Tyler Bray, Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter propel record offensive effort by Tennessee

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray passes the ball against Troy at Neyland Stadium on Saturday. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray passes the ball against Troy at Neyland Stadium on Saturday. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tyler Bray broke a Tennessee record for passing yardage with 530 and came within 14 yards of the all-time SEC record set by Georgia's Eric Zeier 19 years ago against Southern Mississippi.

Was he conscious of his impending historic performance during the game?

"I knew we were down seven points with three minutes to go," Bray said flatly. "I could care less about breaking records. We needed to get a win."

Bray could relate to coach Derek Dooley's comments a few minutes earlier. If an ugly victory seems bad, imagine the alternative.

Tennessee nearly lost a game in which its offense put up unthinkable numbers, its quarterback made history and its two top receivers seemed to toy with the opposing defense.

Instead, Tennessee beat Troy 55-48 on Saturday at Neyland Stadium, allowing the Vols to savor a brilliant performance by the offense while briefly overlooking the woeful play on the other side of the ball.

How incredible was Tennessee's offense? The Vols had 718 total yards, which is 9.4 per play and 32 yards per minute of possession.

"This is the first time I've been in a game so high-scoring, with so many yards on both sides," said Tennessee center James Stone.

The offensive line played well again, and Bray was quick to credit the big men in front of him, but it was the Vols' playmakers that stood out.

Receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter combined for 18 catches, 400 yards and four touchdowns in a performance that might never be repeated again.

"We were talking about having 100 apiece, but we didn't expect this," Patterson said.

"Surprises happen," added Hunter.

The Vols were able to victimize Troy in much the same way other teams have exploited Tennessee's defense.

Bray said Troy's outside defensive backs were giving a big cushion early, allowing him to find receivers for short passes and over the middle of the field. When Troy adjusted, the Vols took long shots down the field.

"We have two NFL-caliber receivers," Bray said. "We've just got to get them the ball and they're going to make plays."

Patterson's plays were again of the highlight-reel variety. Former Tennessee running back Tauren Poole tweeted that Patterson runs like a zigzagged line on an Etch-a-Sketch.

"When he has the ball, there's no telling where he's going to go," said sophomore running back Marlin Lane. "I just run down and try to block and get him in the end zone.

"He's a smart guy. He knows what moves to make if he needs to cut across the grain. They just let him do it when the ball is in his hands."

Lane said coaches give Patterson more leeway because of his talent.

"I'm a running back, so I have to go north and south," Lane said. "He gets to go east and west."

Asked if he ever surprises himself by the cuts he's able to make on the field, Patterson considered the question for a moment before answering.

"Yes, it is kind of a surprise because of how big I am," he said. "I don't think I'm supposed to be able to do things like that."

Patterson was so gassed that he was given an IV at halftime. He ran back onto the field just after kickoff in the third quarter.

But it didn't seem to affect his play.

"He has one big game, and he thinks he's a big man," Hunter joked as he sat at the same podium with Patterson. "This is my boy right here. I always get excited when he does something good. I think it is vice versa. We just have fun out there."

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

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Comments » 45

Vols_fan_27 writes:

This is Troy... Not the NFL... Still think Patterson is the only one ready...GBO!

rockytopjeff writes:

Our defense has been stopping great offenses all year long. OURS!!!

OLROCKYTOP writes:

Thanks Tyler and company. You may have salvaged the month of November for us.

PUL4VOLS writes:

The offense did what they had to do. That was a whole lot with the defense not showing up. So yeah giving up a lot of yardage/points is terrible but winning helps. Record-setting is cool but beside the point unless you get the W.

Gr82beTennessee writes:

in response to Vols_fan_27:

This is Troy... Not the NFL... Still think Patterson is the only one ready...GBO!

Fellow Vol fan, none of them are NFL ready! Patterson is still trying to learn the pass routes and often runs the wrong patterns when Tyler checks off at the line. I do agree that CP has the most raw talent. The good news is they will all return next year.

Vols_fan_27 writes:

in response to Gr82beTennessee:

Fellow Vol fan, none of them are NFL ready! Patterson is still trying to learn the pass routes and often runs the wrong patterns when Tyler checks off at the line. I do agree that CP has the most raw talent. The good news is they will all return next year.

I am with you on all three... I do think however with a coaching change (if it happens) will cause all 3 to leave. I just think CP thinks he is that caiber and the other 2 will leave and take their chances in the draft before they come back for a whole new system.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Vols_fan_27:

This is Troy... Not the NFL... Still think Patterson is the only one ready...GBO!

Yes the Troy with recruiting classes that are right at the bottom of Div 1A for years. This should have been a cake walk. By Monday the Doolaiders will be drunk with the cries of we are Tennessee and on the rise. Fire Dooley Now

huntined#565710 writes:

Was thinking today if we only had a average D we would have beaten GA and S.C.

Vols_fan_27 writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

Was thinking today if we only had a average D we would have beaten GA and S.C.

and Miss. St.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Our offense has potential. Our defense SUCKS.

To put things into perspective... please remember this was a Sun Belt team we played today.

peerlessvolfan writes:

I'm enjoying watching Lame Kiffin's team get their butts kicked. I think the BCS game to watch would be Alabama and Oregon. Oregon's speed is breathtaking.

Geofffourmyle writes:

The whole coaching staff must go.

The scariest thing about this is that Dooley might consider tonight a success.

Walt

UT '81

Orangepuddinskin writes:

Patterson is the only guy I would say that needs to head on out to the NFL. If Corderelle comes back next year, with Bray and Hunter, this offense will be unstoppable. Only God knows where we would be with a top 60 defense. Hunter has lost a ton of stock this year. He catches the uncatchable and drops the perfect easy catches. He needs to catch both. He was the no.1 receiver in mock drafts at the first of the year, but he keeps dropping every week.

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He needs to be careful, lest a long neck bottle hits him behind the ear and he loses control of the situation.

Cr@p. That already happened.

Walt

UT '81

Vols_fan_27 writes:

in response to Orangepuddinskin:

Patterson is the only guy I would say that needs to head on out to the NFL. If Corderelle comes back next year, with Bray and Hunter, this offense will be unstoppable. Only God knows where we would be with a top 60 defense. Hunter has lost a ton of stock this year. He catches the uncatchable and drops the perfect easy catches. He needs to catch both. He was the no.1 receiver in mock drafts at the first of the year, but he keeps dropping every week.

Totally agree... I have said before, with just an average defense this year, we have losses to Bama and maybe Fla. Fla game was lost on big plays so an average D may stop that... oh well...Patterson is only ready for the NFL based on pure ability... not sold on how smart he is...GBO!

born2ride writes:

Bray plays like an All American against Troy and Georgia State. If only he could do it against a good team.

Go Big Vols!
Orange For Life!

oldster writes:

Since the defense is getting worse, not better, the offense had better keep up this pace. The two James Franklins are drooling at the thought of playing against the worst defense in the history of oraganized football (well, it is supposed to be organized.).

bigorangeyankees writes:

PLEASE TACKLE SOMEBODY, ANYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!

Vol_fan_4life writes:

Dooley must fire Sunseri first thing in the morning. I believe it would earn him some respect in the locker room. They can't play any worse defensively. Maybe they win out the rest of the season and go to a bowl game!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray plays like an All American against Troy and Georgia State. If only he could do it against a good team.

Go Big Vols!
Orange For Life!

So, you didn't watch the South Carolina game last week I guess?

You're pathetic.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to oldster:

Since the defense is getting worse, not better, the offense had better keep up this pace. The two James Franklins are drooling at the thought of playing against the worst defense in the history of oraganized football (well, it is supposed to be organized.).

I'm pretty sure our defense can do a respectable job against Mizzou's 111th ranked offense. Vandy will probably put up some yards.

oldster writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

I'm pretty sure our defense can do a respectable job against Mizzou's 111th ranked offense. Vandy will probably put up some yards.

The main reason that Mizzou's offense is ranked so low is that James Franklin has been injured for most of the season. Unfortunately for UT it appeared today that he was healing. Mizzou might well have beaten Florida had Florida not gotten 4 interceptions which, of course, UT's defense will not get because the Vol D.bs are too far away from eligible receivers to get an interceptionn. In fact, it actually looks like our d.b.s are running away from the receivers as if the receivers have leprosy. They are so bad, each one is worse that the other. Total wastes of scholarships (this includes Wagner who was pretty good last year).

rampsneggs writes:

We have had three head coaches in the last four and a half years, and some think that making it four coaches in five years is the simple fix to all of our problems. Wow.

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

I have to agree, if we cut ties with Dooley the so called big 3 split, not only that but for us to have to shell out $9.3 million dollars over 4 years for contracts of personnel we no longer have on contract is pretty huge in my opinion. Payouts not only hurt the football program, but other sports programs as well. I'm not truly convinced that Dooley can lead as much as I did in the last few years. His chooses haven't truly lived up to the Volunteer standards.

hglover40#234154 writes:

in response to oldster:

The main reason that Mizzou's offense is ranked so low is that James Franklin has been injured for most of the season. Unfortunately for UT it appeared today that he was healing. Mizzou might well have beaten Florida had Florida not gotten 4 interceptions which, of course, UT's defense will not get because the Vol D.bs are too far away from eligible receivers to get an interceptionn. In fact, it actually looks like our d.b.s are running away from the receivers as if the receivers have leprosy. They are so bad, each one is worse that the other. Total wastes of scholarships (this includes Wagner who was pretty good last year).

The DB(s) are not bad - at least not last year when they had a coach!!!

AlWilsonFan writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

The whole coaching staff must go.

The scariest thing about this is that Dooley might consider tonight a success.

Walt

UT '81

NO! Sam Pittman and Jay Graham are tremendous.

Hard not to see a clean sweep coming, but would love to keep those two.

hglover40#234154 writes:

Sal throws his players under the bus. The guys he benches to play freshmen did a fine job last year when they had a coach!!!!!
Im not sure if Dooley is a poor,fair,good or great coach, but I beleive he could have this team at 7-2 or 6-3 if he had hired a DC at least as Competent as last years DC!!! Good assistants can break or make a HC - Ask Fulmer - Clawson did him in and Chavis and Cut made him great!!

tnvol34 writes:

I been watching the Vols since 1970, and this is the worst DEFENSE!i have ever seen! What is the problem? You guys are playing like eighth graders! I would be ashamed to get embarrased like this week after week! It'sup to you guys to want to do better! can't tackle, can't cover, drop passes when you are wide open that are right in your hands!, overthrow wide open recievers! CMON MAN! OLINE may be best in Country!

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

Troy lost to LA-Lafayette, W. Kentucky, and Fla. Atl. Add ut to that list.

48 is the most points the Trojans have scored all year. Troy, not USC.

Is this the opposite of a moral victory?

The comedy that is ut football continues and we LOVE IT!

EIGHT

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Troy lost to LA-Lafayette, W. Kentucky, and Fla. Atl. Add ut to that list.

48 is the most points the Trojans have scored all year. Troy, not USC.

Is this the opposite of a moral victory?

The comedy that is ut football continues and we LOVE IT!

EIGHT

17-9 jawja still hurts doesn't it little zz troll girl

ivyvol writes:

in response to Orangepuddinskin:

Patterson is the only guy I would say that needs to head on out to the NFL. If Corderelle comes back next year, with Bray and Hunter, this offense will be unstoppable. Only God knows where we would be with a top 60 defense. Hunter has lost a ton of stock this year. He catches the uncatchable and drops the perfect easy catches. He needs to catch both. He was the no.1 receiver in mock drafts at the first of the year, but he keeps dropping every week.

Hunter should have his vision checked.

oldster writes:

in response to hglover40#234154:

The DB(s) are not bad - at least not last year when they had a coach!!!

Whatever the cause of the bad play, it is not going to change - for the better - between now and the Mizzou game. Franklin will light them up. Mizzou will score at least 50.

oldster writes:

I have become an Oregon fan. I used to be - for 55 years - an intense, Vol fan. Now, I want UT to keep Dooley, Sunseri, etc, because I want to drive to and from the UT-Oregon game. I want to see Oregon score 100 points.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to Gr82beTennessee:

Fellow Vol fan, none of them are NFL ready! Patterson is still trying to learn the pass routes and often runs the wrong patterns when Tyler checks off at the line. I do agree that CP has the most raw talent. The good news is they will all return next year.

I think I will trust the NFL scouts over you opinion.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kind of pathetic that a coach can't reach his players on the practice field and has to use the media to motivate them.

The only recruiting Dooley better worry about the rest of this season is begging those three to come back to try and save his job for another season.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to rampsneggs:

We have had three head coaches in the last four and a half years, and some think that making it four coaches in five years is the simple fix to all of our problems. Wow.

Yes.... because standing behind the man that put one side of the ball in the hands of the most incompetent group of coaches I have ever seen and presiding over the worst defense this program has ever fielded is a much better solution.

Wow indeed.

knoxchatter writes:

yes..a win is a win...but is this win supposed to make vol fans content?? Not!!! the 'be patient we're rebuilding' period is long gone!! Judging by our play yesterday...and the play of our remaining scheduled teams..it may very well be: against Missouri (L), Vanderbilt (L), and Kentucky (W)...again, back to my original question, should our faith be restored by this??? Just sayin'.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Troy lost to LA-Lafayette, W. Kentucky, and Fla. Atl. Add ut to that list.

48 is the most points the Trojans have scored all year. Troy, not USC.

Is this the opposite of a moral victory?

The comedy that is ut football continues and we LOVE IT!

EIGHT

If you're a vol fan that is that disgusted-quit following the vols and find another team to be disgruntled with.

us43137415#376444 writes:

It's very commendable that Hunter, Patterson and Bray racked up record-breaking numbers.

That's on the Tennessee offense.

Check the Tennessee defense numbers.

Troy's quarterback, running backs and receivers probably set the best numbers that a small school ever amassed against an SEC D-1 team.

Congradulations to Troy and your fine quarterback, running backs and receivers. Congradulations for the records you probably set as a team.

With a defense like Tennessee's got.. 3 LOSSES ARE COMING UP. Tennessee's on track to have one of its worse seasons ever.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to rockytopjeff:

Our defense has been stopping great offenses all year long. OURS!!!

Actually our defense is great for our offense! Every series they stay on the field for 70-90 yards and allow our offense to rest for several minutes on each series the opponent has.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree.

I think Patterson walks due to grades and Hunter and Bray are playing for first round money at this point.

This team with a completely inept defense in place and breaking in a new QB will be lucky to win three games next season.

Rousing wins over Austin Peay, South Alabama, and Western KY should really move the needle on donations.

gohawks1 writes:

Defense is completely absent, but I'll be danged if Cordarrell Patterson ain't fun to watch!

OrangePsyched writes:

Hey if you happen to wander where all the commentors are Adams is feeding the jackals on his fire Dooley article. You better get there before all the raw meat is gone. Now if you are one of those few positive Vol boosters I would say that I will take a W after 4 losses no matter how ugly. I'll take 4 more just as ugly if we get the win.

tennezz writes:

in response to Vol_fan_4life:

Dooley must fire Sunseri first thing in the morning. I believe it would earn him some respect in the locker room. They can't play any worse defensively. Maybe they win out the rest of the season and go to a bowl game!

Hart hired Sunseri.

SneakyPete writes:

Cordarrelle Patterson is gone, even if by all rights he should stay.
Why? The Devin Hester Effect!!!! The danger is there even when you don't know what you are doing.
Athletically, he's ready for the pros and somebody will pay him good for his elusiveness alone.
Meanwhile.....
Randy Shannon is the LB coach @ TCU....SMH!!

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