team that threw two interceptions, lost a fumble, yielded six sacks, rushed for only 29 yards, and got duped on a fake punt. That's what 59-20 games are made of in a rivalry that has been dominated by the Gators.

Signs were pointing toward another runaway late in the third quarter when the Gators drove for touchdowns on consecutive possessions to take a two-touchdown lead. But these aren't your typical Gators. They aren't the Oregon Ducks, either.

Oregon scored 45 unanswered points in a 48-13 victory over UT a week earlier. Florida's offense is so fraught with glitches, 45 points is beyond it at this juncture.

UT's resilience also was a factor in minimizing Florida's surge. A week earlier, the Vols wilted when Oregon turned up the heat. They fought back against the Gators, cutting the lead to seven points early in the fourth quarter.

But don't make too much of that - for a couple of reasons.

Despite what the rankings might say, Florida hardly resembles a top-10 team. Its offense is stumbling around like you have rarely seen since Steve Spurrier got the Gators going in the early 1990s. And while their defense was seldom budged by UT's running game, it had flagrant breakdowns in the secondary, resulting in a couple of Matt Simms touchdown passes.

The Vols' shortcomings are even more apparent after the first two games. You knew going in about their limitations in talent, experience and depth. But their propensity for mistakes is just as much of an issue.

"We spit the ball out three times," UT coach Derek Dooley said of the turnovers. "We'll never win doing that."

He's right, of course. This team doesn't have enough talent to run away from the errors it committed against the Gators and in the second half against Oregon.

At times during the last two games, the Vols have played as though they could hold their own with most teams on their schedule. At other times, they have looked incapable of winning an SEC game.

That won't be a concern next Saturday. UAB, which is up next, is only a slight upgrade over UT Martin, which the Vols beat 50-0 in the season opener.

But after that comes four consecutive games against LSU, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

UT can't beat any of those teams the way it played the last two games.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284.

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Comments » 14

rootin4volz writes:

Dear John...YOU, sir, are ever so slight.

LaneBrains writes:

John:

We miss you! The team of course would be much better with top level coaches...

Monte, Ed and CLK

1Traveler writes:

Accurate assessment, John. The truth hurts, but I believe Dooley is the man to take Tennessee back to competitiveness.

GBO

Observer43 writes:

The only way to let KNS and their superiors know What a smart alec fool that Adams is, is to stop clicking om links that are by John Adams!

give_him_6 writes:

Thanks John for those insightful words of wisdom from such a great football knowledgeable writer. Again, you have managed to say very little while writing a lot. What would KNS do without you?? You putz

pms151 writes:

Don't forget your own ineptness. That is what really comes out daily.

TennVol01 writes:

Coach Dooley ... yesterdays game was a much improved one and I am proud of the team. But...why did you wear black when we played Oregon...and why did many of your assistants wear black against Florida?? We are the proud Orange and White ... not BLACK and a little orange. Get rid of the Kiffen black and return to UT's true colors. Better luck against UAB.

mercyseat writes:

I think you're wrong John Adams! We have the TALENT but lack experience in how we capitalize on it in a consistant manner.

buzz29 writes:

UT is low on talent, depth and experience. UF has great talent and depth but is low on experience. Inexperienced teams naturally make mistakes. Teams with better talent naturally have a better chance to overcome them. This is not an excuse to not cheer for UT. I cheered for them just as much in '88 as I did in '98. Dooley is the right choice to turn things around.

tenuhc writes:

You are a pathetic person Adams. you got mad at Fulmer and went on a personal attack until they fired him. He is not the coach anymore please leave the guy alone. He did more for Tennessee than about any coach in history. I for one appreciate what he did amd I like Dooley. I wish the sentinel would fire you today. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your arm pits. Oh wait you probably shave them.

Mansonlamps writes:

Most of you seem to think a columnist for the local paper is never supposed to criticize the Vols. Are you folks really that stupid? Do you understand he doesn't work for the University of Tennessee and is paid to write what he thinks? There's nothing in this column that doesn't ring true and all of you idiots were told how deficient this team was going into the season. Suck it up and quit blaming Adams for the pathetic state of affairs Fulmer, and to a lesser extent, Kiffin left the Vols.

nocleats writes:

Funny, Mr Adams has written articles all summer on Tennessee's lack of depth, lack of talent, and lack of experience. Now he acts surprised that they are loosing to top twenty teams.

wycoller writes:

Adamns has a blazing talent for stating the obvious.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

I have to agree...Florida will control the SEC east til doomsday...they have the talent almost every year to win it all...they may hve a down year one every 10 years...Vols might beat them at that time...That goes for the rest of the SEC too. It galls Vol fan like me think this way..but the truth is the truth. The truth is hard to accept at times.

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