Second-half stymie: Georgia 20, Tennessee 12

Running game nonexistent against Georgia

Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell picks up yards against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Crowell scored both of Georgia's touchdowns against the Vols. UT lost the game 20-12. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell picks up yards against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Crowell scored both of Georgia's touchdowns against the Vols. UT lost the game 20-12. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Game recap: Georgia 20, Tennessee 12

It was a measuring-stick game. If Tennessee was ready to start the road back to SEC contender, beating Georgia on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium was a required first step.

Georgia 20, Tennessee 12.

The Bulldogs exploited Tennessee mistakes in the third quarter and that was enough of a difference in an otherwise tightly contested game witnessed by a crowd of 102,455.

Georgia (4-2, 3-1 SEC) pulled away from a 6-6 halftime draw on two touchdowns by freshman Isaiah Crowell, stymied Tennessee’s offense until the final minutes and then celebrated Mark Richt’s 100th coaching victory.

The Bulldogs also knocked both tailback Tauren Poole and quarterback Tyler Bray out of the game with injuries, raising more questions as the Vols (3-2, 0-2 SEC) turn to face No. 1 LSU and then No. 2 Alabama.

“Are we close to getting out there and competing with good SEC teams?’’ said head coach Derek Dooley. “Not yet.

“We’ll get ’em. Our time will come. It’s not right now.’’

Senior Matt Simms, virtually a forgotten man since Bray took over the offense last November, came on to finish Tennessee’s only touchdown drive.

He scored it himself on a 1-yard keeper with 2 minutes, 45 seconds to play to cut the deficit to 20-12 — and allow UT to avoid going without a touchdown for the first time since a 6-3 loss to Alabama in 2005.

Georgia blocked the extra point and the Vols’ onside kickoff went out of bounds.

The Bulldogs milked the clock before punting it back to the Vols with only 18 seconds to play.

The game ended with Simms being sacked, a fitting symbol of Tennessee’s offensive frustration in the second half.

Georgia, which hadn’t allowed an offensive touchdown in its three previous games, had limited UT to one first down in the second half until the Vols mounted the late drive.

“That’s a good defense,’’ said Dooley, “so it requires a lot of patience.’’

And a running game, which the Vols don’t have.

The official tally was a mess: 23 attempts for minus-20 net yards.

The running backs combined for 22 (positive) yards on 16 carries. Two intentional-grounding calls and a disastrous bad snap dropped the bottom line into negative yardage.

In two SEC games, that’s minus-29 combined net yards.

“If we can’t run the ball we can’t beat good teams,’’ Dooley said. “That’s a fact.’’

Coming off the field at halftime, Tennessee wondered how its high-octane offense managed 189 yards but had only a pair of Michael Palardy field goals to show for it.

Little did the Vols know at the time, that would be the good half.

Tennessee received the second-half kickoff and had the first chance to break the 6-6 tie. Instead the Vols turned self-destructive.

A Marlin Lane run was stuffed, a high center snap produced a 16-yard loss and a 31-yard Matt Darr punt put the Bulldogs in business at the Tennessee 38.

The Vols almost stopped the bleeding, but a pass-interference penalty in the end zone gave Georgia a first-and-goal at the 2.

Crowell scored the game’s first touchdown from the 1 and it was 13-6.

“We had a little meltdown going on there for a couple of possessions,’’ Dooley said.

“We lost out composure a little bit.’’

The Vols thought they had an answer. Lane took a short Bray pass, escaped from a tackle near midfield and raced all the way to the end zone.

But the officials reviewed the play and Lane was ruled down when he “broke” the tackle of linebacker Michael Gilliard.

Instead of a 66-yard touchdown, it was a 13-yard gain and Tennessee had to punt.

This time Darr got off a beauty, downed at the Georgia 7. The Bulldogs didn’t stay there.

On first down, Aaron Murray hit Malcolm Mitchell for a 71-yard bomb to the UT 22. Two plays later, Crowell raced 17 yards for his second score.

Down 20-6, the Vols were in big trouble.

Bray started the 76-yard, 14-play touchdown drive but Simms had to finish it.

“Matt’s a senior,’’ Dooley said. “He knew we were going to need him. We knew we were going to need him.’’

The first half produced a surprising script.

Long drive, field goal.

Long drive, field goal.

Then repeat.

Georgia opened the game with a 15-play drive, twice converting on fourth-and-1, but settled for a 35-yard Blair Walsh field goal after Corey Miller tackled Murray for a loss on a quarterback draw.

The Vols then responded with a 13-play drive that went unrewarded when Palardy missed wide right on a 51-yard try.

Tennessee’s next possession lasted 14 plays.

The Vols reached the 7, first-and-goal, but went no farther. Palardy hit from 28 yards and it was 3-3.

Georgia’s turn. A 43-yard bomb from Murray to Mitchell got a first-and-goal at the UT 7.

Tennessee’s defense made a stand, though, and Walsh’s 23-yard field goal left it 6-3.

Only 1:44 remained in the half, but that was enough.

Bray had completions of 19 yards to Zach Rogers and 27 yards to Lane as UT overcame two penalties and landed at the Georgia 34.

Time was running short, but Bray and Da’Rick Rogers hooked up for 13 yards to the 26.

The Vols used their final timeout to stop the clock and Palardy came through with a career-long 43-yard field goal as time expired.

“We only had three possessions in the half,’’ Dooley said, “and we moved the ball all three times.

“We didn’t finish so it wasn’t perfect, but it was good.’’

The second half wasn’t.

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Comments » 412

dbc5361 writes:

Please, send UT all your monies!!! We need help!!!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Nothing more need be said. Sad state of affairs in Knoxville.

ZacharyUTK writes:

awful.

OKVOL24 writes:

Bad game, firing Dooley is not the answer just need more players

ZacharyUTK writes:

Only bright spot was Rivera. That's it. Dude was our entire offense.

It's gonna be a long month.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Laid an egg this week!

Tru138 writes:

0 running game
0 secondary
0 deep threat
0 special teams
0 for SEC October

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

hire a running backs coach, how many times do i have to say it?

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

22 carries for 9 yards...stats don't lie, folks.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to OKVOL24:

Bad game, firing Dooley is not the answer just need more players

Agreed. Too many missed assignments and mistakes!

bigorangesob writes:

I hate to sound like alot of other people, but UGA,Bama,Florida, and every other team has young talented players who actually come out and play, what the h@#$ is going on with ours?

posivol writes:

miss cpf more and more.

oh for the days of mediocrity.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Last week I posted on here that UGa was our best chance for an SEC win in October. We lost. No excuses.

We're just not a good team--in any aspect of the game. We can't run the ball and consistently give up big plays on defense. And for all of you who posted on here that "we should pass to set-up the run", perhaps tonight's game will prove (once again) that it doesn't work that way in football.

Only way we win any SEC game in October is if we play perfect football and the other teams self-destruct. And even that may not be enough.

thevoice writes:

Same ole story: special teams, lack of running

ClemCash writes:

Barbara Dooley will be holding a press conference to explain this loss in 15 minutes.

TheFuj writes:

Just a big let down--again. I like Dooley, but just don't think he can win at this level.
Tired of hearing about how young we are. GA big players are Fr. Our DB's Teague, Gordon, Wagner are not young. No Fr o-lineman.
Lose the kicking game every week. Darr is terrible. Palardy terrible. Young gave us a little spark though.
Looks like another long year, and more important is that the overall play this year looks worse than last year. Maybe we can buy out LSU and AL

shipperman#280095 writes:

Net yards rushing GA: 138 TN: 9

Net yards passing GA:228 TN: 290

pitiful

SignalMtnVol writes:

We pretty well suck. It's getting old. Everything looked absolutely horrible tonight. Even Bray looked like last years Matt Simms in this game (well, maybe not that bad...but still) gonna be a damned long year.

Volborn writes:

we are so fugged!

HtownVol writes:

For the first time I am officially ashamed to be a UT fan. Our team just has nothing to look forward to.

At best we have 3 more wins on the schedule.

Bray may miss a couple games and I think a Mike Leech Offense would be a upgrade in the RUN game for us!

This is the worst run Offense AND overall Defense I have seen at UT in over 20 years.

The reason I say Defense is because since Wilcox has been here I have said over and over that he kills us by playing the DBs so far off the line. EVERY single play the opponent has a AUTOMATIC 5-10 yards on a quick pass. And Teague is showing that he has no place on a field, getting burned horribly tonight.

How many times did at least one UT player give up on a play tonight?

I give up. I am sorry and I wish I a horribly wrong but I see nothing good about this team (this season).

Next season unless the staff can create a better team, the team will go only as far as Bray and Hunter take them.

I am sorry for this but I would not feel bad at all if this whole coaching staff gets fired any time soon. I know it wont happen until after the season at soonest but this staff can not get the team to focus and play hard therefore they are not the right staff to lead UT back to the top.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to OKVOL24:

Bad game, firing Dooley is not the answer just need more players

Our ship crashed into a huge island in the middle of the ocean. Obviously, it wasn't the Captain's fault. We need better sailors.

Delusional.

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

i hate having to get drunk after every game, let me be coach so i can put in my multiple offense, and you know im sittin here next to 30 ga fans right now, fml

born2ride writes:

Just the facts.

Dooley is 9-9 at UT.

17–20 at La Tech.

The only SEC teams he has beat are Vandy, Kentucky and The Black Bears - the 3 worst teams in the league.

His other wins came against Montana, Buffalo, Memphis, Martin and UAB, His best win was Cincy whow as 4-8 last year.

Dooley was not ready for the SEC. We will never win an SEC title or National Championship. He is another of Hamilton's mistakes.

We can still beat MTSU, Vandy and Kentucky and go to a non-BCS bowl. That is the best we can expect under Dooley. A mediocre coach and team.

Hart needs to bring in a big time coach who can return the Vols the glory years we had under Fulmer.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to TheFuj:

Just a big let down--again. I like Dooley, but just don't think he can win at this level.
Tired of hearing about how young we are. GA big players are Fr. Our DB's Teague, Gordon, Wagner are not young. No Fr o-lineman.
Lose the kicking game every week. Darr is terrible. Palardy terrible. Young gave us a little spark though.
Looks like another long year, and more important is that the overall play this year looks worse than last year. Maybe we can buy out LSU and AL

Normally, I'd say a season and a half isn't enough time, but I fear you may be right. I want to believe he just doesn't have the tools to work with, but it's a big adjustment going from LA Tech to a big-time conference. It may be time to look elsewhere.

1volfanatic writes:

Sad....just sad. We can always count on beating Ky n Vandy...maybe. Tired of saying "maybe next year".

BloodLustVoL writes:

Its bad enough I have to live in GA, and live among this common filth; but to lose to them at home, and not to score a TD until late in the 4th. This is going to be a long season. Comparing us to the talent on other teams would be like comparing a junior college to a NFL team. Go vols.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to Tru138:

0 running game
0 secondary
0 deep threat
0 special teams
0 for SEC October

Accurate list. I would only add the following:

0 chance that our D doesn't give up atleast one 60+yard play each game.

govolsgo8586 writes:

in response to OKVOL24:

Bad game, firing Dooley is not the answer just need more players

Seriously you honestly believe more players is the answer. I am not trying to be disrespectful however, we as VOL fans have started to accept mediocrity there was a day where if we lost more than 10 maybe 8 at the most we would get upset. I like DD however, he hasnt proven why he can compete in the SEC and I have rooted for him and defended him all the way up to this game tonight. I dont know what we need to do but we need a coach and a staff with a winning track record. Our HC and his staff for the most part isnt proven at all. He is great with off the field issues and that is needed however, this is VOL football and the SEC we need results on the field. Im not asking for a national championship or an SEC championship from him in his 2nd season I just want us to be able to beat good SEC teams no reason why they didnt beat GA tonight.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to 1volfanatic:

Sad....just sad. We can always count on beating Ky n Vandy...maybe. Tired of saying "maybe next year".

you're not the only one.

ClemCash writes:

UGA is NOT a good football team. Florida is not typical Florida, yet UT lost to both, while not putting up much of a fight.

6 losses, easy (LSU, Bama, SC and Arkansas) still to come. Bowl eligibility will come down to Vandy. Dropping NC was brilliant afterall.

hamneggs writes:

We have LSU where we want them now...........

RaineyVol writes:

Whelp! all we have is Lsu, Bama, and SC. can't wait till MTSU.. we make so many stupid dumb idiotic mistakes.. this seems to never stop.

HtownVol writes:

Hey, I just realized somethjing that we can look forward to.

We have a New AD! No more Mikey to hire a BAD coach!

Perhaps the new AD can see that the staff we have now is not getting near the most out of the team and UT deserves better!

Just a small hope for us but at least it is something to look forward to. A 4-8 or 5-7 season is making me want to drink,drink then drink again and then hope that no one makes fun of me at work for sporting UT logos all over my truck. Man it is so sad that I am ashamed to have a giant T on my truck.

SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO SAD!!!!!!!!!!!

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to SignalMtnVol:

We pretty well suck. It's getting old. Everything looked absolutely horrible tonight. Even Bray looked like last years Matt Simms in this game (well, maybe not that bad...but still) gonna be a damned long year.

Looks like it's back to Simms anyway. What was all the talk about our secondary being such a bright spot this year. Have not even been close to interceptions and got burned badly tonight. Could have been worse if Murray on target on a few of those long throws.

wallingdad writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i hated to see him get hurt. i hate to see anyone get hurt. however whether it is Bray or Simms it will not matter. We will get killed in October ......i can still hope for a miracle though

OKVOL24 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Our ship crashed into a huge island in the middle of the ocean. Obviously, it wasn't the Captain's fault. We need better sailors.

Delusional.

So you would like to fire Dooley after his second year? And then what get a new coach and if he dosent have a great first year fire him and just keep doing that until we finally have a good year?

ClemCash writes:

With LSU and Bama coming up, Bray injured his thumb right in time. Now Simms gets thrown to wolves again if Bray doesn't play. Bray's thumb will be fine by MTSU I'm guessing.

SandySpringsVol writes:

Bray came off the field and said "I think it's broken." Not good...

mahabrando writes:

yler Bray is hurt. Goodbye season.
Matt Simms let's see what you got.
Har har?
Oh well season is over.
We are DONE!

-I'm negative fair-weather fan and I approve this message.

In all seriousness... Without a running game, Tyler Bray can pass like Manning and Rogers catch like P. Price...we'll still be in last place in the East! He's carrying this team. Now HE is hurt! Just his throwing hand though so it should be fine. Geez... it's tough go be a Tennessee VOL the last what 8 years?! Hahahaha!

Oh well Georgia paid good money to get that 100th win for a coach they are about to fire... I kid I kid. They out played us in every step of the game.

4 & 57 was fun though.... only fun part of the game. Surprised Neyland stayed loud and stayed there. Weird.

bobbyutvol writes:

We played like we were trying not to lose. What happened to that aggresive play we have had all year. Why also are we so intent on running the ball pass first and then open up the run. Very poor coaching and game plan. defense played well enough to win. Very dissapointed.

volpreacher writes:

in response to bigorangesob:

I hate to sound like alot of other people, but UGA,Bama,Florida, and every other team has young talented players who actually come out and play, what the h@#$ is going on with ours?

Your post shows just how smart you are. NOT. Yes they have young players but they play sparingly, most of them. The other teams have a lot of upper classmen that start or contribute most of the snaps. They don't have to rely on theirs to play the whole game like we have to. That's the difference.

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to TNORANGEDOGDAD:

Looks like it's back to Simms anyway. What was all the talk about our secondary being such a bright spot this year. Have not even been close to interceptions and got burned badly tonight. Could have been worse if Murray on target on a few of those long throws.

Yep. I was one who thought our secondary would be stout. Missing JJ, for sure. These guys looked like they were running with lead cleats on. King and Mitchell outpaced them nearly every deep play. Lucky Murray was over throwing most of the time.

ClemCash writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

Bray came off the field and said "I think it's broken." Not good...

That wasn't the entire conversation... The first part went like this: "don't we play LSU and Bama next?! I think it's broken!"

bones420 writes:

Pathetic!! We are no longer a SEC contender. Don't get me wrong, I will always be a Vol fan for life regardless of how we play, but...right now the Vol's can't even beat their own meat.

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

Absolutely speechless; we just can't seem to get over the hump.

utken1942 writes:

UT Tampaxs, no good after the 1st half,no second string

ClemCash writes:

in response to OKVOL24:

So you would like to fire Dooley after his second year? And then what get a new coach and if he dosent have a great first year fire him and just keep doing that until we finally have a good year?

Go to bed Barbara!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to volpreacher:

Your post shows just how smart you are. NOT. Yes they have young players but they play sparingly, most of them. The other teams have a lot of upper classmen that start or contribute most of the snaps. They don't have to rely on theirs to play the whole game like we have to. That's the difference.

Yeah, like our freshman center who can't snap his way out of a wet paper bag...oh, wait, he's NOT a freshman!

The "young" excuse waxes old, my clergyman friend. These guys need to s==t or get off the pot.

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to ClemCash:

That wasn't the entire conversation... The first part went like this: "don't we play LSU and Bama next?! I think it's broken!"

You're an f---ing jerk.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to OKVOL24:

So you would like to fire Dooley after his second year? And then what get a new coach and if he dosent have a great first year fire him and just keep doing that until we finally have a good year?

The difference between you and me is that I see absolutely no progress on the field over the last two years and you see...another rebuilding year...for some reason.

And Yes...I WOULD FIRE DOOLEY in a heartbeat. Heck, I wouldn't ever have hired him. I would fire him and hire a proven winner of a head coach like Kelvin Sampson or Kyle Whittingham. Then I would give those guys at least three year to show progress BECAUSE THEY HAVE EARNED IT BY WINNING WITH OTHER TEAMS.

Hanging on to Dooley at this point is like trying to ride out a hurricane. It's dumb and it won't end well. Best to save what you can and get out.

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