Moore swept up by winning catch

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore is congratulated by teammates Jacob Gilliam, left, and DeMario Williams after he made the game winning catch in the second overtime of the game against Alabama Birmingham at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore is congratulated by teammates Jacob Gilliam, left, and DeMario Williams after he made the game winning catch in the second overtime of the game against Alabama Birmingham at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010.

Game Recap: UT vs UAB

Denarius Moore didn't have to make the long walk from the north end zone of Neyland Stadium to midfield for the postgame prayer.

A mass of his Tennessee teammates carried the senior receiver most of the way there.

"It was an awesome feeling, really," Moore said after his 25-yard game-winning catch from quarterback Matt Simms on the first play of the second overtime of UT's 32-29 win over UAB on Saturday afternoon.

"It's something that as a little kid, it's in everybody's dreams. It's something you grow up wanting to do, and I was blessed to be in that situation."

Along with a 13-yard score on the first drive for the Vols (2-2), it was Moore's fourth touchdown reception of the season and the lucky 13th of his career.

"I ran as fast as I could to go celebrate with him," sophomore receiver Zach Rogers said.

"It was a great throw by Matt and a great catch by D-Mo. I was just jumping up and down with him, I was just excited we won the game."

"I had to read the safety in order to fake him, like a pump almost," Moore said. "Then (Simms) threw it up there and gave me a chance."

What made it sweeter for Moore was that after he and the Vols' receivers struggled with drops most of the afternoon, Moore came up with a clutch catch in the most crucial moment.

"I was always taught that great players always forget bad things," Moore said.

"Coach ( Derek Dooley) early in the week was talking about F.I.D.O. all week, where it's 'Forget It and Drive On.'"

Added Rogers: "You're always going to have drops in the back of your head, but you've got to have a real short-term memory in this game."

Moore certainly won't soon forget about how it felt on his teammates' shoulders.

Ball Hawk: Prentiss Waggner scored a touchdown on an interception return for the second time this season with a 9-yard return in the second quarter.

"Prentiss has been solid, he really has," Dooley said.

"Him and (safety) Janzen (Jackson) have about 6,000 snaps already this season, so I'm worried about them holding up, but he's been good."

Waggner, who also had an interception return for a score against UT Martin, said he has progressed so much since struggling in a spot start against Ole Miss last season.

"I have become more vocal cause I'm pretty much an old guy in the secondary," he said.

"The game's slowed down a lot from that Ole Miss game. I know what to expect (now). It's night and day compared to (that)."

No Turnovers: Dooley said the Vols put more emphasis on staying turnover-free Saturday.

"I told 'em, 'If we don't turn the ball over we're going to win the game,' " he said. "Thank goodness we made that last play cause it held true. That was a real emphasis for us."

Simms agreed.

"It's crucial," Simms said. "We won the turnover battle, and that's why we won the game."

Injuries: Add tailback Tauren Poole (thigh), linebacker Herman Lathers (leg) and cornerback Art Evans to the growing list of banged up UT starters.

"I think we had nine starters out," Dooley said. "That hurt us, when you really add up all the guys. That's not an excuse, (UAB) whipped us."

Poole's absence had an obvious effect on UT's run game. David Oku (33 yards on eight carries) struggled, though freshman Rajion Neal (20 yards on four carries) flashed glimpses of his ability.

"It hurt, absolutely," Dooley said. "(Poole's) our best runner. Then our running game just went (to) nothing.

"We've got to show more confidence in Neal, probably should have run him a little more."

Former Austin-East High School standout Anthony Anderson saw plenty of action with Evans out and Eric Gordon struggling.

Bowling: Representatives from the Capital One Bowl attended Saturday's game.

Patrick Brown is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 27

FWBVol writes:

Yes, it was an ugly win, but it was a win the team can learn from and is a positive for a squad in need of a real positive.

Having nine starters out with an injury is unbelievable. I looked on the participation chart on the box and UAB played 36 players in addition to their starters and UT played just 27 guys before the starters.

That means special teams, offense and defense, only 49 guys got on the field for the Vols today. Two true freshmen started on the offensive line with a transfer sophomore.

This team will get better in time, but we have to get people healthy and develop more depth and experience.

October will be tough, but if we can get to November without any more major injuries we still have a chance of running the table against Memphis, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky. And right now Georgia isn't exactly striking fear into anybody.

It would take what amounts to a football miracle for us to run the table in the SEC, but if we can pull an upset against LSU or Alabama anything could happen.

It won't happen over night, but we will get better.

GoVols_16 writes:

Please, if you have talent, especially on the O-Line & D-Line, come to Tennessee. We need your help!!

VolGrad writes:

Simms needs to play smarter. Several passes he missed on just because he tried to bullet the pass in there instead of putting a little touch on it. Yeah, we had some drops as well. Missing several starters doesn't help the situation. But there is just no excuse for not converting 3rd downs. Our defense was on the field all day long.

ChattaVol1 writes:

I still believe this team will shock someone before the year is over. Since a win over Georgia won't be a shock, watch out LSU...

jumboliyah writes:

It is obvious to anyone not looking thru rose colored glasses that UAB had as much talent or more than we have...The coaches are doing a great job with what they have to work with...the talented players are so inexperienced they are struggling but will get there...we are 2 years away if we have two banner recruiting classes...as in top 5 classes...these kids have shown fight they just aren't outstanding football players...

jumboliyah writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Simms needs to play smarter. Several passes he missed on just because he tried to bullet the pass in there instead of putting a little touch on it. Yeah, we had some drops as well. Missing several starters doesn't help the situation. But there is just no excuse for not converting 3rd downs. Our defense was on the field all day long.

You are correct about Simms and air under the ball....but if you watch closely his hands are not large enough to allow him to throw the longer passes over 15 yds with touch because he cups the ball against his wrist and slings it basicly. He also is always a half second slow releasing the ball...allowing defenders to read his eyes and makes plays they would not make if he threw it more timely.

DiegoVol writes:

in response to jumboliyah:

You are correct about Simms and air under the ball....but if you watch closely his hands are not large enough to allow him to throw the longer passes over 15 yds with touch because he cups the ball against his wrist and slings it basicly. He also is always a half second slow releasing the ball...allowing defenders to read his eyes and makes plays they would not make if he threw it more timely.

When you don't have time to throw you tend to throw it quick. O line had horrible day..

He doesn't have small hands... He doesn't cup the ball to his wrist either.. What you are seeing is that his grip is choked up on the ball more than normal.

rollonbeagles writes:

I know that this is off topic and probably noone else cares but me but why does it appear that CDD is cursing constantly on the sideline? It doesn't take much of a lip-reader to see it. Could MH do anything about that? I would have thought a lawyer would have a better command of the English language.

Ironcity writes:

in response to rollonbeagles:

I know that this is off topic and probably noone else cares but me but why does it appear that CDD is cursing constantly on the sideline? It doesn't take much of a lip-reader to see it. Could MH do anything about that? I would have thought a lawyer would have a better command of the English language.

Have you watched UT play this year? Any coach would be cursing the quality of play we have displayed thus far.

Ironcity writes:

in response to jumboliyah:

It is obvious to anyone not looking thru rose colored glasses that UAB had as much talent or more than we have...The coaches are doing a great job with what they have to work with...the talented players are so inexperienced they are struggling but will get there...we are 2 years away if we have two banner recruiting classes...as in top 5 classes...these kids have shown fight they just aren't outstanding football players...

You make a great point. UT is two years away. The talent we have is not as strong or experienced as they need to be. UAB was bigger and stronger then UT and that's embarrassing. I do hope they don't run off Bray. I would like to see him get a legit shot when we get through October. Simms is a fine QB but he does not have that it factor that separates the good QB's from the one who make occasional great passes.

psychovol2 writes:

Moore deserved the ride for the circus catch. Neal definately needs more carries and Williams also if he's healthy. I thought we were loaded at running back before the season started. BB really hurt the program and DD was right not to release him. I respect DD for that.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to rollonbeagles:

I know that this is off topic and probably noone else cares but me but why does it appear that CDD is cursing constantly on the sideline? It doesn't take much of a lip-reader to see it. Could MH do anything about that? I would have thought a lawyer would have a better command of the English language.

If CDD weren't cursing, I would worry. MH needs to STFU and let CDD curse all he needs to so that he doesn't pull his hair out.

UTSmokey04 writes:

in response to DiegoVol:

When you don't have time to throw you tend to throw it quick. O line had horrible day..

He doesn't have small hands... He doesn't cup the ball to his wrist either.. What you are seeing is that his grip is choked up on the ball more than normal.

Read on Scout.com that Tyler Bray was almost inserted in the game. The stadium would have roared and put a charge back into the team. Matt Simms just misses too many open passes and throws too late.

rockytopjeff writes:

Didn't know UAB was going to have a chance to go to the Capital One Bowl. Otherwise, why were reps there?

mikethehistorystudent writes:

It's really good to see us get a passionate win. The guys needed that.

On FIDO (forget it drive on), I agree and disagree. Yes, on the field you can't let it bother you, but a person needs to learn from their mistakes. For example if Simms gets sacked he can't let that weigh him down on the next play, but he should consider getting rid of it faster, moving more in the pocket or throwing it away. Not to hate on Simms, I think he did ok for the situation he was in.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Matt Simms is the best we have at this point. Can't put a freshman in a tight game like we have had. I don't see him coming in until the Memphis game possibly.

99gator writes:

they carried him off the field?

for beating UAB.

it will be a long, long October.

RichmondKyVol writes:

in response to rollonbeagles:

I know that this is off topic and probably noone else cares but me but why does it appear that CDD is cursing constantly on the sideline? It doesn't take much of a lip-reader to see it. Could MH do anything about that? I would have thought a lawyer would have a better command of the English language.

I would fear for this team if Jesus was coaching it. Remember what happened after his remark about the fig tree that didn't bear fruit?

HtownVol writes:

in response to DiegoVol:

When you don't have time to throw you tend to throw it quick. O line had horrible day..

He doesn't have small hands... He doesn't cup the ball to his wrist either.. What you are seeing is that his grip is choked up on the ball more than normal.

You have not seen many plays if you have not seen the way Simms throws, or you were watching on your phone and cant see how Simms throws. Either way Freeofrags was absolutly correct. I have noticed on every pass Matt throws that he cups the ball against his wrist. He has a delivery unlike any I have ever seen. It may be why he has trouble putting air under his passes.

I am not knocking Simms, just pointing out his unusual delivery. He is as I have said "a game manager". No int's, meaning he didnt lose the game for us. And he obviously did win the game for us.

The real issue that UT has is Defense. I know we have no depth, but that was a horrible defensive showing. I would like to see more sacks. I was asking on most pass plays why the DBs were playing 10-15 yards off the receivers, leaving a open receiver on almost every play. And the RB swing play worked almost every time. I have liked Justin Wilcox and I understand he does not have much to work with but it was UAB. 540 yards is a performance that will have LSU licking their lips thinking about how many yards they will put up.

I really hope we practice kick coverage. The UAB game was ok coverage, but P Peterson is maybe the best returner in the country. He better be accounted for.

jcp201 writes:

in response to UTSmokey04:

Read on Scout.com that Tyler Bray was almost inserted in the game. The stadium would have roared and put a charge back into the team. Matt Simms just misses too many open passes and throws too late.

Tyler Bray needs to gain some more weight before he is stuck out there. I am constantly amazed how much battering Simms gets and keeps on going.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I was watching the QB's during practice before the game and Tyler Bray has a cannon for an arm..He was throwing it 40 yards at the flick of a wrist and was making it look very easy..I was hoping that he get some playing time to get some experience so we could see that cannon for an arm.

I was also watchin Nash Nance and he has a prety strong arm as well...I wouldn't mind seeing him get some snaps in November when our schedule eases up.

Simms didn't make any crucial mistakes during the game, like INT's or fumbles when being sacked..The dropped passes weren't his fault nor were the sacks because the OL was absolutely horrible.

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

Seriously...... New years day Bowl Reps.......Are they thinking of moving the Capital One Bowl to Knoxville? Cant offer any other explanation for them to be in town.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I was watching Bray during the practice before the game and he has a cannon for an arm...He was throwing 40-yard passes with the flick of a wrist..I was hoping that he could have gotten some playing time to get more experieince and show off his arm...Hopefully, he will be able to do that during November when the schedule eases up.

I also noticed Nash Nance practicing and he has a pretty strong arm...Hopefully, he will get a little playing time in November as well.

Matt Simms didn't make any crucial mistakes during the course of the game..The dropped passes were not his fault because he can't throw them and catch them too..The sacks weren't his fault either because the OL was absolutely horrendous and he can't throw on his back..But I think we will be fine with him as our QB as long as his receivers catch the ball and the OL protects him.

Another note about the game, the attendance was over 95,000 and it LOOKED over 95,000..There were some empty seats, mostly in the upperdeck..A few people said that there would be 30,000 empty seats for this game...The half price tickets definitely helped the attendance.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Sorry about the double post..I was going to make an addition but I guess I accidentally hit "post comment"....The second comment from me is the one I will stick with.

gobigo00 writes:

Maybe I'm being harsh but I thought carrying D-Mo off the field like "Rudy" or Phillip Fulmer after the National Championship in 98 was a bit much. Does anybody know if they broke open the champagne in the locker room after the HUGE double overtime win against UAB where if not for a pick 6 and a kicker that was 0 for 5 in the fouth the vols would have been down by 3 scores in the 4th. Come on guys! Everybody that I watched the ball game with was laughing at the site at the end of the game. Oh how things have changed. Used to be such a proud program. At least proud enough to run off the field when you went scoreless in the second half until overtime against a UAB. Don't know about yall but I'm stoked to see what they do against Memphis. GUYS GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ARSES AND KICK SOME!

gobigo00 writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe beat Memphis and by a complete blunder possibly Vandy. At best we go
4-8. More likely 3-9. We got a long time before Tennessee is a contender again. I'm afraid with all the parody in college footbal it may never happen.

go_VOLS_13 writes:

in response to gobigo00:

Maybe I'm being harsh but I thought carrying D-Mo off the field like "Rudy" or Phillip Fulmer after the National Championship in 98 was a bit much. Does anybody know if they broke open the champagne in the locker room after the HUGE double overtime win against UAB where if not for a pick 6 and a kicker that was 0 for 5 in the fouth the vols would have been down by 3 scores in the 4th. Come on guys! Everybody that I watched the ball game with was laughing at the site at the end of the game. Oh how things have changed. Used to be such a proud program. At least proud enough to run off the field when you went scoreless in the second half until overtime against a UAB. Don't know about yall but I'm stoked to see what they do against Memphis. GUYS GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ARSES AND KICK SOME!

When I first saw them carrying off Moore I was a little shocked too. I'll admit that a win in double OT against UAB is not normally something that I would expect the Vols to be so excited about, HOWEVER considering that in the past 3+ years it seemed like most of the players and coaches were zombies on the sidelines and you could hardly get a reaction out of anybody, let them have their celebration! I'm glad to see the support and appreciation among the players and to see that there is life in them. I was proud of Moore and after watching the DD show Sunday I'm glad they did it.

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