Moore is enough: UT avoids disaster in double OT

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore makes the game winning catch in the end zone during second overtime of the game against Alabama Birmingham at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010.  The Vols defeated the Blazers 32-29.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore makes the game winning catch in the end zone during second overtime of the game against Alabama Birmingham at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. The Vols defeated the Blazers 32-29.

Game Recap: UT vs UAB

Derek Dooley had a pretty good idea what he was going to find when he studied the videotape of Tennessee's latest outing. He wasn't looking forward to it.

"Here's what I'm going to see,'' Dooley predicted Saturday.

"We didn't protect very well, we didn't run good routes and we didn't throw it very well.''

But don't give up on the tape until the last scene:

Denarius Moore being carried on the shoulders of his teammates after a game-winning touchdown catch in double overtime.

Tennessee, a 14-point favorite, avoided disaster, snatching a 32-29 victory back from UAB at Neyland Stadium before a crowd generously announced at 95,183.

On the final play, the Vols did protect well enough. Quarterback Matt Simms threw a nice ball into the end zone.

And on a day that will not advance UT's reputation as "Wide Receiver U,' Moore made a terrific catch of the 25-yard pass to end the game and improve Tennessee's overtime record to 9-2.

Acknowledging that the Vols (2-2) didn't do much of anything well in the process of blowing a 23-7 halftime lead, Dooley nevertheless left the stadium a grateful man.

"I've got a policy,'' he said. "I'm never not going to celebrate a win.

"They're hard to come by.''

They're going to get even harder to come by in October. The Vols play four of their next five games away from home and probably won't be favored in any of them until a Nov. 6 visit to Memphis.

Letting the Blazers (1-3) get out of town with the upset would have been a catastrophic blow to a young Tennessee team's confidence.

The Vols took a 23-7 lead into intermission thanks to Prentiss Waggner's 9-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:49 left in the half.

But UAB dominated the second half, tying the score 23-23 on David Isabelle's 6-yard TD scamper with 9:12 to play.

The Blazers even had a chance to win in regulation, but Josh Zahn's 54-yard field-goal try with 38 seconds to play was wide.

No surprise, there. Zahn missed all five field goals in regulation.

UAB's offense torched Tennessee for 544 yards - the Vols countered with a modest 287.

"It was pretty obvious to see we were hurting ourselves consistently,'' said Simms of the offense.

"But you've got to give them credit. They played their tails off.''

Simms started well, hitting Moore with a 13-yard touchdown and Zach Rogers with a 72-yard score, all in the first quarter.

The Vols' offense produced nothing else, other than getting Daniel Lincoln close enough for a 47-yard field-goal early in the second quarter.

"We went into a funk for a real long time,'' Dooley lamented.

While UT's receivers were plagued by dropped passes, their UAB counterparts repeatedly beat Tennessee defenders in one-on-one battles.

Mike Jones whipped cornerback Anthony Anderson for a 52-yard TD in the first quarter and Frantrell Forrest did the same to Eric Gordon on a 27-yard TD in the third quarter.

Then Isabelle scored and the Blazers converted their second consecutive two-point conversion.

Tennessee's lead had vanished and a blocked extra-point kick after Waggner's touchdown suddenly loomed large.

The Vols hoped to get Lincoln close enough for a game-winning field-goal try in the final seconds of regulation but it was too much to ask.

A Luke Stocker catch at the UAB 42 opened the door a crack but Simms was sacked on consecutive plays to end regulation.

UAB won the toss and elected to go on defense.

UT advanced for a third-and-1 at the UAB 16, but a false-start penalty converted the scenario to third-and-6. Lincoln bailed his team out with a 40-yard field goal to go to 7-of-7 on the season.

UAB tied it 26-26 when Zahn finally hit, from 35 yards, and it was on to the second overtime.

The Blazers got the ball first and Tennessee gave up one first down, then held. Zahn hit from 21 yards for a 29-26 lead.

Tennessee trotted out the offense to start at the 25.

On first down, Simms dropped back and threw a strike that Moore hauled in behind two defenders and when he landed in bounds the game was over.

"It was a great play,'' said Dooley.

"It's not like we were moving the ball where we could be methodical. So we took a shot.

"It was a great call by Jim (Chaney, UT's offensive coordinator).

"He didn't want to call any more plays. He was exhausted.''

Simms said Moore was his first read on the play.

"We came off the play-action and the safety was flat-footed for a split second and that was all the time I needed to make my decision.

"I just tried to put it in a place where he could go up and get it.''

And that's what he did.

Simms was 19-of-34 passing for 245 yards. He didn't throw any interceptions a week after giving up two to Florida.

He was sacked five times behind an offensive line that often played three freshmen and two sophomores.

The running game was a no-show. Starter Tauren Poole was knocked out of the game early and David Oku managed only 33 net yards on eight carries.

UAB ran 92 offensive plays to Tennessee's 61. The Vols punted nine times.

"A win's a win,'' said Simms. "We didn't execute the way we wanted to . . . but we survived.''

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

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

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 60

98memories writes:

We used to just reload. I have to come to the realization we're rebuilding. Ugly play on both ends.

optimisticfan writes:

Now to next week. I wonder how our boys will handle the road. I think this is a big win, mainly because, the opposite surely would have meant a nightmare of a season we still are going to have to work hard to avoid. Still, congrats on a win won with special teams and heart.

mdvol writes:

Take the WIN! Texas got drilled today. Penn State almost lost at home to Temple. Toledo beat Purdue. And Georgia......is Georgia.

Our QB threw for 250 against Florida and over 300 today with no INT's and 3 TD's. Stood in there better than ever.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
We will upset Alabama in Neyland.
Tear down the goal posts and carry Dooley off the field.

SummittsCourt writes:

Didn't play well, but still won. Enough said.

jimvolfan writes:

I'll take the W. Anyone who thought this season was going to be anything but ugly has been into the orange koolaid. That said, c'mon Vols, surprise me with a good showing the rest of the year!!!

olozbal#646632 writes:

Man, I'm trying to be positive but I've got a beef with the game plan today. I get we're thin, I get we're rebuilding, but I don't get the game plan and coaching.

Anybody else screaming at the tv when they had three receivers at the top of the screen and two DB's (one 12 yards away) and a linebacker who runs a 5.2 40 supposedly covering? Horrible.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Observation:
there are two ways to win, Bama's way and UF's way.

Bama's way is run the ball, play tough D. UF's is to be more finesse.

We used to play more like UF; I think we are headed to a Bama style. This is out of necessity. The SEC is NOT a QB conference. It's all about running backs, linemen, and linebackers.

Let's see how CDD approaches things; my guess?? He'll recruit those LB's and offensive linemen 24/7.

volfan4life1998 writes:

HAHAHA @ "Simms said Moore was the first read."

Na sh*t???!!! Simms only makes one read every play. He knows where he going with the ball in the huddle. Simms needs to be benched sooner than later.

Slystone writes:

It will be interesting to see how the Vols do over the next 4 games. Wish them well,but I see them struggling to win the next 4. Next win maynot be until they roll into Memphis.

Vols1998 writes:

As a fan I questioned some of the defensive alignments. I'm not a coach, so, why was UT giving UAB so many catches?

I was frustrated by the obvious issues of running the same plays they do in practices.

This really brought everything to reality, Freshmen and first time starters. We are going to see a lot of this type of play this year.

I love my Vols, but Dang, this is hard to watch.

GBO!!

renegade37918 writes:

this is the future of tennessee football.. until the coaches realize that you need a qb that can run the ball if needed or run a wildcat. everyone knows our game plan pass pass pass

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

A few stats jump off the page:
UT Offense giving up 5 sacks
UT Defense had no sacks on a team that threw the ball alot
Bright Side; Field Goal kicking is looking up
Past that, call it what you want but do't expect a lot out of this team...also, Memphis maybe the gottcha game--remeber Peyton Manning.

mdvol writes:

in response to mdvol:

Take the WIN! Texas got drilled today. Penn State almost lost at home to Temple. Toledo beat Purdue. And Georgia......is Georgia.

Our QB threw for 250 against Florida and over 300 today with no INT's and 3 TD's. Stood in there better than ever.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
We will upset Alabama in Neyland.
Tear down the goal posts and carry Dooley off the field.

And Georgia.....is Georgia. Also known as 0-3 in the SEC.

Digital5000 writes:

I dont see how we cant stop a swing pass or a bubble screen. I bet they ran a variation of the two 30 times and we had no answer. That was embarrising.

Also, why can we not run the ball on UAB???

I cant wait for that AL win MDVOL. Have you ever seen AL play? Im on drugs, but you sir take the cake.

-Enjoy Yourselves; that was terrible

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

We are back to the rebuilding job Johnny Majors had to do after Bill Battle in 1977

ncvol17 writes:

The Dooley tv show should only be 10 minutes long this week. The other 50 minutes can be highlights of the Halloween movie series as October will be a UT nightmare. Horribly sad but sadly true.

Volencheaters writes:

How did Tyler Bray look in mop up duty? You guys hoped he would get some throws in so daddys boy can have a seat. That was wishfull thinking.

fshnhol writes:

in response to renegade37918:

this is the future of tennessee football.. until the coaches realize that you need a qb that can run the ball if needed or run a wildcat. everyone knows our game plan pass pass pass

I agree totally!!! We need a qb that is fast and can scramble under pressure. I understand this is a rebuilding year but this is painful to watch!!!

jandjhome#228397 writes:

We shall overcome but it is going to be longer than most of us thought. Memphis, Vandy, Kentucky and Ole Miss are certainally not givens.

VolO writes:

It's gonna be a long season. I will enjoy the highs as much as possible, 'cause I expect alot of lows.GBO!

allntl1#565211 writes:

Wow, at least it was not as bad as the Wyoming game a few years back.

britt writes:

Ill take an ugly win over a moral victory loss anyday.

Southland writes:

2-6 by the end of Oct. still holding onto a 6-6 record which will be a step in the right direction. No way we beat Bama. We will play LSU pretty good. We could get Georgia if we had them at home but they will be desperate for a win by the time we get there. SC is a lot better team than we are. I am a Dooley fan as a person. I honestly dont know how well he is doing as a coach. UAB came to play today. Our boys didnt which may be the boys or the coaches or both. I cant figure it out. I hate we are in the shape we are in but we will not change overnight. It may take longer than two or three years. I hope Dooley is the right man for the job. I hate for us to make the mistake of hiring another sleeze ball with a bunch of crooks as his assistants. We should be above that

randyarnold writes:

Here is hoping this young team works to get better and doesn't quit when facing adversity. The next four games may be difficult to watch, but it isn't a round ball so maybe these guys can get a lucky bounce. Six wins would be a minor miracle (and maybe a trip to Shreveport).

Loud_Proud writes:

in response to Volencheaters:

How did Tyler Bray look in mop up duty? You guys hoped he would get some throws in so daddys boy can have a seat. That was wishfull thinking.

Thank you for that comment. These fans that want to see Bray obviously didn't pay for the PPV game i did at the first of the season, and see the tyler bray that i did. I'll tell ya, i am a long time Tennessee fan, never strayed and never will, but some UT fans i just dont understand..damn.

516milesfromUT writes:

Things could be worse for us. We could be Georgia you know. A wins a win!

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

Observation:
there are two ways to win, Bama's way and UF's way.

Bama's way is run the ball, play tough D. UF's is to be more finesse.

We used to play more like UF; I think we are headed to a Bama style. This is out of necessity. The SEC is NOT a QB conference. It's all about running backs, linemen, and linebackers.

Let's see how CDD approaches things; my guess?? He'll recruit those LB's and offensive linemen 24/7.

Interesting observation. Given a choice, smack em in the face and run the darn ball has it's appeal. I look forward to seeing that from our Vols once again.

516milesfromUT writes:

in response to britt:

Ill take an ugly win over a moral victory loss anyday.

TRUE

faithfulfan writes:

It will take time to rebuild, but it will be done. You can't go through what the football problem has gone through the past previous years and it not have to rebuild. Positive is the word.

eduardo writes:

How many times on D were we running them down from behind??? Has anyone here ever seen our D laying on the ground on every play like they were???? This is bad...only gonna get worse this year and next!!!

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to olozbal#646632:

Man, I'm trying to be positive but I've got a beef with the game plan today. I get we're thin, I get we're rebuilding, but I don't get the game plan and coaching.

Anybody else screaming at the tv when they had three receivers at the top of the screen and two DB's (one 12 yards away) and a linebacker who runs a 5.2 40 supposedly covering? Horrible.

I have to admit, I screamed too. I trust in the coaches because they know more about the players than me. One thing I do hope is that the Vols improve their tackling. Reveiz appears to be the most consistent tackler on the team. Too many players are trying to make knockout hits they hope will be on Sportscenter.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to mdvol:

Take the WIN! Texas got drilled today. Penn State almost lost at home to Temple. Toledo beat Purdue. And Georgia......is Georgia.

Our QB threw for 250 against Florida and over 300 today with no INT's and 3 TD's. Stood in there better than ever.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
We will upset Alabama in Neyland.
Tear down the goal posts and carry Dooley off the field.

Dream on. Take off those orange colored glasses and get realistic. We are a very thin, young team. Surely you can realize that by now.

BubbaJ writes:

in response to allVolinGA:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All Vol, bet you have never played a down. Unless you can see the QB's eyes, and I doubt you can from your rocker, you don't have a clue.

WinkeyVol writes:

Where's the report card? I want to see who got an "A"

SummittsCourt writes:

Hey, Georgia is 0-3 in the SEC, Va Tech lost to James Madison, Ole Miss lost to Jacksonville St so beating UAB isn't as bad as some seem to think.

Jimslaw writes:

A win is a win, but good night Simms is horrible, the line can't block for phooey, the defense couldn't tackle a scarecrow and if that poor guy kicking for UAB made one or two of those fieldgoals we would have lost. Also why cant we play more than one or two quarters is the conditioning that bad. It all comes down to execution, and we suck at it. You can blame it on lack of depth or inexperience but I don't buy into that. Why did we throw the ball that much we should have pounded the ball while we had a lead but instead were dropping back throwing phooey.Jacques Smith looked good when he got in

leedsvol2007 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Take the WIN! Texas got drilled today. Penn State almost lost at home to Temple. Toledo beat Purdue. And Georgia......is Georgia.

Our QB threw for 250 against Florida and over 300 today with no INT's and 3 TD's. Stood in there better than ever.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
We will upset Alabama in Neyland.
Tear down the goal posts and carry Dooley off the field.

I appreciate your enthusiasm the reality is a little different.

UAB was better at quarterback, wide receiver and running back than us. They have a weak defense and stopped us cold.
I appreciate the pluck and guts our kids showed but the reality is we were very lucky to win this one.

When we face Alabama they will be better than us at virtually every position and have much better depth.

Their offensive line against our defensive tackles is going to be a huge miss-match with the exception of Montario Hughes.

We will have to play A+ and they will have to play C- for us to have a chance.

GoVols!

spacehistorian writes:

I just checked in on the comments being made about the UGA loss on the ajc.com website & they are in suicide mode after their lackluster loss in Starkville. Their comments read a lot like ours did back when Fulmer & Clawson led us to a very disappointing season highlighted by a loss to Wyoming. I would say Richt is on a very hot seat which is good for us as that will help Dooley & his staff recruit some of that great talent in Georgia. Today's game was rough to watch in the 2nd Half but a win is a win. This will be the hardest October for the Vols in a long time as it will be difficult to find a win over the next 4 games. We always seem to show up to play between the hedges in Athens and the way UGA looked tonight we may have our best chance there. Upsetting Alabama would take a miracle but after seeing UCLA come into Austin and run over the Longhorns, it could happen but just not likely. SC is hard to figure out as they can look great & awful all in one drive. LSU looks to be a grind it out kind of team which means we won't get them off the field on 3rd down. Who knew we would be looking forward to a trip to Memphis so much? Better years are ahead but we just have to survive this one the best we can. GBO!

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to WinkeyVol:

Where's the report card? I want to see who got an "A"

UAB big O and big D both got a big a+ and our waterboy as he was really out there fast...

OrangePsyched writes:

Glad to here CDD say that we should have run Neal more today. This guy has the power of Poole and more speed than Oku who is too much finesse. Georgia is definitely beatable and next weeks game at LSU seems winnable. They don't look too good against a WVU team that should have lost to Marshall. Not claiming a victory but just saying if could happen if everything falls into place. Simms now has 6 TD's against 3 INT's. 2-1 ratio is not too bad. Always a true believer. ROCKY TOP!

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Hey, Georgia is 0-3 in the SEC, Va Tech lost to James Madison, Ole Miss lost to Jacksonville St so beating UAB isn't as bad as some seem to think.

We don't compare ourselves to Georgia or Ole Miss at Knoxville. Since 1928, we've compared ourselves to ALABAMA, and right now, the comparison doesn't look good at all.

Tennessee football and the nation's economy are on parallel paths. We've been through this before, in the 1970s. We will survive and thrive again, but it's going to take awhile.

In the meantime, I agree that we must be happy regarding all victories.

memphis_vol_fan writes:

Take the W folks. I know it was painful to watch; but we'll take 'em any way we can considering the shape this program is in right now.

Btw, in case some of y'all have forgotten, Nick Saban in his 1st year at LSU (2000) lost to UAB. The very next week they upset the Vols in OT. I'm not saying we return the favor next week...but atleast were not 1-3 like UGA and Notre Dame.

silvervolff#243348 (Inactive) writes:

UAB was good, just as advertised. I would love to have Forrest playing for UT.
A few weeks back, there was an article here about a hard-hitting freshman in the secondary (the recievers sounded a little scared of him). I want to check his numbers after 4 games. Can anyone tell me who he is?

516milesfromUT writes:

in response to leedsvol2007:

I appreciate your enthusiasm the reality is a little different.

UAB was better at quarterback, wide receiver and running back than us. They have a weak defense and stopped us cold.
I appreciate the pluck and guts our kids showed but the reality is we were very lucky to win this one.

When we face Alabama they will be better than us at virtually every position and have much better depth.

Their offensive line against our defensive tackles is going to be a huge miss-match with the exception of Montario Hughes.

We will have to play A+ and they will have to play C- for us to have a chance.

GoVols!

I agree with both the enthusiasm & the reality part. BaBaBams's o-line and backs will punish our lack of depth. I feel ok about The Chokecocks,& Georgia though!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Volencheaters:

How did Tyler Bray look in mop up duty? You guys hoped he would get some throws in so daddys boy can have a seat. That was wishfull thinking.

How did KY look against UF? o wait nevermind

TKO writes:

I hope some OL players and some corners are recruited. This was a nightmare and UT woke up just in time.

oneshot writes:

in response to Slystone:

It will be interesting to see how the Vols do over the next 4 games. Wish them well,but I see them struggling to win the next 4. Next win maynot be until they roll into Memphis.

And maybe not then! October is going to be a long month for UT!

volfan1971 writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

UAB big O and big D both got a big a+ and our waterboy as he was really out there fast...

Now that was funny!! Need a little humour in the tough times.

psychovol2 writes:

in response to spacehistorian:

I just checked in on the comments being made about the UGA loss on the ajc.com website & they are in suicide mode after their lackluster loss in Starkville. Their comments read a lot like ours did back when Fulmer & Clawson led us to a very disappointing season highlighted by a loss to Wyoming. I would say Richt is on a very hot seat which is good for us as that will help Dooley & his staff recruit some of that great talent in Georgia. Today's game was rough to watch in the 2nd Half but a win is a win. This will be the hardest October for the Vols in a long time as it will be difficult to find a win over the next 4 games. We always seem to show up to play between the hedges in Athens and the way UGA looked tonight we may have our best chance there. Upsetting Alabama would take a miracle but after seeing UCLA come into Austin and run over the Longhorns, it could happen but just not likely. SC is hard to figure out as they can look great & awful all in one drive. LSU looks to be a grind it out kind of team which means we won't get them off the field on 3rd down. Who knew we would be looking forward to a trip to Memphis so much? Better years are ahead but we just have to survive this one the best we can. GBO!

Very intelligent post. Thanks for an honest assessment. Chief will saves Mile's butt next week and get a little payback on UT; however, I do give the Vols a chance against UGA. Nevertheless, November is going to be more interesting than most.

psychovol2 writes:

Moore's catch was awesome. Lincoln is money. Simm's can't get called for palming the ball in football. Cunningham is punting better this year. I like how the kickoffs come off of the southpaw's leg. DD's TV show is a major upgrade from, "I'll have to watch the tape" and "working like heck." I just wanted to point out some positives before I jump on the bandwaggon and cut my throat.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features