N.C. State's talented secondary makes losing Da'Rick Rogers more daunting for Tennessee

Short week gives WRs less time to adjust

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 31, 2012 North Carolina State's David Amerson participates in drills during an NCAA college football practice in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina State has an experienced quarterback leading its offense, an all-American anchoring its secondary and the chance to contend for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 31, 2012 North Carolina State's David Amerson participates in drills during an NCAA college football practice in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina State has an experienced quarterback leading its offense, an all-American anchoring its secondary and the chance to contend for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

If Da'Rick Rogers' suspension last week was a deflating letdown at the end of an otherwise optimistic August, imagine how much more it will sting if Rogers' absence contributes to a loss in the Georgia Dome.

Tennessee has been preparing for Friday's Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against North Carolina State for at least a week, but the abbreviated game week begins in earnest today.

The focus will be on getting Rogers' replacements up to speed while preparing for a Wolfpack team that is strongest in the areas that Rogers, an All-SEC receiver, would have been able to negate.

"This is one of the best secondaries we will face, and probably one of the best secondaries in college football," said Tennessee coach Derek Dooley.

N.C. State won eight games last year and many pundits predict that Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien has the most talented team in his six-year tenure.

Dooley said that Tennessee fans looking down their noses at N.C. State or the ACC are making a mistake.

"I think N.C. State could blend right in our league and be able to whip anybody," Dooley said Thursday in a comment that raised eyebrows when it bounced around on Twitter.

In context, Dooley's statement wasn't so radical: N.C. State's talent is comparable to other teams in the SEC.

"I don't see a difference," Dooley said. "We look at them and we see great athletes on the perimeter, a lot of draft picks and a hard-nosed, physical, tough football team. They could fit right in in our league. I don't view it as SEC-versus-ACC. There is no significant difference in my opinion."

Until last week, the strengths of N.C. State and the strengths of Tennessee intersected in a way that offered intriguing matchups.

The Wolfpack's defense was among the nation's best in turnover ratio last year (6th), and its top playmakers in the secondary are all back.

Cornerback David Amerson had 13 interceptions last season. Safeties Brandan Bishop (5) and Earl Wolff (3) combined for eight.

Tennessee's top two receivers in the post-Rogers era have liabilities. Justin Hunter hasn't played in a game since tearing his ACL last year and Cordarrelle Patterson hasn't played in an SEC game ever. But Patterson won't have the luxury of easing slowly into a prime role. The Vols need him to catch a lot of passes from Game 1.

Pressure also will fall on quarterback Tyler Bray, who will have to make smart decisions and not rely on his targets to bail him out.

Bray said offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has been preaching patience, telling him not to force the ball into dangerous spaces.

"(N.C. State) will make you pay for an inaccurate throw," Dooley said. "(The defensive backs) can recover and make a play on a ball that most people can't.

"That will require some patience."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 95

Vo2Vol writes:

I believe this will be a hard fought game, but I think this team is hungry to get after somebody. While we have some playmakers at receiver, I am hoping to see a more aggressive offensive front and a defense that can get off the field. We have the size on both sides of the ball.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

NC State will win this game because of coaching. Dooley has had all year to prepare, UT fans should expect a lot. Unfortunately, you're likely to see a dud.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

in response to Vo2Vol:

I believe this will be a hard fought game, but I think this team is hungry to get after somebody. While we have some playmakers at receiver, I am hoping to see a more aggressive offensive front and a defense that can get off the field. We have the size on both sides of the ball.

You don't have "some" playmakers at receiver, you have "a" playmaker at receiver, and this is his first game back from a devastating injury, and he's up against a very solid secondary. Patterson is a complete unknown at this point, he's yet to make a single significant play.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

NC State will win this game because of coaching. Dooley has had all year to prepare, UT fans should expect a lot. Unfortunately, you're likely to see a dud.

"So wher u frum boy?"

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

Tom O'Brien vs Dooley with 7 new coaches and new systems.. No doubt where my money is going. NC State + the 3.5 points looks real good. UT has a WR off an injury who has not played in forever, a tight end who has been injured in camp and missed reps and a JC who has never played under the bright lights of national TV.. Plus no proven run game. Too early in the season for this big game. To much thinking with all the changes and not enough reacting. NC State by 10.

jobrando#216494 writes:

This is crazy. NC State has not even been on the boards in recruiting the last number of years. Dooley has been getting top 20 classes. If this is not a win Dooley is toast.
I mean 20+ point win. I fully expect that big win.

WestTNVFL writes:

It won't be a close game! Remember, you heard it here first!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

This is crazy. NC State has not even been on the boards in recruiting the last number of years. Dooley has been getting top 20 classes. If this is not a win Dooley is toast.
I mean 20+ point win. I fully expect that big win.

NO prob! Prohand has picked NCSt. UT's a sure thing now.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

in response to WestTNVFL:

It won't be a close game! Remember, you heard it here first!

Nah, I don't see it. I think UT will keep it fairly competitive, maybe within 10 points, but I don't see an NC State blowout.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Tom O'Brien vs Dooley with 7 new coaches and new systems.. No doubt where my money is going. NC State + the 3.5 points looks real good. UT has a WR off an injury who has not played in forever, a tight end who has been injured in camp and missed reps and a JC who has never played under the bright lights of national TV.. Plus no proven run game. Too early in the season for this big game. To much thinking with all the changes and not enough reacting. NC State by 10.

Sorry Prohand. You could use similar arguments to pick. Even NCSt's coaches would say the Wolfers have a lot of questions coming in to this game.
It's NOT that your points are bad? You just came up with the wrong conclusions.hehe

We'll see though this weekend!!

GBO

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Tom O'Brien vs Dooley with 7 new coaches and new systems.. No doubt where my money is going. NC State + the 3.5 points looks real good. UT has a WR off an injury who has not played in forever, a tight end who has been injured in camp and missed reps and a JC who has never played under the bright lights of national TV.. Plus no proven run game. Too early in the season for this big game. To much thinking with all the changes and not enough reacting. NC State by 10.

There you have it from ProfessionalButtWiper. Bet the house on the Vols!

Ironcity writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Tom O'Brien vs Dooley with 7 new coaches and new systems.. No doubt where my money is going. NC State + the 3.5 points looks real good. UT has a WR off an injury who has not played in forever, a tight end who has been injured in camp and missed reps and a JC who has never played under the bright lights of national TV.. Plus no proven run game. Too early in the season for this big game. To much thinking with all the changes and not enough reacting. NC State by 10.

The next time you pick UT it will be the first time.

atnvol#283282 writes:

We are in serious trouble as Bray has never shown patience....Hunter is not 100% and Patterson is a total unknown as far as gametime on the big screen. I would gladly settle for any kind of win. Better hope the running game is a huge surprise.

coach799 writes:

NCSU gave up 224 passing yards a game to inferior offenses compared to SEC teams. They lost 2 of their top LBs and we are supposed to believe they will dominate our offense? Please . . . . Prohand is smoking some good Carolina weed.

GO VOLS!!

rabidvol1998 writes:

TN is -4 in Vegas. I would have guessed even. Maybe they are giving us the 3 point home advantage because we will out draw NCST. Very close and important game. GBO. Can't wait to take my seat in Atl and enjoy the show.

SevenT writes:

in response to coach799:

NCSU gave up 224 passing yards a game to inferior offenses compared to SEC teams. They lost 2 of their top LBs and we are supposed to believe they will dominate our offense? Please . . . . Prohand is smoking some good Carolina weed.

GO VOLS!!

McFly

The last couple of times Tennessee played ACC teams it a thrashing at the hands of Virginia Tech and North Carolina in Bowl games. ACC is not inferior to the SEC with teams like:

Florida State
Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech
Clemson
Miami
North Carolina
NC State
Maryland

Please Don't be a southern fried moron. Thanks

BTW Without that French person (Da' Rick) Tennessee will be lucky to go home with a win.

LOCK THAT UP

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to rabidvol1998:

TN is -4 in Vegas. I would have guessed even. Maybe they are giving us the 3 point home advantage because we will out draw NCST. Very close and important game. GBO. Can't wait to take my seat in Atl and enjoy the show.

I think it was -6 until DR was deemed suspended, but I like UT to win going away..
UT: 35
NCS:17
GBO!

mtthw741 writes:

a repeat of Cal 2006

jobrando#216494 writes:

Football time starting Thursday with Vandy and SC...6pm ESPN Whats the line on this game

mdvol writes:

VOLS light it up in the Dome but watch for the running game to get 200+ and 3 TD's.

Close for a half then the O-Line takes over.

VOLS hang 100 in their first two games.
Then drop 40 on the Gators. Start 4-0.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Life goes on without DR. He chose to not be with the team. Now the team can focus on really being a team and putting forth their best effort. It will take a total team effort and few mistakes for the Vols to win. With or without the drama-man, that is reality. They can do it. The question remains will they? I am hoping they will do it!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to mdvol:

VOLS light it up in the Dome but watch for the running game to get 200+ and 3 TD's.

Close for a half then the O-Line takes over.

VOLS hang 100 in their first two games.
Then drop 40 on the Gators. Start 4-0.

Book It...It's all orange

PUL4VOLS writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Football time starting Thursday with Vandy and SC...6pm ESPN Whats the line on this game

Please tell me no one seriously posted this on the Volunteer site...oh I guess you did. Come on man! Nobody cares the line on that game.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to PUL4VOLS:

Please tell me no one seriously posted this on the Volunteer site...oh I guess you did. Come on man! Nobody cares the line on that game.

But I live in Nashville and a native Tennessean. I always pull for the VOLS but Vandy is playing with many Tennesseans. Go home yankee. You got to be a transplanted VOL. Right?

dvhill100 writes:

CDD is 0 fer against teams the Vols are underdogs to. If he gets this one, it certainly will signal this team is on its way back. Hope springs eternal.

USMCDEVILDOG2003 writes:

I think DD is playing it smart by keeping the team on their toe's not to over look them make the team focus on their job at hand. I think as a couching stand point the 2yrs he been at Tennessee he has learned his leson to be better prepared for games set himself up in case an injury to a star player do happen.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

NC State will win this game because of coaching. Dooley has had all year to prepare, UT fans should expect a lot. Unfortunately, you're likely to see a dud.

Delta dawn aka BodeaneNotVol aka KNS plant you and all your alter egos are the duds

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

You don't have "some" playmakers at receiver, you have "a" playmaker at receiver, and this is his first game back from a devastating injury, and he's up against a very solid secondary. Patterson is a complete unknown at this point, he's yet to make a single significant play.

How can you say we only have a playmaker and say Patterson is not because he hasn't played as of yet? Patterson may or may not be a playmaker now or ever,but you are stupid to say he is not before seeing him in action.

Just what is your beef about anything Vols? You just need to shut your mouth and see how things turn out.

voloffaith writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

But I live in Nashville and a native Tennessean. I always pull for the VOLS but Vandy is playing with many Tennesseans. Go home yankee. You got to be a transplanted VOL. Right?

Good answer wrong site...can get the line off google in seconds without asking on here..just sayin....yes we want Tennesseans to do well...just harder if they chose Peabody...

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

I'm not predicting anything for this team yet. We have basically the same personnel as last year yet people on this thread keep saying we are going to run all over them for 200 yards and pass for 300 plus. Keep in mind we could not run at all last year, and we have the same offensive line. While I think we will show some improvement this year, we are definitely capable of being embarrassed on Friday night. If the Vols win, we will probably have more questions than answers.

Pullingguard writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

NC State will win this game because of coaching. Dooley has had all year to prepare, UT fans should expect a lot. Unfortunately, you're likely to see a dud.

If such were to happen and NCS beats Vols, then I think we Vol fans are in for a long year. Why? I think the players and the fans are expecting a victory and anything less would be blow to confidence of both parties.

papavol writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

But I live in Nashville and a native Tennessean. I always pull for the VOLS but Vandy is playing with many Tennesseans. Go home yankee. You got to be a transplanted VOL. Right?

I agree. Huge vol fan here, but my little brother goes to vandy so i always like to see them do well. lots of hype with vandy and if they can get a win over SC, that would be huge for Nashville and the program. great game to start the CFB season.

USMCDEVILDOG2003 writes:

Vols fans,

Daricktiky was a beast of an WR, but it is funny how we went 5-7 with him, now JH is back and he is hungry to prove him self to the fans and football world that his knee is 100% it's not going to take someone like him long to get back, if he can burn Eric Berry a couple of times, remeber what he said he is NFL ready now. Now on to CP if everyone is telling the truth about what he been like in the 7 on 7 drills catching ball over CBs head we will be ok, if our running game has improved the sky is the limited, Neal didnt workout so hard with the lineman for no reason get what im saying. OOORRRAAHH.
...

vq4nfo writes:

State has a very good senior QB and according to their defensive chart not one true freshman. They may not be in the top 20 in the recruiting wars but they stacked up on defense early.

This game IMO will come down to time management, utilizing the clock in critical times. I do not have faith in CDD WRT this part of the game yet. It will be a close one for sure.

PHAT_VOL writes:

IF we dont turn over the ball on our side of the field The Vols will pull away in the 3rd quarter. If the kicking game has improved.
Look for our newly found running game to shine behind the better than average offensive live.
NCst will not run up the middle on us.

NOW our Kicking Game anyone want to take a guess on how it will perform? The kicking game could be the key. But again our rushing offense will be the surprise of the game.

GO VOLS!!!

Ayres_Hall writes:

We should have never fired Neyland.

Idiots.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Our defense is going to shut them down and they can't can't stop our offense. Vols 37 NCS 17

Go Vols!!!!! It's all about the ORANGE!!!!!

orange_eVOLution writes:

We're gonna run it down their throats. We win by two or three touchdowns.

GO VOLS!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to USMCDEVILDOG2003:

I think DD is playing it smart by keeping the team on their toe's not to over look them make the team focus on their job at hand. I think as a couching stand point the 2yrs he been at Tennessee he has learned his leson to be better prepared for games set himself up in case an injury to a star player do happen.

C'mon KNS? U cam mishpell better than this? someone bring me a thesawrus!!

No seriously I think Dooley will get UT ready and no one will be overlooked.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Ok I wanna make a predict!! UT wins by making three field goals. Why not. Palardy's back. He's rehabbed.?
UT 44-NCST 20. UT blocks a field goal and an extra.
Go UT

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

McFly

The last couple of times Tennessee played ACC teams it a thrashing at the hands of Virginia Tech and North Carolina in Bowl games. ACC is not inferior to the SEC with teams like:

Florida State
Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech
Clemson
Miami
North Carolina
NC State
Maryland

Please Don't be a southern fried moron. Thanks

BTW Without that French person (Da' Rick) Tennessee will be lucky to go home with a win.

LOCK THAT UP

Cockroach.

thevoice writes:

in response to FLORIDAGATORHATER:

I'm not predicting anything for this team yet. We have basically the same personnel as last year yet people on this thread keep saying we are going to run all over them for 200 yards and pass for 300 plus. Keep in mind we could not run at all last year, and we have the same offensive line. While I think we will show some improvement this year, we are definitely capable of being embarrassed on Friday night. If the Vols win, we will probably have more questions than answers.

Hey now, there's no room for logical comments on here such as yours. You're too intelligent and should frequent the pay sites.

(sarcasm)

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Tom O'Brien vs Dooley with 7 new coaches and new systems.. No doubt where my money is going. NC State + the 3.5 points looks real good. UT has a WR off an injury who has not played in forever, a tight end who has been injured in camp and missed reps and a JC who has never played under the bright lights of national TV.. Plus no proven run game. Too early in the season for this big game. To much thinking with all the changes and not enough reacting. NC State by 10.

Fat, bald, and stupid is no way to go through life Brett.

So you are going to put your money on NC State? All $20???? You are a buttwipe of the highest order.

Vols 31
Pack 17

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Tom O'Brien vs Dooley with 7 new coaches and new systems.. No doubt where my money is going. NC State + the 3.5 points looks real good. UT has a WR off an injury who has not played in forever, a tight end who has been injured in camp and missed reps and a JC who has never played under the bright lights of national TV.. Plus no proven run game. Too early in the season for this big game. To much thinking with all the changes and not enough reacting. NC State by 10.

Before any of you newcomers take any stock in what this clown says....have a peek at him in action. What a buffoon!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDPHX0...

UTKin1992 writes:

A few more days and we'll all know if the Vols are back on track. Wish I felt more confident going into this game...but I just don't. Should be an even match-up and a good first opponent.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

As the game looms ever closer, the mere extra comments by the trolls indicates their concern. How bout' John Wayne/cowboy, Merlot, the punk kid/Seven, Bret the non-pro handicapper, etc...........all squirming and spouting off, hoping against hope that the Vols do as they are hoping.

We'll play the game trolls and everything you predict is meaningless at this point. A big difference this year is the presence of some pretty large dudes on both sides of the ball for the Vols, all with nasty attitudes.

Don't look for them to be pushed around. Down in the trenches the game is played and decided.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

A few more days and we'll all know if the Vols are back on track. Wish I felt more confident going into this game...but I just don't. Should be an even match-up and a good first opponent.

You feel just fine a little later on Friday night.

GO VOLS!!

thevoice writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

A few more days and we'll all know if the Vols are back on track. Wish I felt more confident going into this game...but I just don't. Should be an even match-up and a good first opponent.

I'm concerned too. It could be viewed as a game indicative of the rest of the season, but I remember what what UGA did last year. If we lose, it may look bad. If we win, it may not mean much; we are favored after all. I'm interested in how we stack up against USC, UGA, UF, Mizz.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

Before any of you newcomers take any stock in what this clown says....have a peek at him in action. What a buffoon!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDPHX0...

Love that video! You've seen Fat Elvis, now you've seen Fat Britney. That Britney hat is friggin hilarious! Hopefully he makes enough money from his pathetic website to buy a shirt that fits.

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

IF we dont turn over the ball on our side of the field The Vols will pull away in the 3rd quarter. If the kicking game has improved.
Look for our newly found running game to shine behind the better than average offensive live.
NCst will not run up the middle on us.

NOW our Kicking Game anyone want to take a guess on how it will perform? The kicking game could be the key. But again our rushing offense will be the surprise of the game.

GO VOLS!!!

What evidence do you have that either our running game or kicking game has improved? Local media reports? Every college football town gets excited about their team at this point in the season based on overly optimistic reports. That's what sells. I'll believe it when I see it.

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