Vols coach Derek Dooley talks after practice at Neyland Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 9
Rushing Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD-Long) – Tauren Poole 5-24-0-15; Rajion Neal 3-21-0-10; Marlin Lane 6-14-0-5; Deanthonie Summerhill 4-14-0-12; Da’Rick Rogers 1-9-0-9; Jaron Toney 3-5-0-4.
Passing Leaders (Att.-Comp.-Int.-Yds.-TD-Long) – Tyler Bray 29-13-0-165-2-30; Matt Simms 12-3-1-34-1-15; Justin Worley 16-7-0-45-0-15.
Receiving Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD-Long) – Da’Rick Rogers 6-77-1-19; Tauren Poole 4-47-0-17; Zach Rogers 3-34-1-15; Justin Hunter 2-35-1-30; Tyler Drummer 2-8-0-11; Dakota Summers 1-16-0-16; Matt Milton 1-15-0-15.
Defensive Leaders – Austin Johnson 8 tackles; Raiques Crump 4 tackles; Curt Maggitt 3 tackles, 1 QB hurry; Christian Harris 3 tackles, 1 TFL (-1); Shane Reveiz 3 tackles; Janzen Jackson 2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 QB hurry; Jordan Williams 2 tackles, 2 QB hurries; A.J. Johnson 2 tackles, 1 TFL (-1); Brent Brewer 2 tackles, 1 PBU; Willie Bohannon 2 tackles, 1 QB hurry; Eric Gordon 2 tackles, 1 forced fumble; Naz Oliver 2 tackles, 1 PBU; Pat Martin 2 tackles, 1 TFL (-3), 1 PBU; Byron Moore 2 tackles; Brian Randolph 2 tackles; Steven Fowlkes 1 tackle, 3 QB hurries; Justin Coleman 1 tackle, 1 PBU, 1 interception (19 yards); Joseph Ayres 1 sack (-6); Jacques Smith 0.5 sack (-2), 1 forced fumble, 1 QB hurry; Marlon Walls 2 QB hurries, 0.5 sack (-2).
Field Goal Leaders -- Michael Palardy 1-of-3, long 37; Chip Rhome 1-of-2, long 36.
Punting (No.-Avg.-Long) -- Matt Darr 4-41.0-47; Michael Palardy 3-38.0-42.
Tennessee seems to have all the pieces needed for a sporty ride on offense.
The engine still appears to need a little tuning.
The Vols didn't exactly blow out any tires and break down on the side of the road during Tuesday's opening scrimmage of camp at Neyland Stadium. But after the closed workout wrapped up, Derek Dooley indicated it might have sputtered to a start.
"You're not going to be all oiled up in Scrimmage One, but it doesn't mean you sit there and think it's OK," the UT coach said. "I guess we all expect us to be oiled up. I was probably disappointed in the offensive chemistry, the tempo — it's not something you can really say it's one thing. It just wasn't working, they weren't working together.
"This was a lot better than the first scrimmage last year, but it doesn't make me happy."
The Vols did some things that could have produced smiles offensively, including a couple touchdown passes from Tyler Bray, a steady effort from running back Tauren Poole and another busy performance for Da'Rick Rogers catching the football.
But despite singling out a couple individual efforts and offering some praise for the defense, Dooley focused much more on the struggles to get the offense up to speed. And he wasn't the only one walking off the field who noticed that the attack had some trouble finding the ignition.
"I mean, we've still got a lot of stuff we've got to work on, getting lined up in the right formation, getting the play ran, line blocking, running backs checking down, me making the right reads," Bray said. "We've got a lot of stuff to work on.
"It was OK, but it's been better. It's still a scrimmage, you're still going to have alignment problems, throwing the balls inaccurate. At the end of the day, we'll be fine. Not the best scrimmage we've had, but it's also not the worst."
Bray in particular was dramatically improved on the stats sheet from his last live action in Neyland Stadium at the Orange and White Game in April, though his 13-for-29 passing effort for 165 yards with two touchdowns, according to stats provided by UT, also wouldn't qualify as his finest outing.
With an offensive line returning virtually intact along with a veteran running back and two highly regarded returning receivers for Bray to work with, the collective talent on hand has produced some expectations for the sophomore quarterback to lead a higher-oc
tane attack this fall. One scrimmage doesn't figure to change that much regardless of the sluggish start, especially since there's nearly a month left for the Vols to work out any kinks.
Even with some inconsistency, UT still had Rogers leading the team with six catches for 77 yards with a touchdown.
Poole was a factor in the passing game, making four grabs for 47 yards to go with four carries for 24. And Zach Rogers and Justin Hunter both chipped in touchdowns, with Hunter picking up where he left off a year ago with the longest play of the scrimmage with a 30-yard reception.
"This is what I've been saying — we've got to get command, consistency, master the offense," Dooley said. "They looked like 11 guys out there, and everybody with a head on a swivel and there wasn't a lot of command coming from the quarterback. ... We've got to keep working, still early, still young, and nobody is frustrated or down or disappointed. We've just got a lot of work to do.
"Did we make some plays? Yeah. Did Poole make some good plays? Yeah. Did Tyler make some good throws? Yeah. But we weren't revving up."
That doesn't appear to mean the engine needs an overhaul after one scrimmage.
Apparently the Vols are just in need of a little oil.