Report card

Michael Patrick/News Sentinel
Tennessee wide receiver/holder Tyler Drummer (3) scores a touchdown on a fake field-goal attempt from 5 yards out during the second overtime Saturday in the Vols 51-48, four-overtime loss to Missouri at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

Michael Patrick/News Sentinel Tennessee wide receiver/holder Tyler Drummer (3) scores a touchdown on a fake field-goal attempt from 5 yards out during the second overtime Saturday in the Vols 51-48, four-overtime loss to Missouri at Neyland Stadium.

Quarterbacks A

Tyler Bray has played three of the best games of his career the past three weeks. That Tennessee is 1-2 (and very close to 0-3) during that stretch demonstrates that this team's can't be solved by one player. Bray put up monster numbers and carried the team when the running game lapsed.

Running backs C

The running game probably deserved a shot to make more of an impact in the overtime periods when coaches entrusted the offense with Bray exclusively. Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane combined for a respectable 109 yards on 23 carries, but much of that came in the first half. Lane had a fumble that prevented the Vols from taking a more decisive lead before halftime.

Wide receivers/tight ends A

Mychal Rivera took advantage of plenty of room in the middle of the field to catch a career-high 10 passes for 129 yards. Justin Hunter made several NFL-caliber catches as part of a 143-yard day. Cordarrelle Patterson had more carries (five) than catches (three).

Offensive line B

Bray was sacked only once and had enough time to throw for most of the game. The line opened some huge holes for backs in the first half, but Mizzou did a good job of keeping 10-yard runs from turning into 50-yard touchdowns. Penalties were an issue in the first half, and Bray said the Vols slowed the pace a bit in the second half to let the line catch up with all of the defense's shifting.

Defensive line b

It's hard to find many faults with a unit that at least flushed Missouri quarterback James Franklin out of the pocket and forced him to make plays. It's not their fault the team's secondary was undressed once again. Nose guard Daniel McCullers forced what could have been a huge fumble and made six tackles.

Linebackers C-

A.J. Johnson posted 11 tackles, but the Vols' most talented group again has to take some heat for allowing more than 400 yards and more than 50 points. Herman Lathers was often subbed out in favor of Jaron Toney and finished without a tackle.

Secondary D+

After holding Missouri's offense in check for much of the day, the Vols' much-maligned secondary allowed Franklin to throw all four of his touchdown passes in the final minute of regulation or overtime. Fair or not, those are the plays a team, and in this case, a unit, is measured on.

Special Teams D+

Take away that 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Mizzou's Jimmie Hunt and it's a very different game, no? Toss in a missed 43-yard field goal by Michael Palardy and a quiet day from the team's return units and the grade fits.

Coaching C

The fake field-goal call was brilliant because it worked. So coach Derek Dooley's other decisions must be judged more harshly because, ultimately, they didn't work. Fans (loudly) voiced their opinion that the Vols should have tried to get into field-goal range before the end of regulation, and it's hard to disagree with them.

Overall C

While Saturday's finish was similar to Tennessee's other close losses, the game was different in one crucial way: This was the first SEC game in 2012 that Tennessee controlled from almost virtually beginning to end. That the Vols still couldn't pull off a victory makes it all the more frustrating and tougher to bounce back from.

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Comments » 68

NeedForSpeed writes:

Who is more incompetent? The nit wit that puts the grades on this report card or the UT defense?

Can we get a poll on that?

Col26ca writes:

We knew when it was time for Johnny to go, I loved him but he didn't love himself. Everyone knew when Phil had to go, he could not discipline with Cut'. The village joke we have now I would feel sorry for if he had tried to be part of the community and be a Vol. He has built zero capital with the fans or boosters. Time to go. I am an attorney by training but the S.O.B. we have makes us look good.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Very crucial game in the history of Tennessee football. Back to back losing seasons last occurred in 1910. Will Vandy or Kentucky make that happen. I hope Dooley is fired monday. I think the team has a better chance of winning out with Dooley gone.

GloryDays writes:

Coaching gets a "C". You have to be kidding. Dooley has 2 times outs and 35 seconds and he quits. He is a LOSER. He hasn't ever won and he never will! Why is it that every teams offense looks like a NFL team when we play them?

murrayvol writes:

Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

td writes:

Tennessee has had "worse" teams than this 2012 model (check out some of the late 50's, early 60's and mid 70's vintages), but the Vols have never, ever fielded a more underachieving team.

NGage writes:

in response to NeedForSpeed:

Who is more incompetent? The nit wit that puts the grades on this report card or the UT defense?

Can we get a poll on that?

Amen, NeedForSpeed.....weekly these grades are a joke. Must be grading on a curve.....big curve.

DavidB writes:

No way coaching gets a C. Honestly it's time to give the coaches the grade they deserve and that's a D- I would say F but the fake field goal was pretty nice.

rockypop writes:

in response to Col26ca:

We knew when it was time for Johnny to go, I loved him but he didn't love himself. Everyone knew when Phil had to go, he could not discipline with Cut'. The village joke we have now I would feel sorry for if he had tried to be part of the community and be a Vol. He has built zero capital with the fans or boosters. Time to go. I am an attorney by training but the S.O.B. we have makes us look good.

If you're an attorney, I hope you don't write your own briefs....

volfanwestcoast writes:

The person who handed out these grades deserves an F. What a joke.

Coaching and Secondary both get big fat F's!!

I also give Dooley a G for gutless.

BigOrangeRock writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

Several people on this site, like Merlot, knew that it was worse MONTHS ago, yet idgits like you kept on talking. You don't know jack. And it can still get worse.

You are a troll.

The Rock has spoken.

BigOrangeRock writes:

in response to NGage:

Amen, NeedForSpeed.....weekly these grades are a joke. Must be grading on a curve.....big curve.

You screamed and hollered Fulmer and Chavis out of town. Now you set over there with the same forum of idiots in complete denial.

Your views are not welcome here loser.

rusty_shackleford writes:

The DBs are slow and seem to get beat often. The OL is really the strength of the team which allows Bray time to get the ball to our above avg WRs.

I saw Al Wilson before the game and really miss those days when teams feared the "T" on the helmet rather than jeered the pants on the sideline.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to NeedForSpeed:

Who is more incompetent? The nit wit that puts the grades on this report card or the UT defense?

Can we get a poll on that?

Nit Wits HANDS DOWN! Who writes this crud? And who gives this defense ANY passing grade? The coaching should get an "F" period. No adjustments and DOOFASS gave up with a minute left and 2 timeouts. Total idiot. He needs to go! Enough said!

Prostar writes:

Coaching gets a "D" and the DB's get an "F". No way you let the receiver get away from you in the endzone free and clear for a TD. The way Franklin picked us apart in the OT's and we're playing prevent defense, very little if any pressure on the QB.

Mr_Bandman writes:

This one is 100% on Dooley. Coaching: C???? You have to be kidding....

MikeNPS writes:

in response to td:

Tennessee has had "worse" teams than this 2012 model (check out some of the late 50's, early 60's and mid 70's vintages), but the Vols have never, ever fielded a more underachieving team.

Your comment is right on target.

AllVol1 writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

You screamed and hollered Fulmer and Chavis out of town. Now you set over there with the same forum of idiots in complete denial.

Your views are not welcome here loser.

Rock: Ease off the gas, dude. You are over-heating. Everyone has the right to an opinion. This is America and freedom is the law here. I think Dooley needs to go and we need a new coach. But I will not attack fellow Vols fans no matter how their views may differ.

BigOrangeRock writes:

in response to AllVol1:

Rock: Ease off the gas, dude. You are over-heating. Everyone has the right to an opinion. This is America and freedom is the law here. I think Dooley needs to go and we need a new coach. But I will not attack fellow Vols fans no matter how their views may differ.

This is America and freedom is the law? I apologize that I can not dignify that stupid comment with a response.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

Only item to share is as I was watching the game (laptop in Portland, OR) in the second half. Do you remember those electric football games back in the day and you would set your guys up and turn on the power switch? Then the field would start vibrating and the players would wiggle and vibrate and spin and get out of position and all you could do was hope they would make the stop. Well, that's the image I saw on my laptop screen as the Vol Defense tried to stop Missouri. Standing still and vibrating and spinning around in a futile manner. I actually started laughing. Only issue I do not understand is the decision to run out the clock and willingly go into overtime and know in your heart it would fall on the Vol Defense. Seemed like a bad gamble at the time and it certainly played out that way. Something just doesn't seem right. BonzaiVol

shorttail writes:

it's not the whole team, the defense hasen't improved since day one, heck it can't be all the coaches fault. some of these guys need to tell the coach i quit

geraldodell#1377039 writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Your comment is right on target.

Those teams may have been bad but none gave up the points and yardage this team has given up. I agree that grading gets and F- on coaching as well as anything to do with defense especially in the 2nd half and overtimes. We didnt use timeouts and give Tyler a chance to get us into field goal range in the 4th quarter with 37 seconds left. We didnt call time out to set up a play in the 3rd overtime on the two point conversation. Dooley has to be the worst manager of the clock that has ever been.

Hope the higher ups dont get a new coach who is using UT as on the job training. Bad hire with no proven experience other than supposed genes from his father. This is much too good an institution to settle for less than the best. For those who say give Dooley one more year, I say you best have a lot of crack to tide you over. I cant stand to watch any longer and we may set the record for fewest attendees at the KY game. Enough if enough already bite the bullet and get a coach with a proven record.

budd#207344 writes:

Brandon, you really need to stop letting Woodbury put your name on these report cards. You do not grade this way and you are just letting him ruin your reputation. I know he is Dooley's brother in law or something but no need for you to be harmed as well

HSVol writes:

A big part of my job is evaluating people, developing them to get better if they need improvement or letting them go if they don't. If I evaluated them like ths joke of a report care, I'd be fired myself. Successful coaching involves 2 things: improvement and winning. I see neither fro Dooley. F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F

DennisVols writes:

How can you justify claiming you have one of the best QB’s in college football and two of the best receivers then walk off the field with time left and 2 time out remaining in a half. I know a Dooley named Vince would have never done that. Poor decisions week after week. This week Dooley claim he was going to take a greater part in coaching the defense. Nine weeks into a 4-5 record and a defense that has given up more yards through the air and on the ground along with more points than I can remember in 50+ years and this is when you decide to take a greater interest in the weakest part of your team.

It is time for a change and I don’t mean at the end of the year. Fulmer, who had earned some credit at UT, was let go following the USC loss, Dooley has earned nothing. Start now with your search. Make the right decision. No more excuses about how bad it was when Dooley arrived. We heard that and know it was true. But this is year 3 and we were told the talent, depth had returned. If that is so, and I believe it is true, then it must be the coaching.

The right decision can bring respect back right away. We saw it at Alabama after years of poor decisions they made the right one and winning returned right away. Mullen brought respectability back to MSU. UT is a great opportunity for the right choice. Old Miss is even having a decent year following worst years than we have seen in a first year coach. Don’t wait on Auburn and UK to make their decisions and get any left overs. Be bold, be first and let the recruits for this year that UT is not going to be kicked around anymore.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

Razor784 writes:

in response to volfanwestcoast:

The person who handed out these grades deserves an F. What a joke.

Coaching and Secondary both get big fat F's!!

I also give Dooley a G for gutless.

Agreed

AZ_Vol writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

This is America and freedom is the law? I apologize that I can not dignify that stupid comment with a response.

You forgot "The Rock has spoken." at the end of another useless and pathetic post.

SummerfieldVol writes:

The call to let the clock run out at the end of regulation play was unforgiveable. 45 yard line two time outs with Bray as QB and no effert to win just no excuse as far as I am concerned. I would think the AD and the big donators would be thinking the same thing. He played not to lose instead of to win. The new name for the defensive backs are the "Key Stone Cops in Orange." We have safeties trying to play linebacker. Trying to cheat up and play the run and getting caught doing it especially on pass plays and getting beat very badly, The final Missouri touchdown is a example nobody within 10 yards. They do not want to play their position and cover the receiver and it show ever time they get beat. I think some of the players must think they are better and faster than they are. On defense you have to play you lanes and make good tackles for some reason our players do not stay in their lanes and it shows when the offense has big plays. We do better when it is 3 and 2 then we do on 3rd and 15. We are just terrible on pass defense I can't think of any other way to put it, WE are like a Hoover Vaccumn cleaner,we s---. I never though that I would ever see a Tennessee team with this type of defensive reputation, I am sure Coach Neyland is rolling over in his grave. He built Tennessee's reputation on having a great defense. This has been a terrible showing this season in football, will be glad when it is over. Oh by the way there will be no bowl game this year either.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Two 'D's for 'D'ooley is 'D'one.

arkyvol writes:

coaching a 'c'?

i suggest that this feature be cancelled until they can come up with somebody who knows what the hell he's talking about.

Vol_USArmy_Soldier writes:

FFFFFFffffffffff as in "failure" and "fire".

Where are the usual suspects who think of every excuse under the sun to defend this clown show? What's it this week guys? Anyone?

jack4444 writes:

The playcalling got so conservative as they just sat on their lead. Playing not to lose.

VolinCalif writes:

Someone told me that Joker is available.

fearthehound writes:

C? C? Seriously?? This team we played looked almost exactly like the NC State team we opened the season with. Are we better now than when we opened the season?--I don't think so. I've been pulling for Dooley and this staff--no more. It's time.

fearthehound writes:

From watching the first half, we should have beaten Mo by no less tha 21 points--and with a half-decent coaching staff we would have. Those days are over until we get one.

asleep#212036 writes:

I have tried to be patient but I just can't justify this loss. A kickoff return to start the game - pitiful. Hold a team to 64 yards in one half and promptly give up a 77 yard run and nearly 300 yards in second half and another 100 in OT - inexcusable. Muzzling Bray and company in regulation with time and time outs available when your defense is gassed - mind-boggling. Another fumble in the red zone, robbing points. Another missed FG, more missed points. A perfectly blocked screen for a 2-pt conversion, TE drops the ball. I got a bad feeling way back in 2010 when we couldn't get the right number of players on the field in Baton Rouge and lost the game. Dooley passed it off but ever since it has been close call after close call, always with an excuse but never with a solution. We lose because we don't do the little things right and that, my friends, is all coaching. Sorry DD, I like you and I appreciate how you've tried to run the program but this is a business and you're just not getting it done. Bowl or not, and I'm guessing not at this point, we need to take a page from Bama's book: call Jon Gruden, ask him what it would take to get him here, and say "Deal". Go Vols!!!

volaholic45 writes:

Coaching get's a C - for "C'mon, man!"

oldster writes:

An A for the wide receivers after Hunter dropped a game winning touchdown? Really? That one drop, should drop the grade to a C. Game losers are more important than gaudy stats.

azvol99 writes:

dooley is clearly gone. it doesn't matter if we beat vandy, kentucky and whatever phooey team we play in our bowl game. gruden is a pipe dream, so please someone tell me who we can get.

honesthoward writes:

How many sacks did we have today?? How many QB's have come to Neyland and had career days this year????

Coaching: "F" Defensive Backs: "F-" Defensive Line: "D-." Special teams: "D-"

When Dooley is shown the door, he'll have nobody to blame but himself. And it's coming.

honesthoward writes:

After 24 years of attending and watching Tn games, including the entire 5-6 1988 season (home games plus Memphis away game) and graduation in 1993, I'm embarrassed and extremely sad to say that I will no longer be setting aside time to watch or attend the remaining games this year. The product on the field is absolutely pathetic and should be shameful to any true Tn fan. Let me know when Dooley is gone and they've hired someone that has proven they can get the job done.

gwills228#231210 writes:

Once again, I see A.J. Johnson looking over to the sideline at least 5 times during the game with his hands up confused about the play.

signalcorps writes:

in response to NeedForSpeed:

Who is more incompetent? The nit wit that puts the grades on this report card or the UT defense?

Can we get a poll on that?

agree I don't know what game they were watching,,,coaching F

hossfly12 writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

I have tried to be patient but I just can't justify this loss. A kickoff return to start the game - pitiful. Hold a team to 64 yards in one half and promptly give up a 77 yard run and nearly 300 yards in second half and another 100 in OT - inexcusable. Muzzling Bray and company in regulation with time and time outs available when your defense is gassed - mind-boggling. Another fumble in the red zone, robbing points. Another missed FG, more missed points. A perfectly blocked screen for a 2-pt conversion, TE drops the ball. I got a bad feeling way back in 2010 when we couldn't get the right number of players on the field in Baton Rouge and lost the game. Dooley passed it off but ever since it has been close call after close call, always with an excuse but never with a solution. We lose because we don't do the little things right and that, my friends, is all coaching. Sorry DD, I like you and I appreciate how you've tried to run the program but this is a business and you're just not getting it done. Bowl or not, and I'm guessing not at this point, we need to take a page from Bama's book: call Jon Gruden, ask him what it would take to get him here, and say "Deal". Go Vols!!!

right-on ....brother ! The time has come for all VOL fans to agree on something....even the doolaide drinkers.....A NEW DIRECTION IS NOW REQUIRED.

hossfly12 writes:

in response to honesthoward:

After 24 years of attending and watching Tn games, including the entire 5-6 1988 season (home games plus Memphis away game) and graduation in 1993, I'm embarrassed and extremely sad to say that I will no longer be setting aside time to watch or attend the remaining games this year. The product on the field is absolutely pathetic and should be shameful to any true Tn fan. Let me know when Dooley is gone and they've hired someone that has proven they can get the job done.

i'm with you hh.....good, ernest, and honest post that we all should adopt as a direction going forward.

OldVols68 writes:

in response to shorttail:

it's not the whole team, the defense hasen't improved since day one, heck it can't be all the coaches fault. some of these guys need to tell the coach i quit

Looks to me like the defense mailed in their resignations when Sunseri was hired. The defensive backs "blow" coverage on almost every pass. Is it just me but when I watched Sunseri when he was on the sidelines he did not seem like a coach who knew what he was doing; always yelling at the guys on the sidelines. Gad, if the 3-4 scheme is so great why do we keep setting negative defensive records?

vernon writes:

I have not been a fan of change, but I m done with this guy after Saturday.Dooley would not let the guys try to finish the game , 30+ seconds,2 timeouts, potent offense and on the forty!!,let em play the game coach!The players were pissed,the fans were pissed,I cannot understand his thought process.Too bad for those kids , we have a better team than our record shows.These players deserve better leadership.

vol98champ writes:

The guy who passes out these grades has to be putting mega dollars on the over betting. If you have watched every minute of every game this year you are either insane or one tough dude.

kwcoach writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Very crucial game in the history of Tennessee football. Back to back losing seasons last occurred in 1910. Will Vandy or Kentucky make that happen. I hope Dooley is fired monday. I think the team has a better chance of winning out with Dooley gone.

Including Phil proves your opinion isn't valid. Phil was one year removed from an SEC championship game vs LSU. We are now one full year past a Music City Bowl try.
Dooley shoud have, however, been fired before the overtime or at the half last week.

volball82 writes:

I do see improvement in the defense. It took us 4 OTs to give up 50 points this week!!
Although not this week with Mizzou's Franklin,but how many times have TV announcers proclaim that an oppossing QB has enjoyed a "career day" against the large orange. Dooley and Sunseri must go!!

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