Tennessee coaches glad for Justin Hunter's contributions on special teams

Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter (11) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Troy to help tie the game 48-48 at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Tennessee defeated Troy 55-48. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter (11) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Troy to help tie the game 48-48 at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Tennessee defeated Troy 55-48. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Receiver Justin Hunter was named Tennessee's top special teams player after last Saturday's victory against Troy. The honor wasn't because he did anything extraordinary, but simply because he was there.

Running back Devrin Young, Tennessee's normal kickoff and punt returner, missed the game due to a concussion, coach Derek Dooley said.

"We were really proud of Justin Hunter, just because of how unselfish he was about it," said special teams coach Charlie Coiner. "At a moment's notice Justin went back there and fielded punts. Our whole mantra last week was that we wanted to keep the ball off the ground. We had (Cordarrelle Patterson) as a short returner and we had Justin back there who did a magnificent job of keeping the ball off the ground.

Hunter also was the "jump guy" on field-goal block attempts and a gunner on the punter team.

***

While Missouri's offense hasn't met expectations this year (ranked 112 of 120 teams nationally), the Tigers' defense has been surprisingly good. Missouri's defense is ranked 22nd in the Football Bowl Subdivision, allowing an average of 327.6 yards per game. That's not even half of the 718 Tennessee ran up last week.

"They're a solid defense. They've shut down a lot of good offenses and they're really good against the pass," said Tennessee receivers coach Darin Hinshaw.

Hinshaw said the Vols "can't take a play off" in Saturday's game at Neyland Stadium.

"The details of our routes are extremely important. You ever sit there and think you're not getting the ball, because you are, and Tyler Bray will find you," he said.

***

The last game Sam Pittman coached before joining Tennessee's coaching staff was against Missouri. North Carolina lost to Missouri 41-24 in the Independence Bowl last year, and Pittman said he's still familiar with the Tigers' personnel.

"All those guys that I had watched last year are back this year, and they're really good at defensive end," Pittman said.

Pittman called defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson "one of the best in the country."

"The thing that separates him is his athleticism," Pittman said. "He can really run and he has a high motor. Missouri's whole defense is high-motor guys."

Pittman coached at two high schools in Missouri during the 1980s and was an assistant coach at Missouri in 2000, the year before current coach Gary Pinkel was hired.

***

Why have Tennessee's interceptions plummeted after an encouraging start in the opener against North Carolina State?

"To get an interception a lot of things have to happen right," said cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley. "The line has to pressure the quarterback, the quarterback has to throw to the wrong guy, and the receiver has to run not the exact route that they are supposed to run."

So what's left for the defense.

"We have to be in position to make the plays," Ansley said.

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

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Comments » 16

GerryOP writes:

It's about danged time that our coaching staff started using the press to promote the positives of what is being done, instead of apologizing for the negatives. Good job coaches!

Let's get this season of starting to put it all together behind us and then lets look forward to next year. Next year when you guys start reaping the benefit from your hard work over the past three years.

Show your support for the Vol football program ... because that's what fans do.

Scoon writes:

... that's what fans do just as long as they are not fans for other opposing schools, Squeaky

123forVOLS writes:

It is great for Hunter to pitch in on special teams. I just hope he does not suffer an injury from it. This is the week to step up for the defense. To this point, all we can do is hope. GO VOLS!

BigOrangeRock writes:

It's about time Justin gets some credit because all those fans that kicked and screamed a year ago about how good our record would had been if Hunter had not been hurt...

Well here we are a year later, with a healthy Bray and Hunter, and even throw in an electric CP... and still 0-5 in the SEC.

But nooooo, let's run Fulmer out of town on a Monday, and then fire Chavis.

For this.

Never forget.

VFL - Vol For Losers.

The Rock has spoken.

Prostar writes:

I'll add this for Coach Ansley, to get an interception you also have to have a cornerback in the vacinity of the receiver to break on the ball.

tcg#1384489 writes:

Maybe they should try Justin Hunter on defense as no one on that side of the ball seems to know how to tackle

stovepipedrinker writes:

in response to Prostar:

I'll add this for Coach Ansley, to get an interception you also have to have a cornerback in the vacinity of the receiver to break on the ball.

And NEVER quit on a play until you hear the whistle.

CoverOrange writes:

"The details of our routes are extremely important. You ever sit there and think you're not getting the ball, because you are, and Tyler Bray will find you,"

Umm, what?

CoverOrange writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

It's about time Justin gets some credit because all those fans that kicked and screamed a year ago about how good our record would had been if Hunter had not been hurt...

Well here we are a year later, with a healthy Bray and Hunter, and even throw in an electric CP... and still 0-5 in the SEC.

But nooooo, let's run Fulmer out of town on a Monday, and then fire Chavis.

For this.

Never forget.

VFL - Vol For Losers.

The Rock has spoken.

Pair last year's defense with this year's offense and we would be top 10 and in the lead for to go to the SECCG in the East.

You're gathering moss, Mr. Rock.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Mr. Rock loves living in the past. This is now. And as I remember the "let's run Fulmer out of town..." baloney does not apply. We didn't do that, the administration did. But that's history. This is nowstory and it's tough especially on defense. To be honest, I have no idea what the defense will do Saturday. But I am for them. The offense seems to have come around. We shall see. Some of us hope for a solid all around game Saturday and next Saturday and the next. We may become disappointed but at least we tried. If you get up a group which concludes "let's run Dooley out of town"; count me out. It's not in my job description. As for the season GO VOLS, show us what we did not see on defense last week. Missouri is beatable.

Supersayin1 writes:

I hope Dervin comes back for this Mizzou game! I wonder why did he drop off from last year. He was a scary good return man and this year he seems to run right into the piles!

Dervin is too fast not to use his speed to get outside and take it downfield!
Also I'd like to see Pig get a shot at returns as well.

Chaney needs to get those two on the field together and create some reverse plays that allows them to get into open space and simply go!!

GO VOLS Beat Mizzou!!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

It's about time Justin gets some credit because all those fans that kicked and screamed a year ago about how good our record would had been if Hunter had not been hurt...

Well here we are a year later, with a healthy Bray and Hunter, and even throw in an electric CP... and still 0-5 in the SEC.

But nooooo, let's run Fulmer out of town on a Monday, and then fire Chavis.

For this.

Never forget.

VFL - Vol For Losers.

The Rock has spoken.

Walt is back !

VolGrad writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

It's about time Justin gets some credit because all those fans that kicked and screamed a year ago about how good our record would had been if Hunter had not been hurt...

Well here we are a year later, with a healthy Bray and Hunter, and even throw in an electric CP... and still 0-5 in the SEC.

But nooooo, let's run Fulmer out of town on a Monday, and then fire Chavis.

For this.

Never forget.

VFL - Vol For Losers.

The Rock has spoken.

The Rock has lied.

VolGrad writes:

in response to carbonatedmilk:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think we all just want to see the ball in his hands as often as possible, but we forget he is just one guy and will wear down quickly if he always has his hands on the ball. Heck, I'd like to see him at one of the safety positions on defense. Talk about closing speed.

I don't know if he could throw the ball at all, but a little "wild smokey" would seem a possibility as well. It is probably not going to happen except in our dreams. But hey, I never expected to see him actually lined up as a TB, either. So you never know.

We just need a couple of guys like him. Fires the imagination, eh?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Prostar:

I'll add this for Coach Ansley, to get an interception you also have to have a cornerback in the vacinity of the receiver to break on the ball.

There is no break on the ball..we have break on the WR after the catch

terrytennessee writes:

in response to GerryOP:

It's about danged time that our coaching staff started using the press to promote the positives of what is being done, instead of apologizing for the negatives. Good job coaches!

Let's get this season of starting to put it all together behind us and then lets look forward to next year. Next year when you guys start reaping the benefit from your hard work over the past three years.

Show your support for the Vol football program ... because that's what fans do.

Well said, GerryOP. Well said, indeed.
The Volunteers need the support of their true fans, & I know they are legion.
To all the namecalling naysayers hoping to force change by boycott, shame on you for the immaturity you exhibit. While you're at it, why don't you hold your collective breath until the season is over?
Go Volunteers!

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