Tennessee-Cincinnati Report Card

Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers celebrates from the endzone after scoring a touchdown against Cincinnati at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, KNS/2011

Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers celebrates from the endzone after scoring a touchdown against Cincinnati at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS)

Tennessee-Cincinnati Game in Review

Quarterbacks A

If that wasn't a perfect game under center, Tyler Bray was about as close as anybody can get. The sophomore completed 34 of 41 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns, added a sneak for a score and wasn't sacked. There aren't many passers doing it better right now.

Running backs B-

Tauren Poole snuck over the 100-yard mark and averaged nearly 5 yards per carry, but the senior is not yet getting enough help. Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal both put the ball on the ground, and collectively the yards per carry were still down at 3.6.

Wide receivers/tight ends A

Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers have made it look easy through two games, and they took turns abusing the Bearcats in the secondary. The sophomores combined for 20 catches, and Mychal Rivera was invaluable in the middle of the field with six grabs.

Offensive line B+

The pass protection continues to be fantastic for Bray, with the line giving its quarterback all the time he could need to carve up the Bearcats. There also appeared to be some holes in the running game that might have been missed. Count Week Two as a step forward.

Defensive line A-

The Vols might not have put many sacks on the board, but they were able to get in the face of Bearcats quarterback Zach Collaros and force some poor throws. The line also got great push on some critical short-yardage downs to turn the tide.

Linebackers B

There were some alignment issues at times, but Austin Johnson was able to help straighten things out and lead the team with six tackles as the Vols did a decent job against a versatile offense. A.J. Johnson only made one tackle, but it was a big one on fourth-and-1 in the second quarter.

Secondary C+

Justin Coleman will have another busted coverage to look at on film this week, and the coverage wasn't anything special for the Vols. But Brent Brewer was able to step up and make some critical tackles at safety and UT generally defended the spread well on the perimeter.

Special teams B

Michael Palardy missed his first field-goal attempt of the season, but the sophomore more than made up for it with a perfectly executed onside kick that he recovered. The return game was solid on kickoffs, but the punt unit was penalized and gave up a lot of field position.

Coaching A-

The Vols made a few subtle changes in the lineup, including the surprise addition of Ben Bartholomew at fullback. Pretty much everything worked, starting with the gutsy call to kick it onside in the early stages of the game.

Overall A-

UT is undefeated through two weeks, and it got there against a team that wasn't exactly a pushover. The Vols are certainly building towards a bigger challenge next week, but it's hard to deny there's momentum on their side considering the way the offense is operating.

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Comments » 75

MEDIA_OCRITY writes:

CDD and crew have done a great job with a very young team. I'm impressed with Bray. Who isn't but the secondary is suspect. I'm anxious to see what adjustments are made. GO VOLS!!!

VolGrad writes:

Someone else needs to step up at the safety position and allow Prentiss to move back to corner. Coleman doesn't appear quite ready for SEC play regardless of how he handled Hunter in the O&W game.

Hunter has shown tremendous improvement over the summer. He was making some MAN catches in this game as was Da'Rick Rogers. Wow!

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Someone else needs to step up at the safety position and allow Prentiss to move back to corner. Coleman doesn't appear quite ready for SEC play regardless of how he handled Hunter in the O&W game.

Hunter has shown tremendous improvement over the summer. He was making some MAN catches in this game as was Da'Rick Rogers. Wow!

Randolph may be that guy. Saw him quite a bit these first two games.

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

Randolph starting at safety and moving Waggner back to corner might work. What happened to Eric Gordon? Don't remember him being awful last year. Dooley has made reference that he is still tinkering around with the secondary. Great game for the Vols this week! Can't wait to see what the fun & gun can do against the Gators!

VolGrad writes:

Eric may have been in on some nickel. I saw him out there on a few plays.

Ga_Dave writes:

I think we see just how badly we needed Janzen. Now, before you start on me, I agree that he needed to go. But, it's costing us in the secondary. Coleman isn't ready, he will get there, but he's just a true Fresh. I agree with other posters that we need to get Prentiss back to corner. I think Brewer will do OK at sakety, but who will be back there with him? You say Randolph, but isn't he a Fresh. too? Wilcox needs to come up with a solution by next Sat. if I'm going to eat swamp lizard for dinner next week. GBO

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to Ga_Dave:

I think we see just how badly we needed Janzen. Now, before you start on me, I agree that he needed to go. But, it's costing us in the secondary. Coleman isn't ready, he will get there, but he's just a true Fresh. I agree with other posters that we need to get Prentiss back to corner. I think Brewer will do OK at sakety, but who will be back there with him? You say Randolph, but isn't he a Fresh. too? Wilcox needs to come up with a solution by next Sat. if I'm going to eat swamp lizard for dinner next week. GBO

CB-Teague, B. Moore/Lanier/Gordon/Coleman (we have options at that position)

S-Waggner, Brewer

OrangeBeer writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If FU had a better qb, I would be worried, but they dont, so Im not. Vereen worried me more...2 TD's squarely on his shoulders...

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Let's take another step up and forward next week! It will be difficult on the road, but I'm hopeful! We will learn a lot about this team come Saturday! I hope they play loose and free! And please, can we just IGNORE PackerPickleParkPickedAPickledPeckerOrange!

OrangeBeer writes:

After a shakey start at best, our D settled down and held a pretty potent offense scoreless for abt 2 quarters. FU is a different animal. we need CJW to have em ready out of the gate on Sept 17th.

OrangeBeer writes:

in response to MEDIA_OCRITY:

CDD and crew have done a great job with a very young team. I'm impressed with Bray. Who isn't but the secondary is suspect. I'm anxious to see what adjustments are made. GO VOLS!!!

one breath of fresh air is this coaching staff's agressiveness... It has been a long time since I have seen UT play to win, instead of the stale, "Just don't lose" mentality... Thanks CDD!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Put Tyler Bray on ND, Mich, Texas, UF, etc. with the same stats thru 2 games, and he would be up for the heisman. I'm not sying at this time he should be, but put him on one of ESPN's little favorites and he would be. This boy is the truth.

As for the o-line, they look pretty good to me. This is the second straight game Poole couldn't hit some wide open holes. He's a tough runner, but his vision is suspect.

tn_rockytop writes:

i am starting to think if we keep winning and bray keeps playing the same he is going to have some records and maybe a heisman. vols-42 gators 24 ......respect UT.

DannyVol writes:

Lots to be positive about heading into Florida week. Aside from Bray/Hunter/Rogers, it was great to see Z. Rogers, Rivera, Downs, and Poole get involved in the passing game. No reason to think we can't win in the Swamp. Working on our short passing game and hot reads will be a must because pressure from every angle is Florida's only chance. No doubt Dooley and Co. knows that.

Let's just hope Art Evans isn't in the game next week in crucial passing downs. Yeah, he had the pick 6 last week, but he was his old self this week. Also, the missed tackle by Vereen in the first quarter leading to the 65-yard TD by Cincy should be played on loop all week in the complex. I doubt we see him do that again the rest of the year.

Florida is going to try to pound it for 4 quarters with 4 different backs who hit holes pretty fast. That's pretty much all they worked on vs. UAB. However, they have some real issues in their passing game and their defensive backs are suspect.

dalvol writes:

I'm surprised that Da'Rick didn't get a flag thrown for excessive celebration, i.e. taking off his helmet! Lol.

AtLannaVol writes:

Ok, I get it. There are no A+ grades given. Right? I mean, you give A- grades. What stat could Tyler have improved on?
On another note--I hate Florida.

Go Vols! Keep it up. Just beat Florida and I will be happy. Georgia would be nice and I don't want to think about SC. My gosh, South Carolina should be in the AFC South. The D-line could probably beat alot of SEC basketball teams. Those are some scary good ath-a-letes.

I hate Florida.

AtLannaVol writes:

TB should be about the top rated passer in the country when all the stats are posted. 2 games. 698 yards. 7 TD passes, one TD run. 0 interceptions. That's ZERO! I'm gonna guess on this one...what the heck, where's my calculator....78.5% completions.
please show up against Florida. I hate Florida.

Go Vols.

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to dalvol:

I'm surprised that Da'Rick didn't get a flag thrown for excessive celebration, i.e. taking off his helmet! Lol.

he didnt take it off , it got knocked off.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to dalvol:

I'm surprised that Da'Rick didn't get a flag thrown for excessive celebration, i.e. taking off his helmet! Lol.

yeah, if you watch the clip, he gets SMASHED between 2 dudes (probably not a "safe" hit, either).

OldNumber7 writes:

Man..the thing I am feeling good about is Coach Dooley and his colleauges get "it". They aren't hell-bent and determined to try to balance the offense in spite of a win. (I can't remember a time I ever felt that way except when Peyton took over some games throwing). Seems the "process" is working, and this staff is dialed in. Be ready to give these boys a raise if it keeps going like this.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Put Tyler Bray on ND, Mich, Texas, UF, etc. with the same stats thru 2 games, and he would be up for the heisman. I'm not sying at this time he should be, but put him on one of ESPN's little favorites and he would be. This boy is the truth.

As for the o-line, they look pretty good to me. This is the second straight game Poole couldn't hit some wide open holes. He's a tough runner, but his vision is suspect.

Great post Rich. I was thinking the same thing. He's the best QB in the SEC right now. That touchdown when D Rogers lost his helmet was EXACTLY where it needed to be; three inches right or left, and it might've been picked.

Huttdawg100 writes:

These gator trolls are ridiculous. They patrol our boards far more than more than we do. They spew enough garbage to fill a land-field the size of Asia. Your days of idiotic banter have come to an end.

Precious isn't scared... Really? Really? You're about to see the best Quarterback in the SEC. You're about to see the two best receivers in the SEC. You're gonna get a HUGE dose of a senior running back with a major chip on his shoulder. And Wilcox is about to make Muschamp look old. You don't want to play from behind going against us.

I'll be in Gainesville Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

The streak ends 9-17-11.
Tennessee 31
Florida 13

Mr_Bandman writes:

Go vote for Tyler Bray for Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week at
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/featur...

seaplane#216536 writes:

This game was exciting and fun to watch. Keep it going.

txvolsfan writes:

Now it gets serious!!! Bray, Hunter and Rogers give us a chance to be pretty good. If Poole is north of 120yds I like our chances. The one with the most yards usually wins this game!!!
Should be interesting.
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

VOLFTBL writes:

I give Coach Dooley's pants an A+++ ! I love them and as long as we keep winning in them, I say to Coach, "Please wear them every game"!

VolAlum03ISBACK (Inactive) writes:

Is it too early to start talking about Bray as a Heisman contender?

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

Now it gets serious!!! Bray, Hunter and Rogers give us a chance to be pretty good. If Poole is north of 120yds I like our chances. The one with the most yards usually wins this game!!!
Should be interesting.
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

Howdy txvolfan! Nice to see another Vol this far out. Where bouts you located?

GBO!

springtx_vol writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

Great post Rich. I was thinking the same thing. He's the best QB in the SEC right now. That touchdown when D Rogers lost his helmet was EXACTLY where it needed to be; three inches right or left, and it might've been picked.

Top rated QB's after week 2:

1 Robert Griffin III, Baylor 250.58
2 Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 237.64
3 Marshall Lobbestael, Washington St. 217.15
4 Jordan Webb, Kansas 209.17
5 Tyler Bray, Tennessee 204.20
17 Barrett Trotter, Auburn 177.58
19 Tyler Wilson, Arkansas 174.99
32 Aaron Murray, Georgia 157.68
50 Jarrett Lee, LSU 140.64
52 John Brantley, Florida 138.60
53 Chris Relf, Mississippi St. 137.50

Next week is HUGE!

dvhill100 writes:

It has been a while since we played to win, and not just to avoid losing. Big fan of the coaching staff.

iowavol writes:

There was a lot of growing up in this game.

QB - Said it on another post, the only thing Tyler Bray needed to improve on was taking what the defense was giving and not force into double coverage. Mission accomplished, great job of reading and dumping to open backs/slots who can make YAC.

O-Line - pathetic to start the game, bad technique, got much better by the end of the first half.

RB - again, said TP needed to be patient, cut back against stuffed middle. Good job in second half of doing that. To his defense, early attempts he was facing 3/4 UC d-lineman. Not his fault.

D-line - is coming around nicely. Three big stands - the 2 4th down plays and the 3 against the goal line. Nice job indeed.

LB and DB's need some work still. And Vereen better never go for the kill shot again - dude was dead in his tracks and Daryl doesn't even attempt to wrap him up. Send up and down the stairs a couple of times coach - he will learn after that.

punkin writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was impressed by the field goal clinic the gators put on yesterday.

HartleyBell writes:

Dear Boyfriend,

It is over between us. Maybe if you were man enough to wear orange pants and to onside kick early in the game it might have worked out.

I love me some Coach Dooley. Go Vols.

Go4Two writes:

Living down here in Tampa I heard Air Raid sirens going off in Gainsville last night. Gator fans better take shelter

bigorangebolt writes:

It was an awesome win! Let's enjoy it today. Let's kick the gators but!Go Vols!

www.criagsteronline.com

globadoc writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Put Tyler Bray on ND, Mich, Texas, UF, etc. with the same stats thru 2 games, and he would be up for the heisman. I'm not sying at this time he should be, but put him on one of ESPN's little favorites and he would be. This boy is the truth.

As for the o-line, they look pretty good to me. This is the second straight game Poole couldn't hit some wide open holes. He's a tough runner, but his vision is suspect.

Let him go 34 of 45 vs UF and he'll be a Heisman candidate for sure. Not saying Cincy was/is bad but they aren't an SEC team.

jeremy writes:

There were a # of holes that the rb's missed. Looked like TP missed more than Lane. Couldn't fault the O-line this week.

Vol43 writes:

I don't know if yall caught this last night, but CSS was talking to himself! I copied/pasted his remarks. This is funny.

September 11, 2011
1:48 a.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post

Packer_Park_Orange writes:
in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Comparing Dallas to Philly is like comparing a bologna sandwich to Beef Wellington....Dallas is nothing but pickup trucks, cowboy boots and guys whose idea of a 7 course meal is a six pack of Lone Star and a hotdog....Get real...As for my degrees, there real enough alright; and I went to class enough and played enough to know an imposter (Dooley) when I see one.

Yea, and as for Dallas, I've been to the Cotton Bowl too...The lousiest bowl game there is...So has the man you fools all demean, Phillip (3 times); and he was directly responsible for winning it twice...Lest you forget.

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to dvhill100:

It has been a while since we played to win, and not just to avoid losing. Big fan of the coaching staff.

You are correct Mr. Hill. We won alot of games under Phil Fulmer and no won loves UT more than he does but his playing not to lose mindset was his biggest downfall. How many times did he ever try a onside kick in the 1st Quarter ?

VOLliven2it writes:

It was a great win but we still need a signature win in the SEC on the road. Here comes the chance this coming Sat. I hope we are up to the task. The Offense in the air looks up to it. I would love to see the run go to the next level in the Fla game too. GO BIG ORANGE!

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to VolAlum03ISBACK:

Is it too early to start talking about Bray as a Heisman contender?

Yes. But, if he posts similar numbers next week, NO! He is making NFL throws, but against suspect DBs. GBO!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

These gator trolls are ridiculous. They patrol our boards far more than more than we do. They spew enough garbage to fill a land-field the size of Asia. Your days of idiotic banter have come to an end.

Precious isn't scared... Really? Really? You're about to see the best Quarterback in the SEC. You're about to see the two best receivers in the SEC. You're gonna get a HUGE dose of a senior running back with a major chip on his shoulder. And Wilcox is about to make Muschamp look old. You don't want to play from behind going against us.

I'll be in Gainesville Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

The streak ends 9-17-11.
Tennessee 31
Florida 13

Grrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaattttttt Post!!!

Smokey says gutsy prediction, HD..

proud2btnvol (Inactive) writes:

After calling out Hunter's toughness and willingness to take a hit in the Spring, i have to give him credit for improving. Next week is another level, though.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Not perfect but I was impressed. Bray is Da'man (so is Da'Rick)! I think we have a QUARTERBACK! Lot's to improve on this week as stated above but it can be done. We can beat the Gators if we don't beat ourselves.
Sure glad we got a coach with some balls. I never was a Dooley fan but I'm starting to like the guy. Lot's more class than that last guy & it looks like he can coach too.
Go Vols, work hard, play smart & beat the living phooey out of Florida!
ps: I did not type "phooey" Good grief, what a bunch of girls.

shoelessvol#236864 writes:

The Vols made significant improvement from week one as one should expect. If they play relaxed next week at Florida we should be 3-0 and maybe on to an unexpectantly good season.

Attendance...Grade: F (94,207 give me a break...whoever counted the attendance must have been drinking kool-ade. Many Cincinnati fans in the stands...several thousand more than the Montana game...I estimated 98,000-99,000 at the game.)

mdvol writes:

It's on like Donkey Kong in Gainesville!!!

VOLS start the season 4-0! (Georgia 0-2)

jjsteel writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

he didnt take it off , it got knocked off.

That was the pun of his comment

GerryOP writes:

And so it begins ... great game guys!

2-0 on the way to 13-0 baby ... 13-0.

BTW Gata trolls, was our opponent yesterday the same Cincinnati that was classified as a stalwart opponent against your Gatas last January in the Sugar Bowl? Thought so...

The Little Willy and Big Chuck Show is already losing viewers ... 2nd game in a row no sellout in Benny Hill. And the downward slide accelerates...

SummittsCourt writes:

So glad there are so many coaches who can't help but nick-pick every little thing the Vols did wrong. It must be hard not being able to truly enjoy a great victory because you are so overly concerned about a missed blocking assignment or a penalty.

I wonder if someone nick-picks like this on their jobs. I wonder if they ever make mistakes at home or at work and how they would feel if there were a bunch of people posting about all of their faults.

As far as I'm concerned, The Vols played great yesterday and the gators better be prepared because I think their streak ends next Saturday.

GO VOLS!

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

ESPN did give Bray and UT some love this am. Hard to ingnore the stats put up by Bray.

The Gator's are fast and their defense is probably one of the strongest in the league. I am going to the game, and hope to come out with a BIG ORANGE GRIN on my face.

Big challange, I think it will be a close game, probably come down to turnovers. Can't put the ball on the ground this weekend.

Already getting pumped, I know I will endure endless calls and rants, hopefully, I will be the one serving up crow or fried gator!!

GO VOLS!!!

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