John Adams: Quarterbacks could throw excitement into series

John Adams

Tennessee and Georgia have had just enough ups and downs to make Saturday's game at Neyland Stadium a toss-up. But while you might question where the Vols and Bulldogs are headed, there's no doubt who's leading them.

Quarterback Aaron Murray started last season for the Bulldogs as a redshirt freshman and made first-team preseason All-SEC this year. UT's Tyler Bray started the last third of his freshman season in 2010 and now leads the SEC in pass efficiency, yardage and touchdown passes.

In a division rife with quarterback troubles, Bray and Murray are the exceptions.

Vanderbilt's and Kentucky's quarterback deficiencies were apparent before the season started. Stephen Garcia is having an awful senior season at South Carolina, and Florida senior starter John Brantley is out for the LSU game after suffering a leg injury Saturday against Alabama.

Bray and Murray aren't just the quarterback exceptions in the SEC East. Their pairing is an exception in the rivalry, which has given you more outstanding quarterbacks than outstanding quarterback matchups.

UT's Peyton Manning and Georgia's Matthew Stafford were No. 1 picks in the NFL draft. But those drafts were 11 years apart.

One of the best quarterback pairings in the last 20 years of the series was in 1992 when Tennessee's Heath Shuler swapped spirals with Georgia's Eric Zeier.

Shuler later became the third pick in the first round of the 1994 draft. Zeier still holds 10 school records 17 years after he played his last college game.

Uncertainty at the position — on at least one team's part — has been a more familiar theme, although the surer quarterback hasn't always prevailed.

In 1998, first-year Tennessee starter Tee Martin entered the game with a sub-.400 pass-completion percentage. Georgia freshman starter Quincy Carter was coming off a spectacular performance against LSU.

But Martin improved his accuracy, and Carter struggled behind an offensive line that was overwhelmed by UT's defense.

The Vols were on their way to the national championship. The Bulldogs were on their way to the Peach Bowl.

In 2001, UT appeared to have a clear-cut quarterback advantage. Second-year starter Casey Clausen had a talented receiving corps, and Georgia was breaking in redshirt freshman David Greene.

Yet Greene trumped Clausen with a game-winning drive in the final minutes and went on to win three of four starts against the Vols.

In 1994, Zeier was in his fourth year as a starter, and the Vols were scrambling to make up for the loss of quarterback Jerry Colquitt, who suffered a season-ending injury a week earlier. But baseball star Todd Helton led the Vols to a 41-23 victory.

Two weeks later, Manning became UT's starting quarterback.

Joe Tereshinski started for Georgia in 2006. He played exceptionally in the first half and terribly in the second as his team blew a lead in a 51-33 defeat.

The Stafford era was about to begin.

No future starters are limbering up in the on-deck circle this go-round. In fact, this could be the first of three Bray vs. Murray match-ups.

No one should complain about that.

Their matchup alone won't determine Saturday's outcome. But it should pump excitement into a series in which the last six games and 14 of the last 18 have been decided by double-figure margins.

The Vols and Bulldogs are overdue for a game like the one in 1992. And they have the kind of quarterbacks who could make it happen.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 29

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DennisVols writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The only sad thing is to be you. You hang around and do nothing but try and start trouble.
You know nothing about football. You are a pitiful person with nothing to add to any blog on here.
Why don’t you go away and come back when you grow up, if that will ever happen.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

DennisVols writes:

Neither team has a statement win this year. UT has beaten 1 BCS team with a winning record (Cincinnati 4-1) but that was hardly a statement game. All of GA’s wins have come against teams with losing records.
This could very well be a make or break game for either team. Georgia last won in Knoxville in 2003. A second SEC loss would pretty much destroy their chances for a shot at the title. (many believe Richt would need to win the SEC to retain his job)
UT still looking for a major win in their rebuilding process and this game would be a big step forward in many ways. Recruiting the state of GA is big for UT. Win this game and a 7 win regular season is very possible. The confidence this would give to a very young team could also go a long way for the rest of Oct.
GA has only 1 TD in 13 possessions during the 2nd half of the last 3 wins. That won’t create wins against good teams.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

Huttdawg100 writes:

Murray hasn't looked great this year. He's good, but Bray has the "it factor". He's confident like Drew Brees, but he's cool like Tom Brady.

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Look who is still here , its peckerpacker.Isnt this the same guy that calls himself CSS ?That has his youtube videos that cant get people to call him or watch his video?

gc_scvol writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't you have anything else to do..Maybe work? No, either you're too young to work or your life partner supports you. Either way, you're taking up good oxygen a real person could be using. Go Away.........

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

What we can't figure out is why the KNS admin doesn't kick this Packer clown off this site.
Wait...........he's family, so they can't do that.

On topic, should be a shootout with Murray and Bray.

Noogaorange writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You sir are a complete idiot and you keep proving it by this kind of post. Surely you have something better to do with your time then make a fool out of yourself by posting the comments you post regularly. Broken leg my a.. you should be ashamed of yourself! GBO

jdcdjc writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think this is was a very good article.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

What we can't figure out is why the KNS admin doesn't kick this Packer clown off this site.
Wait...........he's family, so they can't do that.

On topic, should be a shootout with Murray and Bray.

Family or not I think his posts should be blocked.

kcbigorngX writes:

This is a good column, but to anyone out there who thinks JA is purely objective and 'tells it like it is'... I would like to point out a glaring omission Mr. Adams made on his point about teams having problems with their QB's this year.

If it had been the UT quarterback who got suspended by the university on the heels of a felony assault charge for stomping a man's head after he was already beaten down, ol' Johnny would shine the light on him for all the world to see.

No, John Adams is definitely not a homer. Not unless he owns a house in Baton Rouge.

orangecountyvols writes:

Spongebob,

I certainly agree with all you said. You know, the majority of the time I do ignore the troll.

However, such as in this particular case, the very first post was something idiotic from the troll and it just gets to be old. Sick people like this don't care what we think..........they just crave the attention.

I will give the KNS credit this time. They did remove his garbage post. Now, will they continue to do this? That's the question. Better to just ban him,
but of course he'll dream up another screen name.

We have some awfully nice and knowledgeable fans here and yes, it does seem a shame some people come here just to make a fool of themselves........simply to get attention.

Take care Vol fans.........

keviningeorgia writes:

Hey, my screen name is packer park,
I used to be able to get out after dark.
Now, most times you’ll find me right here,
In mom’s basement, my safe place, all snug and dear.

Here, I type and type and work hard every day,
I want everyone in Knoxtown to read all I have to say.
I stir and stir with my words, bringing your blood to boil,
Then, together with the KNS staff, we snicker at the turmoil.

You may ask, why spread this hate on our free site?
I say, I’m sorry I must, because it’s my job at night.
Times are tough and the day job ain’t what it used to be,
See, I’m a columnist at KNS, John Adams is what they call me.

Vol4EVA writes:

Go Big Orange! Beat Georgia!.....I'll hang up and listen to your comments...

UTVOL2001 writes:

Good Article John! Go Vols!

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey SpongeBob,

Though I really don't believe it's Adams, I'm pretty convinced it's someone, probably an intern, working at KNS. I've quit replying too. That is definitely what he or she wants.

I don't believe Adams, even as an alter ego would actually write some of this excrement. He would rather lead you down a trail with words that ultimately, would cause you to question if there are issues. Out and out saying such stuff is just not his style of writing, IMO.

budd#207344 writes:

If you want to know why the trolls keep coming here just look at the responses. 13 of 20 are about spongebobwetmypants and not the article. ignore them and they will go away but if you respond they will continue to bait you.

CrankE writes:

Volunteer fans are overdue for a John Adams column worth reading. It was probably 1992 when this last happened.

It is no accident that trolls thrive here. They are fed by KNS staff. One of whom is a troll on the payroll. It's all by design folks.

FIRE JOHN ADAMS!
STARVE THE TROLLS!

jjsteel writes:

Fran Tarkenton wern't to shabby.

MusicCityVol writes:

If this comes down to a battle of quarterbacks I like our chances. If this comes down to a grind it out game of running attacks we might be in trouble.

Values in Flux on the SEC East Stock Exchange
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

cooper65#432178 writes:

If it was just a matchup of the two QBs it would be an easy Vol win. Murry is not even close to Tyler. It's the overall team strength of the two teams that concerns me.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, I know. It looks like he is always posting within an hour or so. Long enough for the little intern to get her marching instructions and throw something out there.

Budd there is right about the one thing. We've all fed them too much. Because they post such outreageous stuff, someone will get mad and shoot something back most every time.

Anyway, my best UGA game memory was in 1992. I was down in Athens that year, when UT was a big underdog. But the game was a thrilling back and forth 34 - 31 UT win. Talk about being great to be a UT Vol, that day sure was...

Vol43 writes:

I'm done with CSS and all other trolls. It serves no good purpose.

givehim6 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

What we can't figure out is why the KNS admin doesn't kick this Packer clown off this site.
Wait...........he's family, so they can't do that.

On topic, should be a shootout with Murray and Bray.

On topic: In a shootout between Bray & Murray Bray wins, for one he is more accurate, Two Bray has more targets, given eveyone can hang on to the ball.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great!

What better day to start a new streak over the dawgs...

volwr88 writes:

Gotta feeling these 2 QB's are gonna "light it up" Saturday with potentially a high scoring game. It would be to our advantage if finally we had a day where KO & PR by Devrin Young finally gave us some field position. Also if FINALLY Palardy and Darr actually kicked effectively it cud be the diffence in the game. In other words special teams are gonna probably win this game due to field position advantage (by The VOLS or dawgs)

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

What we can't figure out is why the KNS admin doesn't kick this Packer clown off this site.
Wait...........he's family, so they can't do that.

On topic, should be a shootout with Murray and Bray.

If they banned everbody you Dooleyphiles didn't like, there would only be about 8 people here...If given your way Doofus, would play Buffalo every week and wed be named permanent invitees to the Papa Johns Bowl...You just can't stand people who tell the truth about Doolittle...0-4 the rest of October

snakeplissken writes:

in response to DennisVols:

Neither team has a statement win this year. UT has beaten 1 BCS team with a winning record (Cincinnati 4-1) but that was hardly a statement game. All of GA’s wins have come against teams with losing records.
This could very well be a make or break game for either team. Georgia last won in Knoxville in 2003. A second SEC loss would pretty much destroy their chances for a shot at the title. (many believe Richt would need to win the SEC to retain his job)
UT still looking for a major win in their rebuilding process and this game would be a big step forward in many ways. Recruiting the state of GA is big for UT. Win this game and a 7 win regular season is very possible. The confidence this would give to a very young team could also go a long way for the rest of Oct.
GA has only 1 TD in 13 possessions during the 2nd half of the last 3 wins. That won’t create wins against good teams.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

Good post. In many ways this game is more important to us than it is to Georgia.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to budd#207344:

If you want to know why the trolls keep coming here just look at the responses. 13 of 20 are about spongebobwetmypants and not the article. ignore them and they will go away but if you respond they will continue to bait you.

You nailed it! People complain about trolls then turn right around and feed them.

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