The Mighty Quinn: Vanderbilt's WRs vs. UT's secondary a key matchup

Matchups to watch

Tennessee's secondary vs. Vandy WR Jordan Matthews: After three solid quarters defending Missouri, UT's cornerbacks and safeties surrendered four passing touchdowns at the end of regulation and overtime last week. Matthews will be hungry to exploit UT's struggling secondary. He caught nine passes for 153 yards and a touchdown at Ole Miss last week and is just 211 receiving yards shy of breaking the program record set by Boo Mitchell (1,213 yards) in 1988.

Vandy's momentum vs. Tennessee's decline: The Commodores bring a four-game winning streak into a home game against its biggest rival, while the Vols, awash in a coaching controversy, are languishing along, winless in the SEC. Vanderbilt is trying to improve its bowl positioning, while UT needs two wins just to be bowl eligible. Who really wants this game more?

Stock up

UT QB Tyler Bray: Regardless of the Vols' many troubles, Bray has been laser sharp of late. He's thrown 13 touchdowns in the past three games and completed more than 60 percent of his passes each game. Bray's 29 touchdown passes rank fifth nationally and he's sixth in the NCAA in both passing yards (3,216) and passing yards per game (321.6).

Vanderbilt DE Walker Mays: The senior was named SEC defensive lineman of week following the Commodores' victory against Ole Miss. Mays set career highs with six solo tackles and three tackles for loss and now boasts a career-high 31 tackles (eight for loss) and two sacks for the season.

Stock down

Tennessee's kick return coverage: The Vols allowed a costly 87-yard touchdown kickoff return for a touchdown to Missouri's Jimmie Hunt last weekend in a game that ultimately went into overtime.

Vandy's rushing attack: Senior running back Zac Stacy, the program's all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, is hobbled with a bum leg, but is listed as probable. He's carried the ball just 18 times in the past three games. Vandy is 1-4 this season when outgained on the ground by opponents.

Tweets of the week

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit responding to fan's question

"@ColtonBrackett: do u think the VOLS will beat Vandy and UK?#bowl eligible" do you seriously want to go to a bowl this yr? Go find a coachFootball Time in Tennessee magazine

Garza committed violations at UT, denied them, took the USC job, admitted to them, committed more violations & resigned. Yet UT is punished.ESPN's Skip Bayless

Congrats to my alma mater, Vanderbilt: Bowl eligible for 2nd straight year. All that and got robbed in opener vs. South Carolina.Vandy coach James Franklin

Few tickets left 4 game but ONLY 4 VU fans, ticket office has been instructed 2 only sell 2 our people, let's pack the house w/ Black & Gold

Prediction

Vanderbilt 27, Tennessee 24

Not to pile on, but UT coach Derek Dooley is 1-10 in league road games and nine of Bray's 10 interceptions this year have come against SEC teams. If there is a reason to pick UT this week, I don't see it.

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Comments » 15

arkansasvol1975 writes:

well, only good thing is it is in Nashville so at least espn will not broadcast a half empty stadium. Sad when Vandy will bring more fans and is a favorite to win. Since when in 100 f'n years has Vandy ever been a favorite ov UT? Dave hart grow some nuts and get ride of this idiot!

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to arkansasvol1975:

well, only good thing is it is in Nashville so at least espn will not broadcast a half empty stadium. Sad when Vandy will bring more fans and is a favorite to win. Since when in 100 f'n years has Vandy ever been a favorite ov UT? Dave hart grow some nuts and get ride of this idiot!

Vandy was favored by 1-2 points last year in Knoxville. Favored by 3 points at home this year.

iowavol writes:

in response to snuffysmiff:

Vandy was favored by 1-2 points last year in Knoxville. Favored by 3 points at home this year.

Vandy was favored last year - and lost - right. Home field advantage is 3 pts - so it appears that while Vandy is riding a 4 game win streak and all this positive mojo AND Tn is riding all this negativity, the prognosticators are calling it even. Oh, how the mighty have fallen to be called even with Vandy.

nocleats writes:

Our dbs are fine when they cover the wr. The problem is half the time our dbs dont know who the wrs are and which one they are supposed to cover. And when they do cover one they are scared to look for the ball because they are afraid they will loose the wr..... pitiful

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

Georgia, whose offense trails the Vols', put up 567 yards of offense, and hung 48 points on the 'Dorks, and somehow Quinn thinks they'll hold the Vols to only 24 points. I don't see it.

6972 writes:

in response to arkansasvol1975:

well, only good thing is it is in Nashville so at least espn will not broadcast a half empty stadium. Sad when Vandy will bring more fans and is a favorite to win. Since when in 100 f'n years has Vandy ever been a favorite ov UT? Dave hart grow some nuts and get ride of this idiot!

You will have to wait for the KY game to see a half empty stadium. The competition for attendance is a horse shoe throwing contest and a middle school badminton tournament.

As for being an underdog, I am trying to get used to the idea.

bob.bigorange#605842 writes:

this is absolutely pitiful. I never EVER thought we would be sitting 0-6 in the SEC and staring 0-7 down the barrel of the gun. Thank you Mike Hamilton, you are a total idiot. And thanks Derek Dooley for not having the guts to TRY to get something done during the game........poorest clock management last wk and end of both halves. THEN do the fake FG! hmmmm.

Volunatic writes:

in response to bob.bigorange#605842:

this is absolutely pitiful. I never EVER thought we would be sitting 0-6 in the SEC and staring 0-7 down the barrel of the gun. Thank you Mike Hamilton, you are a total idiot. And thanks Derek Dooley for not having the guts to TRY to get something done during the game........poorest clock management last wk and end of both halves. THEN do the fake FG! hmmmm.

Dooley is not a good coach at all, but he seemed like the best coach UT could get when lane kiffin took off. The program was under NCAA investigation at the time (I hope today's developments are the final sting from that), and the roster was a mess, signing day was imminent (3 weeks away), and the recruiting class had largely defected. Mike Hamilton made lots of terrible decisions, but I don't fault him much for that hire (although he allowed for WAAAYYY too much of a buyout, as he always did).
On the bright side, if UT can afford the buyout, the roster is in much better shape now, there seems to be no further penalties looming from the NCAA, and there are a couple of months before signing day. Good coaches won't treat UT like day-old garbage this time.
I agree fully with you about not trying to win in regulation last week. Terrible. The Vols needed to give that last possession a shot, since their defense was spent at that point.

jt45 writes:

Despite the rough season so far, I think the Vols win this one by 10. Vandy has shown time and again that they are better at losing to the Vols than any other team on the schedule.

Dooley should stay home and let the Offensive line coach handle this one, problem solved.

6972 writes:

in response to jt45:

Despite the rough season so far, I think the Vols win this one by 10. Vandy has shown time and again that they are better at losing to the Vols than any other team on the schedule.

Dooley should stay home and let the Offensive line coach handle this one, problem solved.

Could we also leave the defense in Knoxville and just let the offensive guys play both ways like we all had to do in the high school days?

jt45 writes:

in response to 6972:

Could we also leave the defense in Knoxville and just let the offensive guys play both ways like we all had to do in the high school days?

Wouldnt mind if the secondary missed the bus, they get burned every game anyway.

Shake_Bake writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

Georgia, whose offense trails the Vols', put up 567 yards of offense, and hung 48 points on the 'Dorks, and somehow Quinn thinks they'll hold the Vols to only 24 points. I don't see it.

I agree 100%! If Bray is on his game, there is no way our offense is held to just 24. The Vols desparately need a win! I just hope and pray that we can finally end this losing streak today! GBO!

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

No way----they cant hold Tennessee to 24-give me a break.I think if Tennessee plays it "bombs away" they wont go three and out like against Troy.
Tennessee--42
Vandy------28

SummerfieldVol writes:

You can't play defensive back on a pass play with your back to the ball, if this is the case you are to slow, When the receiver looks back or up for the ball, it is time for you to look up for the ball also. You can not defend a pass if you can't see it. It is not complicated just have to have the ability to play the position. You can't run a 4.8 forty and be a good defensive back, they will run right by you. I am afraid that is what is going to happen today in Nashville, I hope I am wrong and they intercept a ton of passes.

10Vol85 writes:

Neither team will be effective on pass defense. Vandy is poor on both rush offense and rush defense. Key issues are how much Vandy chooses to try to rush and if Tennessee offense can avoid turnovers.

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