Run game dismal for Vols; numbers even worse

Tennessee's players and coaches are running out of ways to explain why the running game isn't clicking.

Meanwhile, the Vols are running out of places to drop before they hit rock bottom among college football's 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

After finishing Saturday's 20-12 loss to Georgia with minus-20 rushing yards on 23 attempts, UT (3-2, 0-2 SEC) solidified its hold as the SEC's worst rushing team and dropped to 114th nationally with its average of 84.8 yards per game.

"I thought we would be better than what we're doing against Florida and Georgia," coach Derek Dooley said. "I thought we would be about like what we were against Buffalo and Cincinnati. We haven't run the ball well against two good defenses yet and that's disappointing."

The numbers only get worse when the scope is narrowed to conference games.

The Vols, who averaged 126.5 rushing yards against Cincinnati and Buffalo, have yet to finish with positive yardage in either of their SEC games and carry an average of minus-14.5 yards per game heading into Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.) against No. 1 LSU (6-0, 3-0), which boasts the nation's fourth-best rush defense.

A 74-yard gap separates UT from 11th-place Ole Miss among SEC-only rushing statistics. The top nine are all averaging more than 100 per game.

"It's tough," left tackle Dallas Thomas said. "But we can't let the negative plays affect us. We have to keep pushing forward no matter how bad they get."

The Vols' running game will have to push past more than negative plays in the upcoming games against three teams ranked in the Associated Press top 15.

Not only is quarterback Tyler Bray out for the next six weeks with a broken thumb, but senior running back Tauren Poole could also be out for an extended period of time with a hamstring injury. Poole, who leads the Vols with 342 rushing yards this season, carried the ball seven times for 7 yards in the first quarter Saturday before the injury.

Second-string running back Marlin Lane, who has thrived as a pass-catcher and already has four touchdowns, would conceivably fill Poole's void, but the freshman has averaged just 2.6 yards per carry. He likely won't be alone in the backfield, either.

"We'll consider giving anybody some reps in the backfield if they can generate some yards," Dooley said.

Sophomore Rajion Neal, who missed a significant portion of the preseason with multiple injuries, had the Vols' longest run Saturday on the game's opening drive, but the 11-yard carry ended with the ball on the ground. Later in the drive, Neal fumbled again, and even though he was able to recover both, he never saw the field again.

On the offensive line, the Vols have started the same five players — Thomas, Alex Bullard, James Stone, Zach Fulton and Ja'Wuan James — at the same five positions for all five games. Because of the unit's youth, Dooley has previously said that it was too early to make wholesale changes on the unit. When asked about it Saturday, Dooley said it was "too early to have those kind of discussions."

"I've got to go look at it," he said.

Water And Bamboo: Dooley wasn't in the best of moods after UT's loss to Georgia, but he was still able to come up with one of his trademark analogies to describe the team's situation.

Considering that both Georgia and Florida are uncharacteristically unranked, and the SEC East remains wide open, Dooley was asked if he thinks the Vols will ever be able to catch the two perennial divisional leaders once they rebound. The answer quickly turned into an impromptu "state of the program" type address.

"We're water and bamboo," Dooley said. "Bamboo sits there and you water it, and you water it, and you water it. It sits there and it doesn't grow and it doesn't grow and you water it and you keep watering it and nothing's happening. If you don't understand bamboo, you say it's never going to grow. And then you come out and it goes ZHOOM! That's what's going to happen. I don't know when that is.

"I can't sit there and worry about 'they're down, if we don't get them now, we'll never get them.' We'll get them, our time will come, it's not right now. We make too many mistakes, we're not good enough in some places and we just got to learn from it and try to improve."

No. 1 In Town: With LSU retaining its spot atop the AP's Top 25, the Vols will host a No. 1 team at Neyland Stadium on Saturday for the first time since their 26-3 loss to Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 9, 2002.

The Vols' last win over a No. 1 team came on Sept. 28, 1985, when they downed Auburn, 38-20.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 99

doh writes:

I would like to see young get a few carries. You dont have to run up the middle with him. Arkansas ran a wide receiver out of the backfield against auburn and he took it to the house. Lets get creative. Simms is going to need some help.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

These aren't the "good ol' days" anymore. In those times, UT had running backs who could beat a defender to the corner (Reggie Cobb, Chuck Webb, Charlie Garner, "Little Man" Stewart, Jay Graham, Jamal Lewis, Travis Stephens, etc...). Gone are those days.

I believe our O-Line is trying, but they just don't have the nasty attitude & intensity needed to play O-Line. It can develop, but until then they will struggle greatly.

brokendownoldvol writes:

It's simple. I once heard Bear Bryant yell during a game, "There isn't anybody blocking over there!!!!" But they did gain 3-4 yds on that play.

lomas98 writes:

We need something to happen like the buffalo wild wings commercials, where a referee has a control for the water sprinklers to come on when lsu defenders get near the ball carrier. That will help our run game.

mdvol writes:

Defense had some lapses but held Georgia to 20 points. No one planned on losing Jackson, Poole, Bray and Hunter when the season started.

Still, I'm confident we are going in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing D. Rogers, D. Young, Arnett, Rivera and Lane emerge as stars.

We might take our lumps for a while but upsets do happen and we've all seen overconfident teams (LSU and Alabama) look past teams and play sloppy.

Never count out the VOLS.

givehim6 writes:

May we need to get a member of that 85' class to come talk to the team.

TartanShuttle writes:

Two SEC games and haven't gained a single yard. 114th out of 120 D-1 schools. No Tennessee team in history has ever been this low.

An offensive line (no matter how many sophomores) that returned every starter.

The head coach is not responsible for any of this?

jowemedo writes:

I was one who was willing to give Hamilton the benefit of the doubt but now I see the writing on the wall. Although he is not by himself responsible for the demise of this program I now see he was a major player. I am not a Fulmer apologist, but now I think it would have been wise for Hamilton to have put Fulmer on notice and then give him another year thus avoiding the Kiffin fiasco. This team is young and losing Hunter was a major blow but I don't see much improvement in areas where it is needed most. Offensive line/running backs. The secondary is not getting the job done. Time will tell if Dooley is the right man for the job and he deserves at least 2 more years to turn things around but no more. The best chance now for a win in October would be SC but that would have to happen after what is surely to be beat downs against LSU and Alabama so another 6-6 campaign looks like our best scenario. It will take at least 8 wins next year and 10 in year four to keep the hounds off CDD's back.

BrassMonkey writes:

Well, they are bad and the coaching has been subpar. I look forward to seeing what Simms can do against LSU. After all, the did lead the team last year against the Tigers in probably one of Doolittle's top 5 moral victories of his career. Could be interesting, a nice twist of plot if Simms ended up shooting the lights out the rest of the season.

GoVols_16 writes:

You want scars? You got scars.

GoVols_16 writes:

That being said, I like Dooley.

govols1234567 writes:

Such a frustrating situation in Knoxville right now

TartanShuttle writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

These aren't the "good ol' days" anymore. In those times, UT had running backs who could beat a defender to the corner (Reggie Cobb, Chuck Webb, Charlie Garner, "Little Man" Stewart, Jay Graham, Jamal Lewis, Travis Stephens, etc...). Gone are those days.

I believe our O-Line is trying, but they just don't have the nasty attitude & intensity needed to play O-Line. It can develop, but until then they will struggle greatly.

Richard Pickens, a Young High Yellow Jacket, at 63's got more sand than Lane and Poole. I'll guarantee you, he, today, wouldn't go down by a Georgia player say "Boo", the way they did last night.

arkyvol writes:

in response to jowemedo:

I was one who was willing to give Hamilton the benefit of the doubt but now I see the writing on the wall. Although he is not by himself responsible for the demise of this program I now see he was a major player. I am not a Fulmer apologist, but now I think it would have been wise for Hamilton to have put Fulmer on notice and then give him another year thus avoiding the Kiffin fiasco. This team is young and losing Hunter was a major blow but I don't see much improvement in areas where it is needed most. Offensive line/running backs. The secondary is not getting the job done. Time will tell if Dooley is the right man for the job and he deserves at least 2 more years to turn things around but no more. The best chance now for a win in October would be SC but that would have to happen after what is surely to be beat downs against LSU and Alabama so another 6-6 campaign looks like our best scenario. It will take at least 8 wins next year and 10 in year four to keep the hounds off CDD's back.

odd choice of metaphor. handwriting on the wall usually refers to being able to see what's coming, not the tail lights of the semi which flattened you. i don't claim any more ability to tell the future than the next guy, but hamilton's towering incompetence was plain to see from the day he assumed the office. a lot of us were screaming that he was wrecking the program. for our troubles, we got called every name in the book. look where we are. the football vols are a sick, sick program. the idea that they can compete with the likes of bama, l.s.u., or florida within the forseeable future is ridiculous. that point is about to be driven home with authority the next few weeks. the critical game is not bama, l.s.u., or u.s.c. it's arkansas. there's a program with far less foundation and tradition, but with a serious a.d. who understands that you hire coaches that other people want. watch that game. it will tell which way the vols are headed. i predict the hogs by 24.

thevoice writes:

in response to givehim6:

May we need to get a member of that 85' class to come talk to the team.

Maybe Fulmer could put his $500k/yr buyout to use and coach the OL. :)

VOLliven2it writes:

We just don't want it bad enought. The big uglies get no push, haven't much all year even with the smaller caliber teams. If they don't get mean and bad really fast, forget the run and we take our licks. Actually it will be Simms taking licks over and over again. I fail to see why those big old guys can't get push against anyone. How about some mean pills before LSU comes to town? And yes we do not have "that" back right now. With Poole hurt maybe the line will step it up a notch. Too bad they choose to try against an NFL caliber defense. It's a tough year but then we knew we had a ways to go to climb back up. Didn't we?

thevoice writes:

in response to TartanShuttle:

Two SEC games and haven't gained a single yard. 114th out of 120 D-1 schools. No Tennessee team in history has ever been this low.

An offensive line (no matter how many sophomores) that returned every starter.

The head coach is not responsible for any of this?

No. None of it. It's all the player's fault. It just so happens of the 600 (120 X 5) offensive linemen in the FBS, we happen to have the only 5 who aren't coachable.

WinkeyVol writes:

How about trying a direct snap to Poole ? Instead of calling it the G Gun it can be referred to as the P-Shooter.

volspaws writes:

New O line coach needed at season's end

DooleyWagon22 writes:

Holy smokes!!! We need this guy: http://espn.go.com/college-sports/foo...

RoadTrip writes:

Scheme and technique. How many times does it have to be said? They run a scheme that is draw based. O-line attempts to steer d-line out of the running lanes. It's an attempt to disguise run or pass - and it does not work against SEC type defenses. That is why you will find some of our o-line engaged in our own backfield. They do not leverage and drive block. They stand up after the initial hit and push with their hands. They do not zone block, although we should. You use this current technique and scheme when you feel you are overmatched physically and in experience in most of your games. Notice that the RB always gets the ball deeper in the backfield so they can read the draw blocks and run to daylight. The SEC defenses are so quick and physical they close the holes before our guys get started and it does not matter that CDD wants them to stay committed (his words) to the play called gap. The reason it does not matter is that every defense we have faced since doing this uses a gap control run defense. We telegraph our run plays by formation most of the time so they loan the box and gaps. Result - what you have been seeing. Against good team we stink. Against lesser teams we are cloer to average due to our players being more talented.

It's probably too late to change it this season. Lesson - big picture coaching decisions matter. It's not all about the recruits/players.

CroKev writes:

Look it's a thin team. They had NOTHING when Dooley arrived but walk-ons and whoever was left over after Kiffin left. Barbara Dooley was right: Muschamp & Jimbo Fisher inherited great talent from their predecessors (Meyer had a load of talent left over from Zook as well). UT just had 2 good (not great by SEC standards) recruiting years and this will be no different. This year with 75% Freshmen and Sophomores they had a decent starting 11 on each side but no room for injuries. They then lost their two best offensive weapons: Hunter and Bray. They lost their best LB earlier in Lathers.

Bottom line, they will be better in a year or two with a good 2-deep at every position. But right now, let's face - it the season is over. They don't have a snowball's chance in the next 5 games except for MTSU after which they'll be 4-6. It will take a great effort just to beat Vandy (will Bray be back by then?) and then we should beat UK to finish 6-6 again and get invited to a bowl game in Nashville or Memphis. Let's face it, the season's over and I'm garnering hope for next year.

I recognize I'm being a bit negative and if any orange-colored glass wearers want to jump on my case, you're justified in doing so. We just simply don't have the 2 guys on offense that we needed to beat UF, UGA and USC. Our OL has made that even more apparent.

Anyway, this has been a devastating year with horrible injuries to our best playmakers. It's also been depressing to see the performances turned in by our ST's, OL and DB's. I do believe we have the right guy doing the right things in CDD but I'm telling you, a conglomerate of Saban/Parseghian/Bryant/Neyland/Bowden, etc. couldn't do any better with this motley crew.

Voluvr writes:

We need push on the o line and blitz from the defense.

orange_n_peoria writes:

the o line does not hold their blocks.they look
more like a db playing bump and run.pop the guy once then watch him kill our rb.also aj johnson (45) is way too slow to be an sec lb

rtrchatt writes:

in response to mdvol:

Defense had some lapses but held Georgia to 20 points. No one planned on losing Jackson, Poole, Bray and Hunter when the season started.

Still, I'm confident we are going in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing D. Rogers, D. Young, Arnett, Rivera and Lane emerge as stars.

We might take our lumps for a while but upsets do happen and we've all seen overconfident teams (LSU and Alabama) look past teams and play sloppy.

Never count out the VOLS.

What is your prediction big boy? I guess the CT could look past your mighty big orange squad and the bye week before LSWho. Stars? You will see some stars literally and figuratively. Just be thankful that Saban will not do anything to show up your lawyer coach.

Take your lumps for a while??? When was the last time little ut was in the top 25 or better yet BEAT a team in the top 25???????????????? Make sure you show up in 2 wks, 5 in a row and learn to love it.

ACWLY writes:

Dooley had no running backs when he got here and SADLY has none coming in next year.

Voluvr writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Dooley had no running backs when he got here and SADLY has none coming in next year.

Imani Cross and Alden Hill would disagree with that statement. SADLY you don't know what you're talking about.

Voluvr writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well comrade, this was an actually an improvement from last year. We still need more players. We're slow and just not there yet. We got beat by a better team.

This year the answer will depend on how many injuries we get. I don't know who is behind Simms, but he better get loose.

Pullingguard writes:

What's important? A running game right! Well we have a coach for everything except running back..Off.Line., Def Line., Linebackers, Tight ends., Def Backs., QB's.,WR's., and no one assigned to specifically coach the running backs... Dooley needs to use some of his bamboo watering on something that matters.

HooRay_Vol writes:

in response to DooleyWagon22:

Holy smokes!!! We need this guy: http://espn.go.com/college-sports/foo...

Yes, now if only we can get him to schedule a visit...............

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Defense had some lapses but held Georgia to 20 points. No one planned on losing Jackson, Poole, Bray and Hunter when the season started.

Still, I'm confident we are going in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing D. Rogers, D. Young, Arnett, Rivera and Lane emerge as stars.

We might take our lumps for a while but upsets do happen and we've all seen overconfident teams (LSU and Alabama) look past teams and play sloppy.

Never count out the VOLS.

Always the optimist md! I'll drink some koolaid with you. Cheers. GO VOLS!

1986sugarbowl writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I could not have said it any better!!! What we had handed to us in Florida with Hunter going down was HUGE!!! The experts were saying that they felt UT would beat Florida and I totally agreed with them. If Hunter doesn’t go down, we win. If Hunter doesn’t go down, the likely hood of Brey getting a thumb broke is unlikely. We would have beat Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina. I truly believe that!! It also would have made the run game better. Not fix it by any means because it’s really bad, but better.

So that would leave us with Alabama and LSU. My feeling was we wouldn’t get them this year, but we would have made a heck of a ball game out of it. So yeah, you hit the nail on the head. The team in my mind going into the year was a 8 win team in my mind. After watching the first 3 games, I could easily see a 10 win team. Now a 6 win team. I can live with that. I will be hard to watch, but I can understand it. Go Dooley, and GO VOLS!!!

FWBVol writes:

I'll be the first to admit I wasn't a very good offensive lineman in high school and I never played college ball, but I did play the line so I can address things from a lineman's view point.

As a rule run blocking is easier with the right kind of players and is easier for most offensive linemen to learn because often it's just a matter of firing off the ball and hitting the first guy in a different colored shirt. Pass blocking has always been more technique and involves trying to redirect the defensive players trying to get the quarterback.

The more a team throws the ball the more young offensive linemen lose that aggressiveness needed to fire off the ball and run block.

A good pass blocker must be passive aggressive at times, but a good run blocker must always have an attack mentality. Until our young offensive linemen develop that out or get to the point where they get tired of being whipped every play we will continue to struggle with the run.

05VOLinCO writes:

It will get better. We have 19 OL on our roster. 16 are FR/SO. No SRs.

05VOLinCO writes:

Conversely Bama has 20 OL (4 SR/5 JR/5 SO/6 FR)

tnfanincali writes:

I am as frustrated as the next guy. We all want to see our team win now. But with that being said, I'd also say that we are just about where most of the "experts" and realistic fans figured we would be right about now, with the exception that I don't think many of us thought our run game would be this bad this far into the season. Is Dooley the right man for the job. That is still up in the air, but I think anyone calling for him to be fired at this point is being unrealistic. I would like to see some improvement from game to game, even though we are playing the top 2 teams in the country the next two weeks. I do not expect us to win either of those games, but as a fan will always have a hint of hope no matter who we are playing. I will always support the team and the coach. With the injuries we have been dealt, with the youth, inexperience, and lack of depth, and with the brutal schedule upcoming, I will be satisfied with 6 wins this year. Anything less than that will be disappointing, and anything more than that will be a pleasant surprise. Just my two cents.... GO VOLS!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to CroKev:

Look it's a thin team. They had NOTHING when Dooley arrived but walk-ons and whoever was left over after Kiffin left. Barbara Dooley was right: Muschamp & Jimbo Fisher inherited great talent from their predecessors (Meyer had a load of talent left over from Zook as well). UT just had 2 good (not great by SEC standards) recruiting years and this will be no different. This year with 75% Freshmen and Sophomores they had a decent starting 11 on each side but no room for injuries. They then lost their two best offensive weapons: Hunter and Bray. They lost their best LB earlier in Lathers.

Bottom line, they will be better in a year or two with a good 2-deep at every position. But right now, let's face - it the season is over. They don't have a snowball's chance in the next 5 games except for MTSU after which they'll be 4-6. It will take a great effort just to beat Vandy (will Bray be back by then?) and then we should beat UK to finish 6-6 again and get invited to a bowl game in Nashville or Memphis. Let's face it, the season's over and I'm garnering hope for next year.

I recognize I'm being a bit negative and if any orange-colored glass wearers want to jump on my case, you're justified in doing so. We just simply don't have the 2 guys on offense that we needed to beat UF, UGA and USC. Our OL has made that even more apparent.

Anyway, this has been a devastating year with horrible injuries to our best playmakers. It's also been depressing to see the performances turned in by our ST's, OL and DB's. I do believe we have the right guy doing the right things in CDD but I'm telling you, a conglomerate of Saban/Parseghian/Bryant/Neyland/Bowden, etc. couldn't do any better with this motley crew.

Wow...could not disagree with you more on your last point. Saban or Meyer could definitely do better than Dooley with this bunch. It's what real coaches actually do...they improve the quality of play. Granted, Saban and Meyer couldn't get these guys into an SEC championship, but in year 2, they definitely wouldn't be collapsing in on themselves after a muffed snap.

This idea that Dooley is doing the best that can be done with these players is a load of it...and it's nothing more than an uncreative excuse for how the team has not progressed. Good coaches turn out good players. Mediocre coaches turn out mediocre players. Other players are mediocre...that's a pretty good indication of the quality of our coaches.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I'll be the first to admit I wasn't a very good offensive lineman in high school and I never played college ball, but I did play the line so I can address things from a lineman's view point.

As a rule run blocking is easier with the right kind of players and is easier for most offensive linemen to learn because often it's just a matter of firing off the ball and hitting the first guy in a different colored shirt. Pass blocking has always been more technique and involves trying to redirect the defensive players trying to get the quarterback.

The more a team throws the ball the more young offensive linemen lose that aggressiveness needed to fire off the ball and run block.

A good pass blocker must be passive aggressive at times, but a good run blocker must always have an attack mentality. Until our young offensive linemen develop that out or get to the point where they get tired of being whipped every play we will continue to struggle with the run.

That was a great post. Thanks.

DocJas writes:

I just think the O line is not man enough to run block in the sec. We have a soft team and Poole is not the answer. I seen GA players lower their head and get an additional few yards while UT player fall down or run out of bounds. We need some player that are man enough to play in the sec. We are now La Tech North. 1 maybe 2 more wins this year. Book it. We lose Sat by 40 or more.

Madkels writes:

The running game stinks. I expected the O-line to improve a little each week, but no evidence of that. I agree with the post that says they are not agressive at the line and can only pass block. This is a coaching issue. You win in the SEC by controlling the line of scrimmage and being physical. This line does not even come close to being SEC caliber. Don't tell me they are young anymore. I'm not buying it. You can't sell me that theory when we have NEGATIVE yardage against SEC foes.

Another glaring hole in our coaching is the inability to stop UGA on 3rd down. WTH!

I'll stay on board for next season, but if huge improvements aren't seen, then this WAC coaching staff needs to return to that conference.

mikkim writes:

Enough is Enough. We better get out there and be a very loud crowd this weekend. I am sick of the negative posts. This team has taken its lumps and these kids (yes kids for those that don't have nineteen year olds) don't go out and try to lose. Dooley is our coach and he is rebuilding a torn down program that changes every year with graduations, departures and injuries. Bama was down for 7 years....Florida had a losing record for 2 decades and LSU had 9 years of 50/50 football. It is cyclical but with the new AD, a committed and competent coaching staff (which we have in spite of mistakes) and good supportive fans the VOLS will be back. It does appear that Dooley is "learning on the job". IT is what IT is now. Let's get behind them and see if this team can't pull one off. Let's do our part!

FearlessFreep writes:

I'm realistic and like most fans realize the state of the program. But at some point these FR and SO become upperclassmen.

There has definitely been progress in the pass-blocking game. Last season whomever was QB had three guys bearing down on him as soon as he completed his drop-back.

I agree with the astute poster who said that run blocking was an aggressive attitude. These guys definitely don't have that yet. Hopefully a couple of weeks of getting smashed in the mouth will help.

Tennessee is what they are right now - a young team that is very thin at most positions and has only a few 'elite'-type players. When those players get hurt, then you're back to what you had before which is a very pedestrian football team.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I hope CDD uses the rest of this year to fix all the issues we all have been harping on. It's a perfect time to get this done. The pressure is off. It's time to see if CDD has backbone. If his assistants cant get it done then they should be replaced this year.

Mtnbiker writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Dooley had no running backs when he got here and SADLY has none coming in next year.

I won't go so far as to say none at all, but it's crystal clear Poole , Neal and Lane are not the RB's we've been used to on Rockytop. Young is too small, but he's the fastest and most talented by far IMHO. Lane looks great so long as he's catching it, so that tells me he needs a little space and our OL isn't giving our RB's any. Won't get better until we get a better OL coach, REHIRE FULMER as OL coach. Never had a sorry Oline that i can remember.

volsdogg1 writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

These aren't the "good ol' days" anymore. In those times, UT had running backs who could beat a defender to the corner (Reggie Cobb, Chuck Webb, Charlie Garner, "Little Man" Stewart, Jay Graham, Jamal Lewis, Travis Stephens, etc...). Gone are those days.

I believe our O-Line is trying, but they just don't have the nasty attitude & intensity needed to play O-Line. It can develop, but until then they will struggle greatly.

The difference in the old running backs they run down hill and hit you in the mouth the new backs fall down at the touch of any one.

linebam writes:

Losing Poole may not be such a bad thing; he and Neal continue to drive me crazy with their refusal to just lower their shoulders and get positive yardage. My wife had to leave the room 'cause I got so mad watching these guys get the ball and then stop two yards behind the line looking to make a move only to be piled on... or running around the end and then reversing field or trying to bounce outside - only to lose more yardage - when cutting in and plowing ahead would have probably picked up at least two yards (any positive number is better than going backwards). Or the ones that pissed me off the most... finally breaking free and nearing the first down marker only to try a juke and getting pushed back. GEEZ... can anyone on this team run downhill?!? I say it's past time to find someone who can... get in their faces and give a shot to any 'backs who show the toughness to lower their heads and shoulders and run north/south!

volsdogg1 writes:

in response to linebam:

Losing Poole may not be such a bad thing; he and Neal continue to drive me crazy with their refusal to just lower their shoulders and get positive yardage. My wife had to leave the room 'cause I got so mad watching these guys get the ball and then stop two yards behind the line looking to make a move only to be piled on... or running around the end and then reversing field or trying to bounce outside - only to lose more yardage - when cutting in and plowing ahead would have probably picked up at least two yards (any positive number is better than going backwards). Or the ones that pissed me off the most... finally breaking free and nearing the first down marker only to try a juke and getting pushed back. GEEZ... can anyone on this team run downhill?!? I say it's past time to find someone who can... get in their faces and give a shot to any 'backs who show the toughness to lower their heads and shoulders and run north/south!

wow you hit that right on, the only thing you missed was falling down in open field for no reason

pogiegovols writes:

I personally think that this offense, from the day Fulmer left, has been built around the pass. We still have to be able to get something on the ground to keep defenses from blitzing every play. I still believe in this football team and this coaching staff, we just gotta focus on getting everyone back healthy. We lost our 2 best defensive players before the season ever started(J. Jackson & H. Lathers) and now we have lost our 2 best offensive players. No amount of optimism can change that. I was there saturday night and I will say this, Neyland Stadium was rocking and were supportive of this team. Our fans want this thing to get straightend out so bad and I believe we have the talent just not the depth or experiance. That comes with recruiting,time, and patience. No matter what I still love my VOLS!!!!...BTW is there a more difficult stadium in the country to get out of after a game than Neyland?.....lol....Maybe being from South Carolina and not knowing exactly where to go contributes to that..lol

CoverOrange writes:

Raj-gun. Try it, couldn't hurt.

KENVOL writes:

Dooley has 1 more year before we need to start looking for a real coach. He seems to be a good guy but not what we need at Tenn. Our team is going backwards. The players are not playing hard and look like a bunch of whipped puppies. We have to give another year but we need to start looking for the right guy.

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