Tennessee-Vanderbilt Report Card

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews runs past the Tennessee bench as he scores  a touchdown on a 71-yard pass play in the fourth quarter Saturday night in Nashville. Vanderbilt won 41-18.

Photo by Mark Humphrey

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews runs past the Tennessee bench as he scores a touchdown on a 71-yard pass play in the fourth quarter Saturday night in Nashville. Vanderbilt won 41-18.

Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers waits to return to play against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 41-18. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers waits to return to play against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 41-18. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel
Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers, left, celebrates with teammate Marlin Lane after Rogers scored a touchdown against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers, left, celebrates with teammate Marlin Lane after Rogers scored a touchdown against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Quarterbacks F

Coming on the heels of the best three-game stretch of his career, Tyler Bray's abysmal performance Saturday was both inexplicable and incredibly damaging. His bizarre second-quarter benching probably didn't help matters, but Bray started badly and got worse.

Running backs B

The running game was at times the only thing working for Tennessee's offense. Marlin Lane, who seems to have pushed his way into the No. 1 tailback role, crossed the 100-yard mark in the third quarter.

Wide receivers/tight ends D

Only those players and coaches sitting in offensive film room on Monday (and, gosh, won't that be fun?) will know exactly what happened during Saturday's debacle. But it certainly seemed Bray was not often on the same page as his receivers, particularly Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson also loses points for his taunting penalty and his lack of effort after a pass intended for him was intercepted.

Offensive line C

Bray didn't seem to be under an inordinate amount of pressure on Saturday, so that can't be blamed for his bad day. The line seemed to open some big holes for the running backs. While linemen didn't produce the barrage of false starts that plagued the unit last week, there were still too many mistakes.

Defensive line C

In assessing the big plays that plagued Tennessee's defense (again), it's hard to know how much blame to assess to each unit. Could the 72-yard screen pass on the game's first play have been snuffed out by the line? What about the long runs early in the third quarter? The Vols didn't do as good of a job flushing Jordan Rodgers out of the pocket as they did a week ago against Missouri, but as usual, this group doesn't seem like the defense's weak link.

Linebackers C

A.J. Johnson posted double-digit tackle numbers, something that's now routine for him. Herman Lathers had a quieter day. This unit misses Curt Maggitt, who is out for the season with an ACL injury.

Secondary C

Injuries and suspensions have thinned this unit even more than usual, so it's probably a good thing that Saturday's result wasn't worse. The secondary got a little handsy with Vandy receivers a couple times but didn't get called for pass interference.

Special Teams B

Michael Palardy had a great day punting the ball, but he made a poor throw on a fake punt that was seemingly coach Derek Dooley's last-ditch effort to stay in the game.

Coaching D

You are what your bubble-gum card says you are, Dooley has said in the past. And the stats on the back of Dooley's card say he just lost to Vanderbilt in Nashville for the first time since 1982, dropping Tennessee to 0-7 in SEC play for the first time in its history.

Overall F

The rhetoric about playing for a bowl berth will no longer work this week, and it's not difficult to imagine Tennessee losing to Kentucky next week. In fact, given the flat performance in Nashville, it would be hard to pick the Vols to finish anything other than 0-8.

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Comments » 79

DancingOutlaw writes:

Enjoy your 5 mil!

JonGrudensAgent writes:

This team needs to just quit and lay down like its coach did about 6 weeks ago.

The ONLY thing that matters at this point is who the Vols sign to take over.

fearthehound writes:

F, F, F, F, F, F, F, F, F, F.

willtowin writes:

I wish I had this guy grading my papers back when I was in school.

RaineyVol writes:

Coaching a "D" Really? the fake punt alone should deserve an "F" alone.

GloryDays writes:

Coaching gets a "D", and overall a "F". Math doesn't add up over there fellows. Dooley was totally unprepared, players were not motivated, this is absolute rock bottom for the Vols and their fans. There are a lot of upset fans, Dooley makes 2.5 million a year and has destroyed the program. He is the worst coach in college football. It is really sad.

alavol writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

This team needs to just quit and lay down like its coach did about 6 weeks ago.

The ONLY thing that matters at this point is who the Vols sign to take over.

BOBBY!

GloryDays writes:

Hire Cutliff as coach, Chavous as DC, Keep Jay Graham at RB coach, Tee Martin at QB coach, Trooper Taylor at WR coach, Dale Jones at LB coach keep the OL coach and get some solid coaches and recruiters. Heck get Phillip Fulmer as recruiting coordinator and wait for Peyton to retire from the NFL. I think this group could get it turned around.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Dooley should get an F for getting off the bus.

Vol_USArmy_Soldier writes:

F in all catagories except for running.

The pic of the staff standing around with stupid looks on their faces as the Vandy guy goes racing by represents the entire season and Dooley's tenure in general. We just got passed by Vandy metaphorically and literally.

And before the remaining man-crush Dooley homers trot out the "inherented a mess" garbage, let me pre-counter with what Franklin inherited at VU and contrast that mess with what he's done in nearly the same period. Dooley is a total fraud and doesn't deserve to be the HC at UK game. Monday AM can't come soon enough.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

Who even at this point cares about evaluating this performance. It's almost like we, as fans, are so numb to this Chinese water torture of a season that it's tough to get let your emotions show. Now it's time to see what kind of AD we have in Mr Dave Hart. What's the call, what's the answer to this Rubix Cube of a football program and athletic department? Drum roll Please Anton....BonzaiVol

GloryDays writes:

Dooley should be fired on Monday at the latest, he is an absolute joke, players have no respect for him and don't play hard for him. He needs to be publicly humiliated for bringing down a once proud UT program. He doesn't deserve to coach against Kentucky, he has already lost to them. He is a fraud and a loser. The only reason loser Hamilton gave him the job is because of his last name. Jr Dooley knows nothing about winning. Three years at Tennessee and "0" big wins, No SEC wins this year. It is sad Dooley can't even beat Vandy or Kentucky. If Dooley had any manhood in him he would publicly apologize to the Vol nation and not accept the 5 million buyout. He deserves nothing!

DancingOutlaw writes:

in response to Vol_USArmy_Soldier:

F in all catagories except for running.

The pic of the staff standing around with stupid looks on their faces as the Vandy guy goes racing by represents the entire season and Dooley's tenure in general. We just got passed by Vandy metaphorically and literally.

And before the remaining man-crush Dooley homers trot out the "inherented a mess" garbage, let me pre-counter with what Franklin inherited at VU and contrast that mess with what he's done in nearly the same period. Dooley is a total fraud and doesn't deserve to be the HC at UK game. Monday AM can't come soon enough.

They're all thinkin "pontoon for the wife and kids, or bass boat for me and the boys?" Either way, this buyout money is gonna be SWEET!

McMinnVol writes:

I am really stunned to see that coaching gets a "D" grade. I just can't imagine how bad the coaching would have to be to get an "F". I don't actually remember the fake punt that Bill Battle ran against Georgia in the 70's, but I thought of it the moment we tried that tonight and failed. The sad thing is I like Dooley OK as a person, but he is obviously not going to make it past this week. GO VOLS. BEAT SOMEBODY IN THE SEC THIS YEAR!

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to RaineyVol:

Coaching a "D" Really? the fake punt alone should deserve an "F" alone.

I agree -- worst single decision since the fake punt vs Georgia in 1973.

volcop writes:

You have to go lower than an F for coaching my grade for coaching is Z(last letter in the alphabet)

NGage writes:

Uh, yeah....might want to re-check that coaching grade. Maybe you didn't see the game, but we got blown out -- by Vandy. Even the commentators noted how our lines were so much bigger than Vandy's. Yet we failed to just pound on them.
If you had watched the game (which I have to assume you didn't if you gave coaching a D), you would have seen that with the 1st half trickling to a close Dooley elected to kick a worthless FG from about the 5 yd line instead of going for it...but then he elected to go for it on 4th down with a fake punt from his own 18. Oh, and if you'd watched the game, you would have not only seen that they weren't pounding the outsized Vandy with the run (even more important with a QB struggling), but instead chose to inexplicably pull Bray and throw Worley in out of the blue.

I'm not sure who does this grading for the KNS, but someone new needs to do it next season.

I give the coaching and the KNS grading both a F.

ashvol7 writes:

Maybe he will make a good lawyer, it's a sure thing football is not his thing. Worst coach that I have ever seen, and I thought Bill Battle was bad. Dooley and the rest of his crew should walk in Monday and resign (Hart, Sal, and Jimmy Cheeks for starters) He shows no fire and the team doesn't either). Time to go on a search if it hasn't already started. Bray looked like he did in the Kentucky game, this in it's self makes you wonder.

NGage writes:

in response to NGage:

Uh, yeah....might want to re-check that coaching grade. Maybe you didn't see the game, but we got blown out -- by Vandy. Even the commentators noted how our lines were so much bigger than Vandy's. Yet we failed to just pound on them.
If you had watched the game (which I have to assume you didn't if you gave coaching a D), you would have seen that with the 1st half trickling to a close Dooley elected to kick a worthless FG from about the 5 yd line instead of going for it...but then he elected to go for it on 4th down with a fake punt from his own 18. Oh, and if you'd watched the game, you would have not only seen that they weren't pounding the outsized Vandy with the run (even more important with a QB struggling), but instead chose to inexplicably pull Bray and throw Worley in out of the blue.

I'm not sure who does this grading for the KNS, but someone new needs to do it next season.

I give the coaching and the KNS grading both a F.

Oh, and to be clear -- my F for the KNS grading is for the season, not just this game.

With the KNS grading curve, I could have gone to any Ivy League school and graduated with honors.

Looking_Foward_To_The_Future writes:

Dooley...aka worst coach in UT history,
How can u bench Bray after he leads us down the field to a touchdown? I am still baffled. Yes he made some bad decisions but hes still a developing qb. Hes not Peyton guys and we will never have another P Manning sorry it's just realistic. Im a VFL all the way but it seems to me he (doolittle, dooloser, or WORST SEC COACH IN THE SECS HISTORY what ever you guys wanna call him) threw in the towel after the ky game last year.Grahm would be a great IHC he could save the recruits better than anyone else on this incompetent coaching staff. Make a change now and show the COUNTRY!!!! not just the great state of TENNESSEE that this is not volunteer football. A statement needs to he made now! GBO no matter what!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Coaching is a "D"? Really? Ya'll rag on John Adams, but at least he doesn't have his nose shoved up this coaching staff's rear end like Woodberry?

DannyVol writes:

in response to RaineyVol:

Coaching a "D" Really? the fake punt alone should deserve an "F" alone.

Relax, it's an article not an official entry in anyone's permanent record.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Coaching is a "D"? Really? Ya'll rag on John Adams, but at least he doesn't have his nose shoved up this coaching staff's rear end like Woodberry?

That shouldn't be a "?" at the end of that. I meant that as a statement. Woodberry is a shill.

WhitePineVol77 writes:

Go get George Quarles from Maryville HS! He can build a dynasty at UT

Vol_in_Mich writes:

The Vols have NEVER lost eight games in a season. Dooley has shown he can't beat Kentucky, get someone who can NOW! This record is all that's left to play for this year. We lose eight & that only leaves Ohio State & you know they'll never lose near that many with Urbie. (Undefeated in first year with a team on probation. Who dat guy that did that at Auburn? Oh yeah, the Midget. Terry may take the UT job, maybe)

WhitePineVol77 writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

The Vols have NEVER lost eight games in a season. Dooley has shown he can't beat Kentucky, get someone who can NOW! This record is all that's left to play for this year. We lose eight & that only leaves Ohio State & you know they'll never lose near that many with Urbie. (Undefeated in first year with a team on probation. Who dat guy that did that at Auburn? Oh yeah, the Midget. Terry may take the UT job, maybe)

Nooooo...not Terry

DarthVol writes:

There is no way Dooley is on the sideline for the Kentucky game...is there? A few seniors will say goodbye to the fans and the program in front of 40,000. It's truly unbelievable the shambles this program is in. Sadly, a year ago I was still defending this coach. What I saw last night was absolutely the worst ut football TEAM I had ever witnessed. The sad part of it is that it's not nearly the least talented ut team I had ever seen.

"Only after complete destruction can we be resurrected" - Tyler Durden

murrayvol writes:

One thing we don't have to do is "see the film".

volaholic45 writes:

Here's an idea for kentucky - let's beat them with Cordorelle at QB

woodcutter writes:

Maybe it would be better if we played Kentucky without any coaches!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

I think we should hire KS's D coordinator.

He held Baylor to 52.

chiputfan writes:

I don't know about ya'll but I'm just tired of it all! Dooley can't bring his grades up and therefore needs to be run out of school! Wonder if he ever said "I don't feel tardy. "

TommyJack writes:

pound the fritter

underthehill writes:

in response to GloryDays:

Dooley should be fired on Monday at the latest, he is an absolute joke, players have no respect for him and don't play hard for him. He needs to be publicly humiliated for bringing down a once proud UT program. He doesn't deserve to coach against Kentucky, he has already lost to them. He is a fraud and a loser. The only reason loser Hamilton gave him the job is because of his last name. Jr Dooley knows nothing about winning. Three years at Tennessee and "0" big wins, No SEC wins this year. It is sad Dooley can't even beat Vandy or Kentucky. If Dooley had any manhood in him he would publicly apologize to the Vol nation and not accept the 5 million buyout. He deserves nothing!

Dooley deserves and will get everything his contract calls for..in the words of Hee Haw..if it hurts when u do that..don't do that...how many fans will buyouts put in Neyland..as for Hart..look at the contract Sunseri has and if Hart hired him and turned the defense over to him as some think..it seems that alone could justify firing him and his bama cronies w/o a buyout..add to this their bungling on the merger that resulted in lawsuits which I think UT will lose or settle and who currently at UT do you think is competent to resolve UT's lack of money and coaching situation..

vol7278 writes:

in response to GloryDays:

Hire Cutliff as coach, Chavous as DC, Keep Jay Graham at RB coach, Tee Martin at QB coach, Trooper Taylor at WR coach, Dale Jones at LB coach keep the OL coach and get some solid coaches and recruiters. Heck get Phillip Fulmer as recruiting coordinator and wait for Peyton to retire from the NFL. I think this group could get it turned around.

This group sounds great to me, BUT would the above people even want to come back to UT considering all the drama in the last few years? I hope so... we need UT TRADITION back!!!

VOLinTX writes:

AD Hart, please go ahead and finish this tragedy. Waiting is not helping the players, fans, or recruits.

Prostar writes:

Dooley continues to rewrite the record books. First time in 30 years Vandy beats us in Nashville. Zero wins in the SEC (0 for 7), had the most yardage by an opponent (Troy) against UT at Neyland Stadium. He is setting records I hope will never be duplicated and he will do it with a FIVE MILLION DOLLAR buyout.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

What's Momma Dooley been saying 'bout all this?

SummerfieldVol writes:

The cookie just keeps on crumbling. This team just keeps on getting worse and worse, no hope insight.

bigorangebolt writes:

This was the most pathetic game, which I have watched in my life! If dooley is still our Icoach on Monday, Hart should be fired!
This is disgusting and unacceptable!n Please get the moving vans immediately! We need a proven head winning football coach!! We don't need Kirby smart!

tennisvol writes:

Poor play calling by Chaney. Run for 6/7 yards, then pass, pass, punt. Poorly coached.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

pound the fritter

There was a glimmer of hope pounding the fritter until realization sat in.

Team was lost like a goose.

lafollette37766 writes:

Does anyone know for sure if Dooley will get canned today? I keep hearing it will happen about 2pm but that is only hearsay.

utfan36 writes:

this team sucks we got a losing coach and it aint going to get any better until cdd is gone enjoy your 5 mill cdd i give them a F

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

This Oline still can't open a decent hole for the backs..When we really need to run the ball we CAN'T!! The game certainly would have looked different had we pounded the run game..I don't understand the stupid thinking of the RB substitutions..Lane breaks a nice run,than immediately comes out of the game..No back sees more than 3 plays in a row..If they are tired it's from running on and off the field..just plain stupid

jobrando#216494 writes:

Thanks for being kind but this was F for all except special team. Even the oline allowed Bray sackings.

arkyvol writes:

but, look at the mess dooley was handed (as compared to the one franklin really was handed).

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Dooley deserves and will get everything his contract calls for..in the words of Hee Haw..if it hurts when u do that..don't do that...how many fans will buyouts put in Neyland..as for Hart..look at the contract Sunseri has and if Hart hired him and turned the defense over to him as some think..it seems that alone could justify firing him and his bama cronies w/o a buyout..add to this their bungling on the merger that resulted in lawsuits which I think UT will lose or settle and who currently at UT do you think is competent to resolve UT's lack of money and coaching situation..

I will agree that Dooley will get everything in the contract. But your first 2 words are idiotic...HE DESERVES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

NYvolFan writes:

You really can't blame Dooley for the huge buyout. While he doesn't deserve it given his atrocious performance, the idiots that would agree to giving a contract like that to a totally unproven coach deserve the blame. Of course, the easiest thing in the world to do is spend other people's money!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to lafollette37766:

Does anyone know for sure if Dooley will get canned today? I keep hearing it will happen about 2pm but that is only hearsay.

He has already been "canned"

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