Opening opponent already has UT's attention

Vols began watching video in May

Tennessee defensive back Marsalis Teague (10) stops Cincinnati wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (1) at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee defensive back Marsalis Teague (10) stops Cincinnati wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (1) at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

As uncertain as a football season can be from a preseason vantage point, Tennessee at least knows its opener won't be anything like the last three.

The Vols opened the 2011 season with a 42-16 victory over Montana at Neyland Stadium. That fell merrily in line with the previous two openers, a 50-0 rout of UT Martin in 2010 and a 63-7 victory against Western Kentucky in 2009.

None of those openers should to be confused with what's next: an Aug. 31 game in the Georgia Dome against North Carolina State, which could be a preseason top-25 team and should pose a significant challenge for a UT team coming off a 5-7 season.

The more formidable opening opponent already has gotten the Vols' attention. They began checking out videotape of the Wolfpack in May, as soon as they completed their final exams.

"With a bigger game like this, it gives you an edge," UT cornerback Marsalis Teague said. "You want to get on it earlier."

N.C. State will present a potent passing attack — led by senior quarterback Mike Glennon, who threw for more than 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns last season — and a defense that returns seven starters, including All-American cornerback David Amerson.

"They're a good team," UT cornerback Prentiss Waggner said. "It's going to be a challenge for us."

N.C. State, which was 8-5 last season, started slowly in 2011 but finished

strong, winning its last three games, capped by a victory over Louisville in the Belk Bowl. The stretch run was highlighted by a 37-13 victory against nationally ranked Clemson.

"They're obviously a good team," Teague said. "We will have to come up with our best game."

UT's defensive challenge could be compounded by its switch to a 3-4 alignment and the different looks presented by a varied N.C. State offense.

"We've been watching all their shifts and motion," UT linebacker Herman Lathers said.

A more difficult opponent won't be the only season-opening change. The game will be played Friday night in the Georgia Dome.

"When August 31 rolls around, I don't care if it's Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday," Teague said. "We'll all be ready to go.

John Adams is a senior columnist. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns

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Comments » 115

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

It's obvious NCSU finished on a better note than UT did..So, what other motivation does UT need than to take out that loss to tucky on the pack?
GBO!!!!

voloffaith writes:

Gonna b there pulling for my Alma Mater in O & W!!! Fight Vols fight!

wagee12 writes:

Hey Adams, have you checked their roster losses from last season? Three senior receivers including one that was the all-time ACC record holder in kick return yardage. An All-ACC tight end is gone. All three starting linebackers are gone. Quarterback is a statue, not very mobile at all. They lost some linemen too. Vols win by 17-20 points!

keepitreal4vols writes:

Vols + ACC opponent / Georgia Dome = Cursed. Lets go Vols, reverse the curse.

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

Well I think the Vols win but itll be close unless they actually have a running game this year. I just hope Hunter is fully healed cause usually a injury like that you never can come back as good as you were but with Da'Rick if Hunter is half as good as last year Vols shouldnt have trouble running due to the passing threat

mdvol writes:

That's fine....give NC State and their 200 fans ALL the hype. It's going to be a sea of orange in Atlanta! Bray and company are going to blow the roof off the Dome.

VOLS hang 100 in their first 2 games. Start 4-0.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to wagee12:

Hey Adams, have you checked their roster losses from last season? Three senior receivers including one that was the all-time ACC record holder in kick return yardage. An All-ACC tight end is gone. All three starting linebackers are gone. Quarterback is a statue, not very mobile at all. They lost some linemen too. Vols win by 17-20 points!

I like your prediction but NC State is not a pushover.
"They return 14 full-time starters, including QB Mike Glennon and CB David Amerson, who led the nation with 13 interceptions last season. Glennon threw for 3,054 yards and 31 TDs last season, He had seven games with at least three TD passes and was red-hot down the stretch, throwing for 809 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in the final three games."
IMO, This one will be won in the trenches, beef vs beef.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! 10 years ago, we'd beat NC State by 2+ touchdowns. 5 years ago, we'd beat NC State by 7+ points. This year, who knows?

We have to win this game against NC State. I really believe it'll set the tone for the season. My concern is that I haven't seen any consistency the past 2 seasons which gives me confidence that we WILL win. Anything can happen, and that's why they "play the game".

If we lose, I'll never hear the end of it around here in Raleigh, but that's the least of my worries. I really want the Vols to start the season with a "W" against a respectable opponent and break the bad run in the Georgia Dome dating back to December 2001.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! 10 years ago, we'd beat NC State by 2+ touchdowns. 5 years ago, we'd beat NC State by 7+ points. This year, who knows?

We have to win this game against NC State. I really believe it'll set the tone for the season. My concern is that I haven't seen any consistency the past 2 seasons which gives me confidence that we WILL win. Anything can happen, and that's why they "play the game".

If we lose, I'll never hear the end of it around here in Raleigh, but that's the least of my worries. I really want the Vols to start the season with a "W" against a respectable opponent and break the bad run in the Georgia Dome dating back to December 2001.

UT has been consistent early in the season, it's later in the season where UT has been uncharacteristically inconsistent. I look for UT to pound State up the middle and throw underneath their coverage..After NCS changes their scheme, bombs away..GBO!!

Artistspot writes:

Let me see, 3 bad ash receivers and a bad ash Tight End w/ Bray throwing ...... hummmmmm me says ..... Vols in a close first half, but they pull it out 4th qtr. vols by 7

UT4prez writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

UT has been consistent early in the season, it's later in the season where UT has been uncharacteristically inconsistent. I look for UT to pound State up the middle and throw underneath their coverage..After NCS changes their scheme, bombs away..GBO!!

Careful Bear. You start talking about pounding it in the middle and you will attract the Florida fans like flies to shite.

RobbieT writes:

in response to UT4prez:

Careful Bear. You start talking about pounding it in the middle and you will attract the Florida fans like flies to shite.

Oh brother. We'll probably be hearing about pounding it up the middle from BIVOLAR in every other posts, now.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to UT4prez:

Careful Bear. You start talking about pounding it in the middle and you will attract the Florida fans like flies to shite.

Don't you mean KNS staff posing as FU fans??

VolinCalif writes:

This year UT has balance between running and passing. Don't think for a minute that the Vols have set on their bu.. They are ready and nothing in College football is going to stop their passing attack for 4 Qts.
Vols 28 NCS 14
10-2 plus a bowl

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to RobbieT:

Oh brother. We'll probably be hearing about pounding it up the middle from BIVOLAR in every other posts, now.

Wasn't that stump broke mountain movie filmed in tucky??

RobbieT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Wasn't that stump broke mountain movie filmed in tucky??

Haven't a clue.

BIVOLAR, did you know that the Energizer Bunny was arrested & charged with battery?

Sholmey1221 writes:

Dooley looks and sounds just like the coach from The Blind Side. Has that been established on this board? Yes, I just watched it.

PUL4VOLS writes:

No one really thinks NCSt will be a pushover. It being the first game of the season and away, or at least not home is a factor too. But I'm believing our offense can put up points. If we can also run the ball, look out. All we can do is see all the silly uninformed posts and wait for the game to really occur to see how it goes. I am hoping for a win, one point, five or 25, I don't care. Let's just win and show we are climbing back up the hill.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on Jethro, you aren't fooling anybody with your new screen name and the same old tired drivel. Is that the best you've got?

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to Sholmey1221:

Dooley looks and sounds just like the coach from The Blind Side. Has that been established on this board? Yes, I just watched it.

That was Hugh Freeze, btw.

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

After covering Patterson, Hunter, and Rogers during practice, I think our defensive backs will be ready to shut these guys down. Vols win 45-17 in a track meet.

born2ride writes:

NC State is a must win game for Dooley.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Come on Jethro, you aren't fooling anybody with your new screen name and the same old tired drivel. Is that the best you've got?

Snapshot and Vols,

Correct about the Rat Fink. He just joined July 18, so you know he's been posing with multiple screen names forever. That's a characteristic of trolls. No doubt getting banned, then somehow sneaking back in with another screen name. Why the KNS staff allows them to come in the back door is pretty inexcusable. Wait, not so fast. That's part of the plan.

BTW, what is he saying now.......same old nothings? I wouldn't know since he's a known troll, therefore I never read anything he writes. .....just a waste of time as we know.

Does he still play with bamboo? What a pathetic individual.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

in response to born2ride:

NC State is a must win game for Dooley.

They all are

Razor784 writes:

in response to Show-me-your-TDs:

They all are

Yeah every game this year is gonna be critical for Dooley and staff, I think if he loses the opener it's gonna be an uphill battle all year long.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

I like your prediction but NC State is not a pushover.
"They return 14 full-time starters, including QB Mike Glennon and CB David Amerson, who led the nation with 13 interceptions last season. Glennon threw for 3,054 yards and 31 TDs last season, He had seven games with at least three TD passes and was red-hot down the stretch, throwing for 809 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in the final three games."
IMO, This one will be won in the trenches, beef vs beef.

Yeah, Glennon is good, but nearly all the guys he was throwing to last year are gone. Can they pick up right where they left off?

WinkeyVol writes:

Everyone that has been in football withdrawal all summer will be watching this first game. It will be a great way to come out of the doghouse against a formidable opponent instead of a patsy.I hope we have a decent running game to take the pressure off the passing game.I feel good about this team.Fire up Vols

Sholmey1221 writes:

in response to WinkeyVol:

Everyone that has been in football withdrawal all summer will be watching this first game. It will be a great way to come out of the doghouse against a formidable opponent instead of a patsy.I hope we have a decent running game to take the pressure off the passing game.I feel good about this team.Fire up Vols

Hopefully like in 2006 against Cal. They came out with such a chip on their shoulders. I remember that run Hardesty had where he broke about a half dozen tackles. Would be nice to see that kind of determined running again.

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

NCST wins this game. ut has no defense and will not be able to stop the passing game. Could be high scoring but 'Pack wins by 10. ut starts 1-2.

gc_scvol writes:

You actually get up this early to show off your insecurity. Must be pure H*** to be that miserable all the time. Your mother probably has your TRIX ready ..run along now.

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! 10 years ago, we'd beat NC State by 2+ touchdowns. 5 years ago, we'd beat NC State by 7+ points. This year, who knows?

We have to win this game against NC State. I really believe it'll set the tone for the season. My concern is that I haven't seen any consistency the past 2 seasons which gives me confidence that we WILL win. Anything can happen, and that's why they "play the game".

If we lose, I'll never hear the end of it around here in Raleigh, but that's the least of my worries. I really want the Vols to start the season with a "W" against a respectable opponent and break the bad run in the Georgia Dome dating back to December 2001.

It's understandable that being in Carolina with a loss could make for a long year. 10 years ago UT was falling rapidly from grace with losses to Bama, Georgia, Florida, and a spankin by Miami (it's been that long ago). It was clear the erosion had begun...tough times.

Maryland, who won the ACC that year I think, walloped, whooped, embarrased, destroyed Tennessee in a bowl. That same Maryland team BARELY edged NC State in the season (3 points). So I'm not so sure the Vols of 10 years ago would have won at all. Maybe Vols' teams from 1994 to 2001..but even those teams had a knack for losing to Memphis..and beating Vandy in the closing minutes..so who knows. I hope you get to serve a lot of crow this fall.

tuscavol writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Does a coorinator coorinate? Hint: dont make yourself look dumber than the ones your TRYING to make look stupid. GO VOLS!!!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VFL, yeah right. you're a joke

CrankE writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Don't you mean KNS staff posing as FU fans??

+100

CrankE writes:

John Adams wrote this? Why....it sounds like the work of an actual sports journ-o-list and not some self-important, Finebaum wannabe, Sports Columnist.

Fire John Adams anyway!

Glad that NCSU has UT's attention. They should. Tennessee must launch out of the gate strong and win early and for more than one reason.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

NCST wins this game. ut has no defense and will not be able to stop the passing game. Could be high scoring but 'Pack wins by 10. ut starts 1-2.

East you have just shown you have no clue

http://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/2012/... Phil Steele projections on Defense

Phil steel has our Defense Projected as the following (Nationwide) Rush Defense wasn’t in top 15 and didn’t go any further down than 15 so couldn’t tell, Pass Defense at #12, Scoring Defense at # 6 and overall at #11. All this numbers are National rankings

So at least one expert thinks our Defense will be very good.

Now all that being said we had the 28th ranked defense last year, and have 9 starters returning and even though Lathers isn’t a starter from last year was the year before so gives us 10 starters back.

Regardless 3-4 or 4-3 or a combination we have some really good players on D. and I see us improved from last year on the defensive side. We also have some recruits coming in that could be impact players from the start. Bonner, McNeil, McCullers and Sentimore also O'Brien all could push for starting time, maybe not at the start of the season but though out the year. The ones that have the best chance at the start of the year are Bonner, McNeil, and McCullers. But fall practice will tell a lot of which way we go on D.

So when you say we have no Defense you have no clue what we have.

arkyvol writes:

i expect that this season will pick up about where last season ended.

AllVol1 writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

East you have just shown you have no clue

http://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/2012/... Phil Steele projections on Defense

Phil steel has our Defense Projected as the following (Nationwide) Rush Defense wasn’t in top 15 and didn’t go any further down than 15 so couldn’t tell, Pass Defense at #12, Scoring Defense at # 6 and overall at #11. All this numbers are National rankings

So at least one expert thinks our Defense will be very good.

Now all that being said we had the 28th ranked defense last year, and have 9 starters returning and even though Lathers isn’t a starter from last year was the year before so gives us 10 starters back.

Regardless 3-4 or 4-3 or a combination we have some really good players on D. and I see us improved from last year on the defensive side. We also have some recruits coming in that could be impact players from the start. Bonner, McNeil, McCullers and Sentimore also O'Brien all could push for starting time, maybe not at the start of the season but though out the year. The ones that have the best chance at the start of the year are Bonner, McNeil, and McCullers. But fall practice will tell a lot of which way we go on D.

So when you say we have no Defense you have no clue what we have.

Good stuff. And we are manned for the 3-4. We have some bigs to occupy the O line and some speedy rushers to get serious pressure. If our coverage is good, Glennon is in for a long day. If we get into a scoring battle, I just don't think they can outlast our offense. If we get up early, Sunseri will unleash hell!

Feed No Troll.

Go Vols!

givehim6 writes:

I got curious so on Sat. I looked for NCST web sites, of what I found the wolfpact was more into the games payout (4 mill by there story) then the Vols. In there thinking we will be a push over, and UT comes in ready to play Vols start the season with a W.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Yes, the mighty have fallen. Nebraska, Michigan, FSU, Texas, and Notre Dame to name a few. It happens to every program.

This is a good matchup to test how we've been able to recover, improve, and get back to mighty.

Read a history book. The 10 years between 1974-1985 were pretty bad, too.

TheVolSnake writes:

I know has nothing to do with the Vol's or SEC but the Pen State verdict came in

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties Monday, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty" - shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely - the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.

crappieking writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

East you have just shown you have no clue

http://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/2012/... Phil Steele projections on Defense

Phil steel has our Defense Projected as the following (Nationwide) Rush Defense wasn’t in top 15 and didn’t go any further down than 15 so couldn’t tell, Pass Defense at #12, Scoring Defense at # 6 and overall at #11. All this numbers are National rankings

So at least one expert thinks our Defense will be very good.

Now all that being said we had the 28th ranked defense last year, and have 9 starters returning and even though Lathers isn’t a starter from last year was the year before so gives us 10 starters back.

Regardless 3-4 or 4-3 or a combination we have some really good players on D. and I see us improved from last year on the defensive side. We also have some recruits coming in that could be impact players from the start. Bonner, McNeil, McCullers and Sentimore also O'Brien all could push for starting time, maybe not at the start of the season but though out the year. The ones that have the best chance at the start of the year are Bonner, McNeil, and McCullers. But fall practice will tell a lot of which way we go on D.

So when you say we have no Defense you have no clue what we have.

Our transition from 4-3 to 3-4 is less important than having experienced personnel on the field. No matter the defensive alignment, we return 9 veteran starters who have been tested in SEC play, with perhaps the best of the bunch returning from a 2010 injury makes 10 returning starters, Lathers.

General Neyland's maxim #28: No good blocker and tackler was ever kept off a football team. We have two or perhaps three JC and freshmen that could start by the Fla game. If our new DC and seven new coaches follow the General's maxim, we have a top 10 defense nationally. Would like to see UT return to a defensive power.

My left-handed comment is, although we have a top-tier receiving corps and a potent offense, our defense hanging zeroes gets us to 10 wins this year. Go Vols!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

UT 35 NCSt. 21...two touchdowns. I don't know why I think 2 tds plus. But I want us to WIN!! We have the talent now to compete with the ACC. Surely! WE NEED TO WIN THIS ONE. Problem is the ACC needs to win this more. What's it gonna look like if NCSt. loses to a middle pack team?

I don't care just beat the heck outa them!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to crappieking:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL! Not laughing at your comments as much as your handle. crappieking. LMAO. CRAPPY! HALGH!!! just like your comments.hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

I know has nothing to do with the Vol's or SEC but the Pen State verdict came in

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties Monday, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty" - shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely - the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.

yep. What choice was there?

Though I hate this for the players and sensible fans who were shocked by the Sandusky thing I don't see what else they could do. School faculty and admistrators have to know that these kind of incidents have to be reported when discovered. Exactly when discovered with no delay. I don't know all the details (thank God) but the coach who discovered this should have 1. Gone in and knocked Sandusky out in front of the boy. 2.Taken the boy somewhere safe 2.called the police immediately. IMO
But like I said I don't know details.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to crappieking:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blah, blah, blah...Doofus, blah, blah, blah, real coach...

UT will beat NCSU. You so-called "fans" that are hoping for Dooley failure will become more and more hard to find starting with the victory over the Pack. UT's secondary will blanket their young receivers and I'm predicting at least one pick. I think you're pretty unfamiliar with our upgraded roster, or you just don't understand how much Dooley has changed the landscape of UT football in JUST two years. Or you just know more about smack talking than you do football. I'll vote for that one.

Soon you blathering Bozo's will start to thin out. You should try to change your writing style along with your screen name, when you try to reinvent yourself after the winning starts. Some of us will NOT let you get away with backpeddling after you have been PROVEN to be wrong. Soon you, and others like you, will be exposed for the college football challenged Frauds that you are. Get your little comments in while you can. The slide, started by Fulmer and continued by kiffy is coming to an end. Anybody with a lick of football sense can see that. Too bad some of you are in total denial.

Which one are you, a hopeless Fulmerite, a POSER/FRAUD, paid Troll? It doesn't matter really, we're about see both disappear form this site.

I don't know what the paid Trolls are going to do once their agenda driven Dooley rhetoric has to dry up, due to it being proven to be total BS. I predict changes to the Modus Operandi around here.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It will be so nice to see you disappear from here, which you WILL be doing. Your football IQ is only "unofficially" is question as of right now. In about 40 days it will be officially deemed as "lowest Troll football IQ in the history of gvx". You have to purposfully be wrong, to be as wrong as you are about the facts. Your little anti-Dooley agenda will be exposed and you're hiding in anonymity while degrading OUR team and coach will be an afterthought. Better heap on the BS while you still can.

It'll be so nice when Dooley shuts you FRAUDS up and us REAL FANS can get our site back. Can't wait.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So everybody on the planet can see that Dooley has IMPROVED UT's roster in the last 2 years, except YOU. OK, EVERYBODY else is wrong and YOU are right, right? Well wally, I hate to tell you this, but that is a true sign of somebody being in serious mental trouble. Please get help.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

I know has nothing to do with the Vol's or SEC but the Pen State verdict came in

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties Monday, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty" - shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely - the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.

Actually, it does impact the Vols as any PSU player can transfer (ala Malik Jackson) without having to sit out a year.

Notwithstanding the fine, PSU got off light if you compare the bowl bans/scholarship reductions against USC.

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