Plenty for Vols to celebrate after Tyler Bray's return

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Instead of heading directly to the locker room, Tyler Bray jogged right down his familiar path to the family section beyond the north end zone.

The last time he made his way there in pads he was breaking the news about his broken thumb. This time he came bearing a huge smile and enough energy to jump into the stands and continue celebrating his return.

The Tennessee quarterback didn't directly trigger the postgame party himself in a 27-21 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium, but the Vols might not have put themselves in position for an overtime victory if not for Bray.

And even without his best stuff in the first game since breaking his thumb more than a month ago, his family wasn't the only group wrapping their arms around Bray and enjoying his return.

"It was a boost, a big one," sophomore Rajion Neal said. "Definitely everybody feels more comfortable with him, he's comfortable with this offense, knows what is going on, and everybody feels a little more comfortable having him out there. It brought great security and comfort to everybody.

"He never complained

about (the pain). You know, Bray does what's asked of him and he's going to keep balling. He's a true ballplayer. He was out there working and fighting through whatever he may have been going through — for us, this team, the seniors, coaches, the fans, everybody."

They were all soaking it in together after the win was confirmed by a controversial review, which officially kept the Vols (5-6, 1-6 SEC) alive in the chase for a bowl bid and set up a postseason play-in game for them at Kentucky (4-7, 1-6) on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.). The overtime drama also might have overshadowed a gritty rally Bray led in the fourth quarter that was capped with a nice throw to Da'Rick Rogers and an even better catch to tie the game and force the extra session.

The Vols might not have been in that difficult situation if not for a couple costly interceptions from Bray, who clearly was not at full strength and was nowhere near as accurate as he was before the injury. And while he did deliver a pair of touchdowns to Rogers among the 16 completions in 33 attempts for 189 yards, the lift he provided seem to go well beyond the stat sheet.

"Just because he's an older guy and he has his presence there, he knows those guys, how to corral those guys when they're getting a little mopey," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "It doesn't mean the other guys can't, but he's kind of been their guy. So, I do think it helps.

"Of course, he's proven it out there that he can find a way to win."

The Vols now need just one more win to clinch bowl eligibility and finish off another late surge to extend the season.

Just like the run they staged a year ago, Bray is squarely in the middle of it and showing up again right on time.

"I mean, our team stuck in there, the defense played one hell of a game — they've been doing that for the last couple weeks," Bray said. "If they just keep doing that and the offense steps it up, we're going to win a lot of ballgames.

"The guys did seem dead the last couple weeks, but that's not just about me. We had two games left, had to win both games. We won one (Saturday), and now we've got to win one more."

If they get it, Bray might have to blaze a new trail to celebrate when it's over. But the party might be even bigger.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 59

writer#358485 writes:

Hope Bray, like Peyton, stays for his senior year. If he does, we're going to be very good by then! Go Vols!

volsreign writes:

I think it was Jimmy Hyams who said on his radio show this morning that that Bray admitted to intentionally trying to take the guy's knee out when he committed the personal foul during the 100 yard interception return. He also said he may be suspended for part of the Kentucky game. Any truth to this?

OrangePsyched writes:

Skinniest kid on the team may be the toughest..mentally and physically. TB is adding to his folklore. Would like to see more of Clear or Downs. Our present TE is regressing. UK will really concentrate on shutting Rogers down. We need more options. VFL!

hueypilot writes:

in response to volsreign:

I think it was Jimmy Hyams who said on his radio show this morning that that Bray admitted to intentionally trying to take the guy's knee out when he committed the personal foul during the 100 yard interception return. He also said he may be suspended for part of the Kentucky game. Any truth to this?

that is all the talk on gabfest radio shows. Reportedly Bray said he tried to take a guy out with the block. If so Dooley needs to respond. I've got to wonder why the KNS media is not reporting this. The only mitigating circumstance, for me and I know not everyone will agree, is if it was in retaliation for the Vandy cheap shot against Mo Couch earlier in the game where a VU lineman deliberately went after Couch's knee from behind. Apparently he had done this before, that this was a lot of the reason for the Franklin/Ga coach confrontation, that Dooley and coaches had warned the players that Vandy liked to take cheap shots and to keep their heads on a swivel all the way through the whistle. I know some won't agree with giving Bray a pass even if it was his motivation to retaliate, but it doesn't bother me. If he just decided to take a guy out, then he needs tobe disciplined.

rabidvol1998 writes:

in response to hueypilot:

that is all the talk on gabfest radio shows. Reportedly Bray said he tried to take a guy out with the block. If so Dooley needs to respond. I've got to wonder why the KNS media is not reporting this. The only mitigating circumstance, for me and I know not everyone will agree, is if it was in retaliation for the Vandy cheap shot against Mo Couch earlier in the game where a VU lineman deliberately went after Couch's knee from behind. Apparently he had done this before, that this was a lot of the reason for the Franklin/Ga coach confrontation, that Dooley and coaches had warned the players that Vandy liked to take cheap shots and to keep their heads on a swivel all the way through the whistle. I know some won't agree with giving Bray a pass even if it was his motivation to retaliate, but it doesn't bother me. If he just decided to take a guy out, then he needs tobe disciplined.

I was watching Bray that whole play. The first thing I noticed was the Vandy players were taking shots at him since it was a live ball situation. He was 30 yards behind the play and two of them were hitting him. It looked to me like he just got tired of being hit and decided to deliver one himself. It was not dirty, more like ducking down when someone is running to hit you.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Skinniest kid on the team may be the toughest..mentally and physically. TB is adding to his folklore. Would like to see more of Clear or Downs. Our present TE is regressing. UK will really concentrate on shutting Rogers down. We need more options. VFL!

Bray bumps the level of performance up a notch for the whole team(kickers excluded). The team plays better when their ace is on the hill. And I totally agree about the toughness of Bray. On a pic he throws his body into a tackle and prevents the TD(if only for a play). And the hit on the other pic, not for me to decide but this kid ain't gonna take no junk from anyone. Best of luck Vols as we attempt to lengthen our streak against the kitties. I feel better already. GO VOLS!

UT_Fam writes:

FIRE JIM CHANEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is the worst coordinator for the Tennessee Vols. He is LANE KIFFIN'S BROTHER IN LAW!!!... And Lane Kiffin didn't want him and he Kiffin called the plays himself when he was here. JIM CHANEY IS NOT THE FUTURE HE HAS NEVER HAD SUCCESS ANYWHERE!!!! PLEASE FIRE HIM.

orange_glory writes:

in response to UT_Fam:

FIRE JIM CHANEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is the worst coordinator for the Tennessee Vols. He is LANE KIFFIN'S BROTHER IN LAW!!!... And Lane Kiffin didn't want him and he Kiffin called the plays himself when he was here. JIM CHANEY IS NOT THE FUTURE HE HAS NEVER HAD SUCCESS ANYWHERE!!!! PLEASE FIRE HIM.

Jim Chaney is not Lane Kiffin's brother in law. Jim Chaney did have success at Purdue with Drew Brees. I think his play calling will improve when he has all the pieces(everyone healthy)to his play calling puzzle.

BolivrBob writes:

Felt good being a Vol this weekend. A victory. Two plays in the "Best Play" top 10. Promos for tonight's BB game . It may be short lived, but I will enjoy it while I can.

volsfan74 writes:

in response to UT_Fam:

FIRE JIM CHANEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is the worst coordinator for the Tennessee Vols. He is LANE KIFFIN'S BROTHER IN LAW!!!... And Lane Kiffin didn't want him and he Kiffin called the plays himself when he was here. JIM CHANEY IS NOT THE FUTURE HE HAS NEVER HAD SUCCESS ANYWHERE!!!! PLEASE FIRE HIM.

Please tell me you're either being sarcastic or you are a troll? Chaney has done an excellent play calling under the circumstance. Plus I think he has REALLY developed Bray. I am concerned about our O-Line situation and if we make ANY changes thats where I would look. BUT I would give one more year there.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to UT_Fam:

FIRE JIM CHANEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is the worst coordinator for the Tennessee Vols. He is LANE KIFFIN'S BROTHER IN LAW!!!... And Lane Kiffin didn't want him and he Kiffin called the plays himself when he was here. JIM CHANEY IS NOT THE FUTURE HE HAS NEVER HAD SUCCESS ANYWHERE!!!! PLEASE FIRE HIM.

David Reaves was Kiffins brother in law. Reaves went on to the University of New Mexico after the Weasel snuck away in the middle of the night.

15_counting writes:

in response to writer#358485:

Hope Bray, like Peyton, stays for his senior year. If he does, we're going to be very good by then! Go Vols!

Beating Vandy in overtime don't exactly qualify you for the NFL nor does it require your name be mentioned along side Payton's. I'd say he will be around his senior year! Please name just one quality win he has had?

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to 15_counting:

Beating Vandy in overtime don't exactly qualify you for the NFL nor does it require your name be mentioned along side Payton's. I'd say he will be around his senior year! Please name just one quality win he has had?

proud alabubba fan since october 19, 2011.

roll turd roll.

RemembertheAlamo writes:

in response to 15_counting:

Beating Vandy in overtime don't exactly qualify you for the NFL nor does it require your name be mentioned along side Payton's. I'd say he will be around his senior year! Please name just one quality win he has had?

Not anyone mention Walter Payton at all. Are you sure you are a Tennessee Fan? Any true Tennesse Fan would know how to spell Peyton Manning's name! VFL

swingman4 writes:

in response to 15_counting:

Beating Vandy in overtime don't exactly qualify you for the NFL nor does it require your name be mentioned along side Payton's. I'd say he will be around his senior year! Please name just one quality win he has had?

Since Vandy was favored, I would say this past Saturday night..............

RemembertheAlamo writes:

in response to volsfan74:

Please tell me you're either being sarcastic or you are a troll? Chaney has done an excellent play calling under the circumstance. Plus I think he has REALLY developed Bray. I am concerned about our O-Line situation and if we make ANY changes thats where I would look. BUT I would give one more year there.

Please tell me you're being sarcastic or you are a troll? Chaney has done an excellent job, B...S... As stated by another poster yesterday: "After you QB has been out for 5 games and he completes his first pass, you then line him up at wide receiver", what kind of excellent play calling is that? Why did we have so many 3 and outs in the 2nd half for the last 5 or 6 ball games? O-Line Coach is the one that has done good for the situation. He took a line with only one player with experience last year and has develop them. You sure don't want to get rid of Harry Hiestand! VFL!

rockytn2jc writes:

Jim Chaney is an offensive genius. Did you forget how good our offense was last year!?.... We should hope someone doesn't pick him up, bc i doubt we need a new offensive coordinator. What we do need is someone 2 work on our kicking game!!!

flatrock writes:

in response to thicknthinvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well stated.

Volunatic writes:

in response to swingman4:

Since Vandy was favored, I would say this past Saturday night..............

Agreed. The Vandy win was good, and the Cincinnati win was good. Neither one was "great", but a couple of good wins are good when a team is in rebuilding mode like this one.
Hopefully the Vols beat Kentucky and then win another good one in the bowl game.

3volfan writes:

i saw the play with Bray trying to take out the vandy players knee. and i understand it may have been retaliation for them "taking cheap shots", BUT that is NO excuse. that was a very dirty play. coulda ended that kids career. what if someone did that to Bray? we wouldn't be defending him then. i say bench him against KY. and let worley lead the troops. there is no room for that nonsense. PERIOD

BigBadVol writes:

in response to 3volfan:

i saw the play with Bray trying to take out the vandy players knee. and i understand it may have been retaliation for them "taking cheap shots", BUT that is NO excuse. that was a very dirty play. coulda ended that kids career. what if someone did that to Bray? we wouldn't be defending him then. i say bench him against KY. and let worley lead the troops. there is no room for that nonsense. PERIOD

LOL! I think you need to change your panty liner.

OklaVOL writes:

in response to 3volfan:

i saw the play with Bray trying to take out the vandy players knee. and i understand it may have been retaliation for them "taking cheap shots", BUT that is NO excuse. that was a very dirty play. coulda ended that kids career. what if someone did that to Bray? we wouldn't be defending him then. i say bench him against KY. and let worley lead the troops. there is no room for that nonsense. PERIOD

Really, that's what you want? Until you're on the field and play every down, let the players and coaches make that call. You have no idea what it was about, if it really happened, or if he has been disciplined.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to volsreign:

I think it was Jimmy Hyams who said on his radio show this morning that that Bray admitted to intentionally trying to take the guy's knee out when he committed the personal foul during the 100 yard interception return. He also said he may be suspended for part of the Kentucky game. Any truth to this?

I think that is BS. Doubt the conference would suspend a player who wasn't tossed from the game. A flag was thrown, the opposing player wasn't hurt, done. It wasn't a clip, shot to the head, or a late hit - it was a chop block, something called on an O-linemen almost once per game in the SEC. No mention of it by the conference and no hint of any controversy surrounding the hit after the game. It was classless no doubt and I'm disappointed Bray would do such a thing, even moreso if he truly admitted he was trying to hurt the other guy. Still, highly unlikely he would be suspended by the conference for that. Dooley might suspend him for a quarter to send a message but I would doubt that too with a bowl on the line. I guess we'll see. Go Vols!!!

3volfan writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

LOL! I think you need to change your panty liner.

ha ha!!! period!! thats good! lol. just don't like dirty play though. that coulda really hurt that kid.

3volfan writes:

in response to OklaVOL:

Really, that's what you want? Until you're on the field and play every down, let the players and coaches make that call. You have no idea what it was about, if it really happened, or if he has been disciplined.

again...........what if it was bray that was taken out by a cheap shot. just sayin. you would want something done to the guy dishing it out. you gotta remember, alot of folks outside of Big Orange country, do not like the throat slashing phooey, from a guy who really hasn't beaten anybody to be throat slashing for anyway. much less taking cheap shots. i like the kid, and i luv his bravado, but stuff like saturday nite, and throat slashing has to stop. very bush league.

MemphisHog writes:

Congrats to the Vols for a good win. Nothing controversial about the ending, IMHO. Refs may have bypassed protocol, but if the goal is to get the call right, Vandy doesn't have a legitimate beef.

Vols will easily beat Kentucky this weekend and should go to a bowl on a good note.

I will wear orange and root for the Vols if everyone else on the board will promise to wear red and Call the Hogs Friday when we play LSU. We will need all the support we can get against the team with the worst fans in the SEC.

Biggie writes:

I just looked at the SOS...Tennessee is 2nd! We have played the #1,#2 and #3 team in the nation. That's half of our losses!
I feel pretty good about this staff and the players too. If we had the #57 schedule like Georgia did, we'd probably be 9-3

Volunatic writes:

in response to MemphisHog:

Congrats to the Vols for a good win. Nothing controversial about the ending, IMHO. Refs may have bypassed protocol, but if the goal is to get the call right, Vandy doesn't have a legitimate beef.

Vols will easily beat Kentucky this weekend and should go to a bowl on a good note.

I will wear orange and root for the Vols if everyone else on the board will promise to wear red and Call the Hogs Friday when we play LSU. We will need all the support we can get against the team with the worst fans in the SEC.

I don't think I own any red clothing, but I'll root for the Razorbacks-- they're my favorite team in the SEC W.
I may even give a "Woo Pig Sooie!" or two.
Best of luck to y'all. It will be very tough, but I think it is a winnable game for Arkansas.

MemphisHog writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I don't think I own any red clothing, but I'll root for the Razorbacks-- they're my favorite team in the SEC W.
I may even give a "Woo Pig Sooie!" or two.
Best of luck to y'all. It will be very tough, but I think it is a winnable game for Arkansas.

It's funny how matchups work. We never seem to match up well with Alabama, but regardless of the records we do match up well with LSU. We've beaten them 3 of last 4 (including their Nat'l Championship year in '07 when we beat them in Baton Rouge), and the one loss during that stretch was an overtime game at LSU. I expect another game that goes down to the wire, but judging from what I've read the past 48 hours from LSU fans they think it will be a walk in the park for the Tigers. Their attitude is almost, "how dare you think you belong on the same field with us." I'm hoping that overconfidence comes back to haunt them.

To all of you "fire Dooley" folks on the board, pipe down and give the man time. Next year's East Division title will be there for the taking.

15_counting writes:

in response to swingman4:

Since Vandy was favored, I would say this past Saturday night..............

Thanks for reminding me of another sad point! Vandy favored over TN.

15_counting writes:

in response to RemembertheAlamo:

Not anyone mention Walter Payton at all. Are you sure you are a Tennessee Fan? Any true Tennesse Fan would know how to spell Peyton Manning's name! VFL

I guess had I been a Tennessee fan maybe I would have been more familiar with how Peyton spelled his name. What about my username (13_counting) would lead you to believe I was a Tennessee fan? Roll Tide Roll!

15_counting writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

proud alabubba fan since october 19, 2011.

roll turd roll.

I have BAMA stadium cushions older than you "little boy".

TommyJack writes:

in response to 15_counting:

I guess had I been a Tennessee fan maybe I would have been more familiar with how Peyton spelled his name. What about my username (13_counting) would lead you to believe I was a Tennessee fan? Roll Tide Roll!

a richard, by any name, is still a richard.

RemembertheAlamo writes:

in response to rockytn2jc:

Jim Chaney is an offensive genius. Did you forget how good our offense was last year!?.... We should hope someone doesn't pick him up, bc i doubt we need a new offensive coordinator. What we do need is someone 2 work on our kicking game!!!

Are you kidding, anyone who calls a play in the wildcat having the center hike the ball to a person in the shotgun position and be a pulling center at the same time is a genius? An Offensive genius would try to create new plays like screens and mis direction plays to help the QB. Did you see any of that? If he is such an offensive genius, why did Kiffin call all the plays in 2009? Who would want him? Yep our offense was great last year, we went 6-7...Wow! VFL!

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to 15_counting:

I have BAMA stadium cushions older than you "little boy".

gotta love ebay

15_counting writes:

in response to TNVOLNTX:

gotta love ebay

I have to admit that was an awsome response! (not the case however)

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to 3volfan:

i saw the play with Bray trying to take out the vandy players knee. and i understand it may have been retaliation for them "taking cheap shots", BUT that is NO excuse. that was a very dirty play. coulda ended that kids career. what if someone did that to Bray? we wouldn't be defending him then. i say bench him against KY. and let worley lead the troops. there is no room for that nonsense. PERIOD

You are a moron at a level seldom demonstrated. If you had watched the replay and then listened to his and Dooley's explanation, it's clear he wasn't taking a cheap shot. He was about to get lit up and basically just went down to keep from getting broke in half. It's unfortunate that in doing so, it created a scenario where a Vandy player could have been seriously injured, but that was NOT at all the intent.

OklaVOL writes:

in response to 3volfan:

again...........what if it was bray that was taken out by a cheap shot. just sayin. you would want something done to the guy dishing it out. you gotta remember, alot of folks outside of Big Orange country, do not like the throat slashing phooey, from a guy who really hasn't beaten anybody to be throat slashing for anyway. much less taking cheap shots. i like the kid, and i luv his bravado, but stuff like saturday nite, and throat slashing has to stop. very bush league.

Again, that is up to the coaches and players. If you don't like it, find another team. Which I imagine you have, and aren't really a VOL FAN. GBO

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to 15_counting:

I have to admit that was an awsome response! (not the case however)

I didn't figure that was the case, but couldn't resist having a little fun. I'm guessing they are the old school metal/chromed frame variety that fold in half?

15_counting writes:

in response to RemembertheAlamo:

Not anyone mention Walter Payton at all. Are you sure you are a Tennessee Fan? Any true Tennesse Fan would know how to spell Peyton Manning's name! VFL

"Not anyone mention" is not exactly the best grammar and I'd especially think they would also know how to spell Tennessee. 2 e's at the end "schoo teecher"!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to MemphisHog:

Congrats to the Vols for a good win. Nothing controversial about the ending, IMHO. Refs may have bypassed protocol, but if the goal is to get the call right, Vandy doesn't have a legitimate beef.

Vols will easily beat Kentucky this weekend and should go to a bowl on a good note.

I will wear orange and root for the Vols if everyone else on the board will promise to wear red and Call the Hogs Friday when we play LSU. We will need all the support we can get against the team with the worst fans in the SEC.

According to a national sportswriter, the replay rules for NCAA games do allow under extreme circumstances for a replay official to overturn "egregious" errors of officiating regardless of other rules, ie., a play blown dead. Gordon was gone, period, no way any Vandy player was going to catch him up that sideline so without that whistle, he scores, no doubt - thus a whistle, present or not, would not have effected the outcome of the play. Further, the official who blew the whistle violated two rules of officiating mechanics. Number one, he called what he THOUGHT he saw because (a), Gordon's knee was never within a foot of the ground, and (b), the Vandy receiver would have blocked his view of the imaginary scene. Number two, the officials are told NOT to blow the whistle and stop a play like that unless absolutely sure (which he couldn't have been - see #1) because it will be reviewed anyway. This clown messed up twice and then apparently, making screw up #3, denied blowing the play dead to the referee, thus freeing him to allow a replay review. What a mess. In my book, that meets the criteria for the "egregious" officiating referred to in the rule book regarding replay. Surprised Shaw didn't refer to that rule while trying [once again] to defend shoddy SEC officiating. Of course, as a former SEC official, he probably doesn't really know all the rules either. Lastly, it amuses me that Vandy fans are incensed that the second terrible call - one that actually righted the first mistake - went against them and "cost them the game". However, if the first call had stood and cost us the game, they would have told us to stop whining and get over it. Hmmmm. Go Vols!!!

RemembertheAlamo writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

According to a national sportswriter, the replay rules for NCAA games do allow under extreme circumstances for a replay official to overturn "egregious" errors of officiating regardless of other rules, ie., a play blown dead. Gordon was gone, period, no way any Vandy player was going to catch him up that sideline so without that whistle, he scores, no doubt - thus a whistle, present or not, would not have effected the outcome of the play. Further, the official who blew the whistle violated two rules of officiating mechanics. Number one, he called what he THOUGHT he saw because (a), Gordon's knee was never within a foot of the ground, and (b), the Vandy receiver would have blocked his view of the imaginary scene. Number two, the officials are told NOT to blow the whistle and stop a play like that unless absolutely sure (which he couldn't have been - see #1) because it will be reviewed anyway. This clown messed up twice and then apparently, making screw up #3, denied blowing the play dead to the referee, thus freeing him to allow a replay review. What a mess. In my book, that meets the criteria for the "egregious" officiating referred to in the rule book regarding replay. Surprised Shaw didn't refer to that rule while trying [once again] to defend shoddy SEC officiating. Of course, as a former SEC official, he probably doesn't really know all the rules either. Lastly, it amuses me that Vandy fans are incensed that the second terrible call - one that actually righted the first mistake - went against them and "cost them the game". However, if the first call had stood and cost us the game, they would have told us to stop whining and get over it. Hmmmm. Go Vols!!!

And don't forget the other error also, it was called a fumble to begin with? How did he see a fumble out of that, when he couldn't see the play? VFL

15_counting writes:

in response to TNVOLNTX:

I didn't figure that was the case, but couldn't resist having a little fun. I'm guessing they are the old school metal/chromed frame variety that fold in half?

No actually they are canvas cushions commemorating the 61,64, and 65 national championships. I'm really not a bad guy I moved here from B'ham in the mid 90's (when TN was kicking our butt every year). I got off to a bad start today when I mentioned it was too early to talk about Bray leaving for the NFL and comparing him to Peyton (who's name I mispelled). I think Bray is a good QB and may even be great before he's done. I also think Dooley will get the program back on track. I know no one wants the opinion of a Bama fan in regards to Tennessee football but we do know a little about coaching changes. I've lost count how many we've had since Bear. I say give Dooley through Bray's senior year. If he's not getting it done by then maybe it's time to tap into the bank account and go get a big name coach. The last thing you want is Bray breaking in a new coach his senior year. I've always enjoyed the TN/Bama rivalry and look forward to TN getting ALMOST back to where they were.

MemphisHog writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

According to a national sportswriter, the replay rules for NCAA games do allow under extreme circumstances for a replay official to overturn "egregious" errors of officiating regardless of other rules, ie., a play blown dead. Gordon was gone, period, no way any Vandy player was going to catch him up that sideline so without that whistle, he scores, no doubt - thus a whistle, present or not, would not have effected the outcome of the play. Further, the official who blew the whistle violated two rules of officiating mechanics. Number one, he called what he THOUGHT he saw because (a), Gordon's knee was never within a foot of the ground, and (b), the Vandy receiver would have blocked his view of the imaginary scene. Number two, the officials are told NOT to blow the whistle and stop a play like that unless absolutely sure (which he couldn't have been - see #1) because it will be reviewed anyway. This clown messed up twice and then apparently, making screw up #3, denied blowing the play dead to the referee, thus freeing him to allow a replay review. What a mess. In my book, that meets the criteria for the "egregious" officiating referred to in the rule book regarding replay. Surprised Shaw didn't refer to that rule while trying [once again] to defend shoddy SEC officiating. Of course, as a former SEC official, he probably doesn't really know all the rules either. Lastly, it amuses me that Vandy fans are incensed that the second terrible call - one that actually righted the first mistake - went against them and "cost them the game". However, if the first call had stood and cost us the game, they would have told us to stop whining and get over it. Hmmmm. Go Vols!!!

Your points are well taken, and I will add this and then shut up since I didn't have a dog in the fight (too busy trying to get back to Memphis from Little Rock on that God-awful I-40). I officiate high school ball, and in our pre-game meetings before games the referee will ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL, make as his final point of emphasis, "See the ball, see the ball, see the ball." In other words, do not whistle a play dead unless you know you see the ball and you know the play is over. Apparently the linesman or line judge who blew this call (same position as me, BTW) broke this cardinal rule, anticipating the play rather than seeing it.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to TheBigE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with "UT Fam" that Jim Chaney has to go but not because he's the "worst coordinator anywhere". You are correct in your assessment of the Bray-Hunter-Rogers offensive explosion early in the season. However, Montana and Cincinnati may not be the benchmarks we should use to declare him an offensive guru. Likewise, assuming that he and only he could have developed Bray is specious as well. What I don't like is that his offense is a "pass to set up the run" system that I think is largely ineffective in the SEC. No team, not even Spurrier's Fun-n-Gun juggernauts of the late 90's abandoned the run like Chaney has. Because we are not able to run well, even against teams like Montana, Cincinnati or (gulp!) Buffalo, we basically start every game one-dimensional. In most conferences this would be fine but the SEC is a defense-dominant league and even the worst DC's can slow/stop a one-dimensional team. Nobody and I mean NOBODY respects our run game and it shows. Lesser teams loaded the box and Bray went over the top, thus the gaudy offensive stats early on. However, once in SEC play, opposing front seven's were more than adequate to stuff our run, then start the blitzing/stunting fun as we passed down after down after down. It just won't work. When you score, you generally score quickly, sending your D back out with little rest to face, in the cases of our elite SEC teams, a bruising run/play-action steamroller. Your "finesse" offense takes no toll on the opposing defenses, allowing them to stay fresh and aggressive much further into the game. It makes short yardage situations, especially near the goal line, very difficult to convert. The inevitable incompletions stop the clock, lengthening the game thus allowing opponents more possessions and putting that much more strain on our defense. Even when committed to the run, Chaney's offense runs out of a spread formation, either shotgun or pistol, meaning a stationary RB 5-7 yards deep at the handoff. Again, fine against PAC-10 or Big-12 "defenses", not so much against the SEC.

All of the recent great UT teams, including the 1998 national champions, have played hard-nosed, smash-mouth football with a tradition of running early and often, right at you from start to finish. In our league, being able to pass when you have to is much less critical than being able to run when you need to. In my opinion, Chaney does not understand that and has no intention of running his offense that way. IF that doesn't change, the Bray-Hunter-Rogers axis notwithstanding, we will continue to have to play into bowl games in November. To wit: our defense is ranked 32nd in the nation, our pass offense, even with Bray hurt, is in the mid-60's but our run offense is 117th out of 120. Our record? Well, you get my point. Don't know about you but that's not my vision for the future of UT football. Either Chaney adapts or he has to go. I'm betting he can't adapt so....Go Vols!!!

MemphisHog writes:

in response to 15_counting:

No actually they are canvas cushions commemorating the 61,64, and 65 national championships. I'm really not a bad guy I moved here from B'ham in the mid 90's (when TN was kicking our butt every year). I got off to a bad start today when I mentioned it was too early to talk about Bray leaving for the NFL and comparing him to Peyton (who's name I mispelled). I think Bray is a good QB and may even be great before he's done. I also think Dooley will get the program back on track. I know no one wants the opinion of a Bama fan in regards to Tennessee football but we do know a little about coaching changes. I've lost count how many we've had since Bear. I say give Dooley through Bray's senior year. If he's not getting it done by then maybe it's time to tap into the bank account and go get a big name coach. The last thing you want is Bray breaking in a new coach his senior year. I've always enjoyed the TN/Bama rivalry and look forward to TN getting ALMOST back to where they were.

Hey 13_counting. You are giving these Vols the same advice I was giving them earlier. Vols need to give Dooley time; coaching changes set back programs a lot more often than they advance them. You know it, we know it in Hogland too (although we're pretty tickled about the last coaching change we had).

Whaddaya say....a rematch in New Orleans after we whip LSU's butt this weekend and you take care of Auburn in the Iron Bowl?

One last thing....I'll arm wrestle you for that '64 National Championship. AP says it's yours; Football Writers (precursor to the UPI) says it's ours.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to RemembertheAlamo:

And don't forget the other error also, it was called a fumble to begin with? How did he see a fumble out of that, when he couldn't see the play? VFL

You know I thought I heard that over the PA at Neyland but it was so loud I couldn't be sure and later decided I must have heard it wrong. The PA announcer also said there was a "marker on the play", which was incorrect as well. Plus, if that were you, would you not have blown that whistle loud enough to hear it on Kingston Pike and waved your arms like you were on fire to stop the play? He didn't. Why? What a goofy ending to a great game. We probably would have won anyway but then again, Palardy from 40? I wouldn't have bet anything I cared about on that kick, would you? Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to MemphisHog:

Hey 13_counting. You are giving these Vols the same advice I was giving them earlier. Vols need to give Dooley time; coaching changes set back programs a lot more often than they advance them. You know it, we know it in Hogland too (although we're pretty tickled about the last coaching change we had).

Whaddaya say....a rematch in New Orleans after we whip LSU's butt this weekend and you take care of Auburn in the Iron Bowl?

One last thing....I'll arm wrestle you for that '64 National Championship. AP says it's yours; Football Writers (precursor to the UPI) says it's ours.

You know HOG, I've been trying to give Vols fans that advice too and I am one! Any coaching change is difficult, even when the transition is planned and calculated to the last detail, ie., Bowden-Fisher at FSU. Take a young coach with no HC or coordinator experience anywhere near SEC level, put him in a struggling program as the third coach in as many years, hand him a team with only 20 or so scholarship players in his top 2 classes, give him one of the nastiest schedules in D-1 football, let him play nearly half the season without the only two players on his team mentioned on the pre-season SEC roster (second team, of course), change his athletic director in the middle of a season - it's nearly impossible. Granted this is not Dooley's first season but still your point is spot on and well taken. We won't know how good (or not) Dooley is until after the 2013 season. I don't like that prospect either, especially if it turns out he isn't "the man" but hard times, that's just the way it is. As for the weekend, I love your Hogs' offense but Wilson didn't fare too well against Bama's D and LSU's is just as nasty. I hate to say it but I think Bama's got the much easier path here. Good luck anyway.

vols2dawalls writes:

in response to RemembertheAlamo:

Are you kidding, anyone who calls a play in the wildcat having the center hike the ball to a person in the shotgun position and be a pulling center at the same time is a genius? An Offensive genius would try to create new plays like screens and mis direction plays to help the QB. Did you see any of that? If he is such an offensive genius, why did Kiffin call all the plays in 2009? Who would want him? Yep our offense was great last year, we went 6-7...Wow! VFL!

I have to agree with you. We just dont see Chaney mixing it up out there, he tries to open the running game with the same plays that have failed for us most of the year.

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to 15_counting:

No actually they are canvas cushions commemorating the 61,64, and 65 national championships. I'm really not a bad guy I moved here from B'ham in the mid 90's (when TN was kicking our butt every year). I got off to a bad start today when I mentioned it was too early to talk about Bray leaving for the NFL and comparing him to Peyton (who's name I mispelled). I think Bray is a good QB and may even be great before he's done. I also think Dooley will get the program back on track. I know no one wants the opinion of a Bama fan in regards to Tennessee football but we do know a little about coaching changes. I've lost count how many we've had since Bear. I say give Dooley through Bray's senior year. If he's not getting it done by then maybe it's time to tap into the bank account and go get a big name coach. The last thing you want is Bray breaking in a new coach his senior year. I've always enjoyed the TN/Bama rivalry and look forward to TN getting ALMOST back to where they were.

I agree! I get accused of drinking the "Dooley Koolaid" nearly every day. However, my opinions aren't based so much on an affinity for Dooley as they are on the realization that there weren't any "big names" lined up to take the job two years ago. It's comical to listen to the revisionists who suggest otherwise. That being the case, I believed at the time, and still believe that we could have done far worse than a smart, fiery guy with southern roots, from the Saban coaching tree. I would suggest that at the very least he deserves enough years to get us back to the scholarship limit, so that we can at least judge his coaching abilities based on his having been granted the benefit of coaching a fully stocked team.

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