Derek Dooley pleased with first half, not second

Photos by Amy Smotherman Burgess/news sentinel
Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, left, dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Buffalo on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The Vols won the non-conference game, 41-10.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Photos by Amy Smotherman Burgess/news sentinel Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, left, dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Buffalo on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The Vols won the non-conference game, 41-10.

Game recap: Tennessee 41, Buffalo 10

Here's all you need to know about Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

Two weeks ago in The Swamp, Tennessee got a punt blocked by Florida.

First down, Gators, at the UT 15, points soon to appear on the scoreboard. Crowd goes wild.

Saturday, Matt Darr was backed up near his goal line and sure enough, a Buffalo Bull broke in to block the punt.

Hey, no problem.

Darr scooped up the football and rambled 30 yards out of harm's way. First down, Vols.

Resume the rout.

Yep, Tennessee got what it paid for Saturday, an easy 41-10 win against overmatched Buffalo.

The original 2011 schedule called for the Vols to visit North Carolina on Saturday. In these days of a UT football recession, playing Buffalo at home seemed a more attractive option.

A crowd generously listed at 87,758 saw Tyler Bray throw four touchdown passes as the Vols improved to 3-1 coming off their only open date.

"Give Tennessee credit,'' said Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn. "Tyler Bray is a great quarterback and he has a great supporting cast.

The Tennessee defense generally stifled the Bulls (1-4), except for one notable but almost predictable breakdown, a 68-yard touchdown run by quarterback Chazz Anderson in the first quarter.

"We did what we needed to do,'' said coach Derek Dooley. "That team has played every team they've played close and they didn't today.

"Now we turn our focus to what lies ahead.''

What lies ahead is a return to a steady diet of SEC football. Georgia's up next, followed by No. 1 LSU, No. 3 Alabama and No. 10 South Carolina.

Dominating Buffalo — 541 to 264 in yardage and 38:10 to 21:50 in time of possession — is fine as far as it goes. But it might not go as far during the rest of October.

"We've got the big boys coming up next week,'' said defensive tackle Malik Jackson. "We've got to see what we do against them.''

The Bulls, comparatively speaking, weren't big boys and Tennessee did just fine from the get-go.

The defense recorded a three-and-out stop on the opening possession, Knoxville's Devrin Young returned a punt 43 yards on his first collegiate touch and Bray needed only three plays to cover the remaining 48 yards.

Rajion Neal got the score on a 20-yard end-around call for a 7-0 lead.

The next score, a 7-yard completion, went to Da'Rick Rogers, the first of his two touchdowns on a 180-yard receiving day.

Rogers got free for a 12-yard TD catch to make it 24-7 in the second quarter. There was still time for Bray to squeeze in a 13-yard touchdown pass to freshman DeAnthony Arnett for a 31-7 halftime lead.

The second half wasn't nearly as aesthetic. Bray and Arnett conspired for an 8-yard score to make it 38-7 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.

Michael Palardy's second field goal was the only other addition.

"I was proud of how we jumped on them,'' Dooley said. "It was a really good first half.

"I was disappointed in the second half. We lost our focus. We made a ton of mistakes on offense: drops, snaps, penalties, missed assignments.

"It just looked sloppy.''

Said Bray, "It was almost like we looked at the scoreboard and said, 'OK, we're gonna cakewalk like we did the first half.' ''

Good thing, then, that Buffalo wasn't exactly strutting either.

The Bulls had several chances to cut into Tennessee's margin but weren't up to it.

UT's defense came up with two fourth-down stops and forced Buffalo to settle for a field goal on another promising threat.

When the Vols weren't giving up a 60-plus-yard touchdown for the fourth consecutive game, they held Buffalo to 10 first downs and only 3-of-13 on third-down conversions.Offensively, there was some relief in the running department. The net was 199 yards, which is 208 more than last time out against Florida.

Tauren Poole plugged for 101 yards on 17 carries, a satisfactory 5.9-yard average.

"It went a lot better than it has been,'' said tackle Ja'Wuan James, "but there's still a lot of room for improvement.''

Bray bowed out 21-of-30 for 342 yards with no interceptions, letting Matt Simms handle the final possession.

"He had patience,'' said Buffalo corner Courtney Lester. "He picked us apart, really. He made all the right reads.''

"As long,'' said Dooley, "as we can throw and catch like that, we'll be OK.

"That's 11 yards an attempt. That's a big number.''

The kicking game was looking for some big numbers in the previously drab return game and Young obliged with the 43-yard punt return and a 34-yard kickoff return.

And he also fumbled a kickoff return. The Vols botched another kick return when Cameron Clear, a tight end by trade, couldn't come up with a funny bounce.

But this day against this opponent, there wasn't a terrible bill to pay for bobbles.

"I still don't know where we are,'' Dooley said.

"We've had three teams come in here and we took care of them the way we need to. We went down to The Swamp and gutted it out for four quarters but didn't play our best.

"We'll see how we do next week. We have so many young guys it's hard to make judgments. They look different every week.''

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Comments » 44

LONEWOLF-VOL writes:

I still think we are too laxed...we are just exercising and not football...

GO VOLS!!!

LONEWOLF-VOL writes:

Poole needs more yards per carry, 5.9 aint gonna cut it from here on out.I'm 41 and from what I've seen I could cut him down after 2-4 yards..(maybe less)
GO VOLS!!!

foosballer writes:

I'm extremely excited about Devrin Young, even with his "first game" fumble...actually felt excited about EVERY punt return. When could we last say that?

Still very concerned about our O-line...and Poole just doesn't impress me at all. Does anything else think he seems to fall over more than any other RB?

foosballer writes:

in response to foosballer:

I'm extremely excited about Devrin Young, even with his "first game" fumble...actually felt excited about EVERY punt return. When could we last say that?

Still very concerned about our O-line...and Poole just doesn't impress me at all. Does anything else think he seems to fall over more than any other RB?

By that...I mean, at the end of every run...he leans and falls over.

randyarnold writes:

Malik Jackson is right: UT has the big boys coming up next week, and the rest of the month. If the Vols go 2-2 over the next four, it will be a good year.

BTW players and coaches, please try and do better than 2-2.

thevoice writes:

Biggest game of Dooley's young career coming up next weekend. Good job today, guys.

zigvol writes:

in response to LONEWOLF-VOL:

Poole needs more yards per carry, 5.9 aint gonna cut it from here on out.I'm 41 and from what I've seen I could cut him down after 2-4 yards..(maybe less)
GO VOLS!!!

If he gets 5.9 yards per carry against LSU, GA., and S.C. that would be great.

thevoice writes:

in response to LONEWOLF-VOL:

Poole needs more yards per carry, 5.9 aint gonna cut it from here on out.I'm 41 and from what I've seen I could cut him down after 2-4 yards..(maybe less)
GO VOLS!!!

He sure seemed more elusive today. But I like the other RBs also. Devrin seems like a welcome surprise. Our ratty kicking needs to improve greatly!!

Prostar writes:

A win (as expected) is a win. It was at times ugly. We're on their 10 yard line, 3rd and 3, I fully expected run, run. We were dominant, surely you can pick up 3yds. on 2 attempts. Instead, incomplete pass, field goal. If Dooley and Chaney wanted to establish a run game, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Sometimes I think we're too eager to go to the pass. Still, no long kickoffs to the endzone and Darr took way too long on his punt attempt. We got away with one, just don't expect that next week or the week after.

DavidB writes:

Kicking by far is our worst portion of the game. For the life of me I cant figure out why a 5 star recruit cant put the ball in the end zone on kick offs. Not to mention kicking the ball out of bounds. We need to have open try outs tomorrow for kickers. Surely there is someone at UT that could do the job of kick offs.

Young looked very promising. Bray has the ability to look and find open receivers and put the ball where it needs to be.

I have to believe we can suprise a few teams this month.

69grad writes:

Hold an open tryout for a kicker. Even I kicked one into the end zone on yhe practice field in 1967. Forty yards was my best field goal.
GBO!

jjsteel writes:

in response to 69grad:

Hold an open tryout for a kicker. Even I kicked one into the end zone on yhe practice field in 1967. Forty yards was my best field goal.
GBO!

you didn't have 11 guys after your rear end.

volspaws writes:

in response to DavidB:

Kicking by far is our worst portion of the game. For the life of me I cant figure out why a 5 star recruit cant put the ball in the end zone on kick offs. Not to mention kicking the ball out of bounds. We need to have open try outs tomorrow for kickers. Surely there is someone at UT that could do the job of kick offs.

Young looked very promising. Bray has the ability to look and find open receivers and put the ball where it needs to be.

I have to believe we can suprise a few teams this month.

Amen.....and it's not just us....placing kickoffs in the end zone seems to be a lost skill in this era....think of the lost yardage surrendered during the course of a game because a kicker can't execute a touchback....can't remember the last kicker we had that consistently put kickoffs deep into the end zone for touchbacks

jejjen writes:

The Vols need to play the entire game and not let up just because they have a big lead. It doesn't bode well in terms of their game mentality, as evidenced by their sloppy play during the second half. If they don't play hungry and with intent throughout the game, they'll lose their edge and then their confidence.

1986sugarbowl writes:

We can't judge how well our running game was against Buffalo. However, we looked better today than against Montana with the run. Poole did look better in the hips today and with his burst. I saw some mauling on the line today but it wasn't against an Gerogia or an LSU. I know we don't need more bar fights in Knoxville, but I would almost rather have off/def lineman that could go to prison any minute. We are just not mean enough.

As far as passing vs running, I am not opposed to a 35/65 split. Who says we have to run the ball? You need a good 4 to 6 yards per carry, but if you can pass like Bray, pass. At least we have a decent pass block.

And lastly, Why didn't Devrin get any snaps a RB? Why did we not get Milton more involved? Today to me was about seeing what else you got instead of let me show off what I got. I would have rather won by 10 and see what others could do vs. win by 30 and still have questions. Yeah we know Bray and Rogers can play, why not see who else can play?

kyvol98 writes:

Hate to see any kid get hurt, Brantley injury does not look good but I hope the best for him.

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to 69grad:

Hold an open tryout for a kicker. Even I kicked one into the end zone on yhe practice field in 1967. Forty yards was my best field goal.
GBO!

In 1967 kickoffs were from the 40; now they're from the 30.

Dooley should go to the soccer team and try to get one of their players.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We do not have a RB that runs with any authority. They are all too timid. Love my VOLS, we just don't have all the pieces yet.

movol77 writes:

"Saturday, Matt Darr was backed up near his goal line and sure enough, a Buffalo Bull broke in to block the punt. Hey, no problem. Darr scooped up the football and rambled 30 yards out of harm's way. First down, Vols."

Darr wasn't near his goal line. And he ran for 18 yards, not 30.

keviningeorgia writes:

Rammer Jammers are up by 3 TD's in the skeeter pond and it's emptying out?

OMG! Gator fans! Welcome to the world of the short handed! Not much fun is it? Wasn't much for us Vols, either.

Maybe it will get better. Maybe your QB isn't out for the year... For you gator trolls who LIVE on here, gee I hope it's not all that bad. I think...

Naw, hell no! I hope you guys get beat by 30 for the next 2 weeks. But, I will say, I hope the kid playing QB isn't hurt badly. Hopefully, he checks out ok and can play again right away.

murrayvol writes:

in response to LONEWOLF-VOL:

Poole needs more yards per carry, 5.9 aint gonna cut it from here on out.I'm 41 and from what I've seen I could cut him down after 2-4 yards..(maybe less)
GO VOLS!!!

Save yourself. Say you're joking.

richvol writes:

Palardy looked awful with short kickoffs and one out of bounds giving them the forty. His extra points are just inside the uprights and his field goals were low trajectory. The entire team was laughing about the blocked punt and subsequent first down run by Darr...what's funny about getting a punt blocked? Another fumbled kickoff and punt. Several dropped passes...one for a touchdown.

This team better get serious and grow up fast because those type of things will get you beat by any of the next four opponets. I don't understand this casual attitude they have...very disappointing.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to richvol:

Palardy looked awful with short kickoffs and one out of bounds giving them the forty. His extra points are just inside the uprights and his field goals were low trajectory. The entire team was laughing about the blocked punt and subsequent first down run by Darr...what's funny about getting a punt blocked? Another fumbled kickoff and punt. Several dropped passes...one for a touchdown.

This team better get serious and grow up fast because those type of things will get you beat by any of the next four opponets. I don't understand this casual attitude they have...very disappointing.

I haven't been able to see much of this year's team except the Fla. game (and it blew) but if what you say is true, we might be in deep mud. It always starts with your attitude...which sooner or later, you will show.

There are flashes of real talent on this team but those flashes need to become far more consistent. Like others, I'm concerned about the O-line. Seems like they've been listening to the media tell them how young and inexperienced they are. That train is leaving the station. It's time to step up, buckle the big boy chin strap and get serious.

Simple truth: If we can't run the ball, we can't win in the SEC.

cloudodust writes:

in response to 69grad:

Hold an open tryout for a kicker. Even I kicked one into the end zone on yhe practice field in 1967. Forty yards was my best field goal.
GBO!

Do you have any eligibility left..? If so, report to the weight room at 0530 Monday morning to begin the process of trimming the fat from your cranial.

cloudodust writes:

in response to SirSpanky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

To show support for their team, they're in lockup. Something to do with exposure to a superior football team. We'll hear the reason is Brantley's exit and in part, rightly so. Brantley could have given Alabama another touchdown or two had he not been injured...

justsayin writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

In 1967 kickoffs were from the 40; now they're from the 30.

Dooley should go to the soccer team and try to get one of their players.

UT doesn't have a men's soccer team, only women's.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to justsayin:

UT doesn't have a men's soccer team, only women's.

So? Would fit right in, the football team plays like a bunch of girls anyway. Forget October, I doubt this sorry bunch will beat Vandy much less Kentucky. Face it, just not a very good team yet.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to DavidB:

Kicking by far is our worst portion of the game. For the life of me I cant figure out why a 5 star recruit cant put the ball in the end zone on kick offs. Not to mention kicking the ball out of bounds. We need to have open try outs tomorrow for kickers. Surely there is someone at UT that could do the job of kick offs.

Young looked very promising. Bray has the ability to look and find open receivers and put the ball where it needs to be.

I have to believe we can suprise a few teams this month.

I noticed that Alabama's kicker couldn't make the end zone either, but with their D it doesn't matter

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

So? Would fit right in, the football team plays like a bunch of girls anyway. Forget October, I doubt this sorry bunch will beat Vandy much less Kentucky. Face it, just not a very good team yet.

The Vols will easily beat both Vanderbilt and Kentucky and can possibly beat Georgia and South Carolina

elbtenn#502977 writes:

in response to jejjen:

The Vols need to play the entire game and not let up just because they have a big lead. It doesn't bode well in terms of their game mentality, as evidenced by their sloppy play during the second half. If they don't play hungry and with intent throughout the game, they'll lose their edge and then their confidence.

Agreed! Leave no doubt.

LONEWOLF-VOL writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Save yourself. Say you're joking.

LOL, I was
5.9 yds a carry is good,just hope he can continue,and no more blocked punts and fumbled
kickoffs... GO VOLS!!!

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

The Vols will easily beat both Vanderbilt and Kentucky and can possibly beat Georgia and South Carolina

I hope you're right, but don't bet on it.
Seems to me that win or loose this team can not stay focused for 60 mins.
The only thing I like as much as the Vols winning is seeing the Gators get spanked, thank you Satan & team.

GONAVY writes:

The UGA game is now huge- more so because of SC and UF's losses at home and UGA's resurgence. Whichever team next Saturday that can establish some rythm/balance should have the upper hand. Bray should be able to have a good day throwing, but UT has to have some run game. The loser is out of the East race pretty much. I like UT in a close one; maybe 7 points.

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to keviningeorgia:

Rammer Jammers are up by 3 TD's in the skeeter pond and it's emptying out?

OMG! Gator fans! Welcome to the world of the short handed! Not much fun is it? Wasn't much for us Vols, either.

Maybe it will get better. Maybe your QB isn't out for the year... For you gator trolls who LIVE on here, gee I hope it's not all that bad. I think...

Naw, hell no! I hope you guys get beat by 30 for the next 2 weeks. But, I will say, I hope the kid playing QB isn't hurt badly. Hopefully, he checks out ok and can play again right away.

Do not feel bad for FL. Their trolls did not feel the loss of Hunter down there had anything to do with our loss to them so I surmise that the loss of Brantley had nothing to do with their loss to Bama. GO VOLS...

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LONEWOLF-VOL:

Poole needs more yards per carry, 5.9 aint gonna cut it from here on out.I'm 41 and from what I've seen I could cut him down after 2-4 yards..(maybe less)
GO VOLS!!!

Maybe you were joking, and goodness knows I'm not any more impressed by the Vols' running game than any other fan, but 5.9 yards a carry, if a player could sustain that for a season or a career, is a Hall-of-Fame type number! If Poole can average 5.9 ypc against UT's October schedule, on a sufficient number of carries, the Vols can beat anybody on their schedule. I know he won't do that, but still....

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 1986sugarbowl:

We can't judge how well our running game was against Buffalo. However, we looked better today than against Montana with the run. Poole did look better in the hips today and with his burst. I saw some mauling on the line today but it wasn't against an Gerogia or an LSU. I know we don't need more bar fights in Knoxville, but I would almost rather have off/def lineman that could go to prison any minute. We are just not mean enough.

As far as passing vs running, I am not opposed to a 35/65 split. Who says we have to run the ball? You need a good 4 to 6 yards per carry, but if you can pass like Bray, pass. At least we have a decent pass block.

And lastly, Why didn't Devrin get any snaps a RB? Why did we not get Milton more involved? Today to me was about seeing what else you got instead of let me show off what I got. I would have rather won by 10 and see what others could do vs. win by 30 and still have questions. Yeah we know Bray and Rogers can play, why not see who else can play?

I could only listen to the game on the internet, but it seemed to me that the non-starters played most of the second half. What was happening was that we saw that this team doesn't have enough quality depth. I know, who'da thought it. Bray might have had one series in the 4th quarter. Rogers didn't play at all that quarter. Our 2d- and 3d-teamers aren't as good as our starters--that's why they are ON the 2d- and 3d-teams. The only reason ANY starters were on the field beyond mid-way through the 3d quarter is that some of our young players just aren't ready to play yet.

garrthom writes:

We need to keep the "Tennessee got what it paid for" on the lowdown.

BigBoyBall writes:

in response to 1986sugarbowl:

We can't judge how well our running game was against Buffalo. However, we looked better today than against Montana with the run. Poole did look better in the hips today and with his burst. I saw some mauling on the line today but it wasn't against an Gerogia or an LSU. I know we don't need more bar fights in Knoxville, but I would almost rather have off/def lineman that could go to prison any minute. We are just not mean enough.

As far as passing vs running, I am not opposed to a 35/65 split. Who says we have to run the ball? You need a good 4 to 6 yards per carry, but if you can pass like Bray, pass. At least we have a decent pass block.

And lastly, Why didn't Devrin get any snaps a RB? Why did we not get Milton more involved? Today to me was about seeing what else you got instead of let me show off what I got. I would have rather won by 10 and see what others could do vs. win by 30 and still have questions. Yeah we know Bray and Rogers can play, why not see who else can play?

#19 DID get a snap at rb. He dropped a surefire first down. As far as the prison thing go's, we don't have to be mean to be physical. You can ask anyone who knew the Minister of Defense. These young men just have to grow up and learn the game of football and I have every confidence that they will. If everyone on this team will do THEIR job, we will be fine. Hopefully sooner than later. GO VOLS

snakeplissken writes:

I still think we should have tried to move the ball into range for at least a fieldgoal try at the end of the second quarter. Lord knows that Palardy could have used the experience! We had 55 seconds and two times outs, yet we just fiddlefarted around trying to get to halftime. When you start doing things like that your team loses their edge. We lost the "mo" there and came out in the second half flat.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to ellerbee123:

Do not feel bad for FL. Their trolls did not feel the loss of Hunter down there had anything to do with our loss to them so I surmise that the loss of Brantley had nothing to do with their loss to Bama. GO VOLS...

I agree in not having any sympathy for Fla (and especially, their trolls on here). But, I can't wish an injury on any kid playing ball, for any team.

Fla. (and especially, their trolls on here) will always inhale deeply in my book. But, I wont stoop to the level of wishing injury on anyone. Just not in me or you either, I'm sure, to do that.

Go Big Orange!

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to foosballer:

I'm extremely excited about Devrin Young, even with his "first game" fumble...actually felt excited about EVERY punt return. When could we last say that?

Still very concerned about our O-line...and Poole just doesn't impress me at all. Does anything else think he seems to fall over more than any other RB?

I like Devrin Young as a punt returner as well. I think he's the most exciting punt returner we've had since Eddie Brown, for those who remember him. On kickoffs, I always liked Willie Gault.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to jdcdjc:

We do not have a RB that runs with any authority. They are all too timid. Love my VOLS, we just don't have all the pieces yet.

agree all tailbacks running to date are timid. We need more power and more "want to." You know, Lattimore for SC is 231 lbs; TR for Alabama is about 230, and both of them do ok as a "big" back. I say give Fugate a chance at tailback, who was a good runner in HS.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to snakeplissken:

I still think we should have tried to move the ball into range for at least a fieldgoal try at the end of the second quarter. Lord knows that Palardy could have used the experience! We had 55 seconds and two times outs, yet we just fiddlefarted around trying to get to halftime. When you start doing things like that your team loses their edge. We lost the "mo" there and came out in the second half flat.

Coaching caused poor play in the second half, and since CDD was not pleased with second half play, then he should look in the mirror. We actually had 1 minute and 8 seconds with 2 TOs. The coaching decision that our team did NOT need to work on clock management or need more points before halftime was foolish. If you don't want to play the first team, them let the second team get some practice with clock management. If you don't want to coach the team, ...

SpecialTeams writes:

Darr is a Red Shirt Freshman, this is his first season playing college level, he is doing a good job. Where the ball ends up after a punt is move important then distance. Darr had two punting opportunies inthe Buffalo game, the first: the ball had enough hang time to require a fair catch on the 15 yard line. Darr gave Coach what he asked for. (No run back, and no touchback).
His second punt resulted in a first down, from where he scooped the ball was 30 yards resulting in a net of 18 yards. Buffalo never regained possession. Nice ending.
Buffalo was a good punting game for the Vols.
When Darr assumed the punting in Florida, the punting was good.

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