Surprise: Vols' Neal leads SEC in carries

Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Tyler Bray (8) gives a low five to running back Rajion Neal (20) after Neal scored a touchdown during the second half against Georgia Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Tyler Bray (8) gives a low five to running back Rajion Neal (20) after Neal scored a touchdown during the second half against Georgia Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

KNOXVILLE — Like the rest of his Tennessee teammates, Rajion Neal will enjoy the rest the open date annually provides.

The Volunteers' junior tailback could use it, too.

Though he entered the preseason as part of a three-way backfield competition, Neal leads the Southeastern Conference with 103 carries through five games.

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore figures to get more than the 12 carries he needs to pass Neal's mark in the Gamecocks' showdown with Georgia in Columbia, but given the nature of Tennessee's offense, Neal's position near the top of that statistical category is surprising.

Continue reading at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 185

TylerBray4Heisman writes:

This really doesn't surprise me. Rajion has really pulled away from Marlin Lane and Devrin Young doesn't get a whole lot of playing time

TrouserCough writes:

Key word "carries"

HeyWhitey writes:

This doesn't really mean much. How many ypc and td's is what matters if the vols are going to win many games. You could hand it off to me 1,000 times and I would probably lead the sec in negative yardage and turnovers!

crappieking writes:

Carries, not yardage. If this incompetent coaching staff would teach them how to block, may'be we could be leading in the YARDAGE catagory.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to crappieking:

Carries, not yardage. If this incompetent coaching staff would teach them how to block, may'be we could be leading in the YARDAGE catagory.

4.5 per carry ain't bad Mr.crabby.

CrankE writes:

UT didn't score 37 against Georgia. They scored 44. Do you reporters even watch the games?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to TrouserCough:

Key word "carries"

I don't know if you are dissing the article but it did say he had 4.5 yards per carry. The carries stat is meaningful in that it shows the load he's carrying in the game. Keeping him fresh can be very important and for the other rbs to pick it up and to get opportunity is also important.
It's a good article that points out an obvious need in a positive manner.

GBO

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to CrankE:

UT didn't score 37 against Georgia. They scored 44. Do you reporters even watch the games?

DON'T be so CRANKY cranke! It's early yet and they'll prob catch it eventually.

CCLC writes:

He has about 20 more yards than Marshall on twice as many carries.
just sayin'

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to CCLC:

He has about 20 more yards than Marshall on twice as many carries.
just sayin'

What? What ru sayin'? You can't be vague. Spit it out. Neal's doing terrible. Our running's terrible. When I say "our" I mean the UT fans of course.

The point is that it's not saying Neal's the best runner out there. BUT the surprise to most fans is that he's GAINING yards and not losing. His totals are good if not great. I think Coach will be very happy if all his rbs start getting 4.5 per carry.

HallowedHill writes:

To quote Dooley, ...'Stunned.'

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to HallowedHill:

To quote Dooley, ...'Stunned.'

That quote wasn't in this article. At least the quick scan I made didn't find it. I don't know what you mean here. Or is there anything meant?
R U fan or foe?hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Seriously though I don't know what Dooley would be but I'd be stunned if all the rbs started gaining 4.5 per carry. We'd probably not pass anymore if we don't fumble it.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CCLC:

He has about 20 more yards than Marshall on twice as many carries.
just sayin'

Yeah, but Neal doesn't get to pad his stats against Sal's defense.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Yeah, but Neal doesn't get to pad his stats against Sal's defense.

At this point who could argue or even suggest removal for that un vol statement?

jobrando#216494 writes:

Some very interesting SEC games today. Will we have any shocking results?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Some very interesting SEC games today. Will we have any shocking results?

Nope...I mean yes. I don't know really

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Well time for Gameday a little bit anyhow. I hope all the trolls have a good day and you can fined something in your day to be positive about. After all you can't beat the Vols today.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

4.5 per carry ain't bad Mr.crabby.

4.5 YPC isn't bad considering the mediocre blocking..We desperately need to sign a game changing back for 2013..Makes me sick watching Bama sign 3 top rated backs while we are no where near locking down even one

vollerdash writes:

in response to CrankE:

UT didn't score 37 against Georgia. They scored 44. Do you reporters even watch the games?

Think the writer was talking about the offense, remember one touchdown was a pick six. Offense=37 D=7 Total 44

CCLC writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

What? What ru sayin'? You can't be vague. Spit it out. Neal's doing terrible. Our running's terrible. When I say "our" I mean the UT fans of course.

The point is that it's not saying Neal's the best runner out there. BUT the surprise to most fans is that he's GAINING yards and not losing. His totals are good if not great. I think Coach will be very happy if all his rbs start getting 4.5 per carry.

Well he is running behind a pretty good O line. Don't know why the UT O Coordinator is catching so much flack from fans. I thought he was pretty good against the Dawgs.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Hey all Vol-ers; it's good to be leading a non-negative category. Why not accept that and not analyze, with a lot of "yeah but..." statements? Neal is a step away from some big runs we have not seen in a long time. When that comes, his yardage will increase. I am not sure he will get it in the next three games but I also did not expect him to get 100 yards against GA nor the Vols to score 44 either. Hopefully more improvement will be seen.

jaydubuc writes:

I don't know why everyone is complaining so much about the running game. Considering we don't have top recruits at that position, I think it's fair to say they've steadily improved and we ran the ball well against a solid Georgia defense. After last year, how can't you be pleased with the progress in the run game at least. Quit complaining that we don't have a 200 yard rusher a game.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I want a 200 yard rusher again

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to HeyWhitey:

This doesn't really mean much. How many ypc and td's is what matters if the vols are going to win many games. You could hand it off to me 1,000 times and I would probably lead the sec in negative yardage and turnovers!

4.5 yards per carry, 460 yards and on pace to reach 1000 yards. If you haven't noticed he has been getting better each game.

Go Vols

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

4.5 YPC isn't bad considering the mediocre blocking..We desperately need to sign a game changing back for 2013..Makes me sick watching Bama sign 3 top rated backs while we are no where near locking down even one

Remember old school football? 4 yards an a cloud a dust? 3 x 4.5 = first downs and time off the clock ball control all the way to a score. Yeah, 4.5 ain't 55yds at a clip, but it's a darn sight better than negative yards, or even 3yds per carry. It's enough to consistently move the ball down the field. Throw in getting better at breaking tackles, choosing angles, and we will see our fair share of the downfield rumbles that the United States Geological Survey can pick up on their seismic monitors as the crowd roars.

As for competing against Bama, for most of the blue chip recruits, it's all about getting bling for their fingers and what school do they perceive has the best chance of getting the NCG ring(s) for them. Who will prepare them for the NFL and provide the best venue for pro scout recognition for 1st or 2nd round on signing day. At this point in time, who do you think that is? Frankly, I'm proud of the the Vols recruiting class standings given everything Coach Dooley and his assistants have had to go through. They've done an outstanding job, and I believe it'll only get better. Unless, of course the low quality trolls do scare the high quality recruits off by their constant betrayals of the Volunteer rebuilding program. It's not "we". "We" are just fans of the program. It is all about the players themselves, and their coaches giving them the best they can the so the VOLS succeed. Like a stag in the woods with wolves constantly nipping at it's heels, eventually it will go down. That is obviously the plan of collegegrovebilly, walt no brain, and others who never ever acknowledge even one positive gain in Coach Dooley's rebuilding program. True fans and recruits need to recognize these unsportsmanlike loser attitudes whenever they raise their rabid wolf, ugly heads and direct their comments directly to the round file.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

Remember old school football? 4 yards an a cloud a dust? 3 x 4.5 = first downs and time off the clock ball control all the way to a score. Yeah, 4.5 ain't 55yds at a clip, but it's a darn sight better than negative yards, or even 3yds per carry. It's enough to consistently move the ball down the field. Throw in getting better at breaking tackles, choosing angles, and we will see our fair share of the downfield rumbles that the United States Geological Survey can pick up on their seismic monitors as the crowd roars.

As for competing against Bama, for most of the blue chip recruits, it's all about getting bling for their fingers and what school do they perceive has the best chance of getting the NCG ring(s) for them. Who will prepare them for the NFL and provide the best venue for pro scout recognition for 1st or 2nd round on signing day. At this point in time, who do you think that is? Frankly, I'm proud of the the Vols recruiting class standings given everything Coach Dooley and his assistants have had to go through. They've done an outstanding job, and I believe it'll only get better. Unless, of course the low quality trolls do scare the high quality recruits off by their constant betrayals of the Volunteer rebuilding program. It's not "we". "We" are just fans of the program. It is all about the players themselves, and their coaches giving them the best they can the so the VOLS succeed. Like a stag in the woods with wolves constantly nipping at it's heels, eventually it will go down. That is obviously the plan of collegegrovebilly, walt no brain, and others who never ever acknowledge even one positive gain in Coach Dooley's rebuilding program. True fans and recruits need to recognize these unsportsmanlike loser attitudes whenever they raise their rabid wolf, ugly heads and direct their comments directly to the round file.

I agree with most that you said and will expound:

I don’t know for sure but have seen and heard though several media outlets the reason Henry and a couple of others have chosen other schools was because of all the talk about Dooley being fired.

No Kid wants to sign with a school if the coaching situation is shaky, and yes you are correct the so called “fans” (Bashers, haters and other team fans) that post here and other sites, keep the fire burning on Dooley must go. They claim to want a winning team and better recruits but bash the program and coaches every chance they get.

I know they don’t believe it or won’t except it but recruits read these posts and seeing some of the stuff that is posted doesn’t help and can only hurt the program as a whole. I am not saying they are completely to blame for recruiting but they defiantly don’t help and they claim to love the Vols and they are the true fans, but they do things and post things to hurt the program.

Now I don’t agree with everything the coaches do and the administration but there is a way to state issues without bashing and criticizing. This article was about the number of carries Neal has and how the run game has improved but like most articles the bashers come out in full force to make it sound like the Vols are not improving and everything is bad.

We need to fix the defensive situation and the kicking issues, but the offence has been dramatically improved overall and we are on the cusp of turning the corner. We could end up 9-3 this year and if a miracle happened 10-2. I really think we will end with 8-4 so everything is not bad, we are coming back.

Go Vols

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Just shows how dumb moving him to WR was.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to Jeff_Driskel_For_Heisman88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good luck to them, they are a good team. I will be watching also and like them over LSU.

Should be a great game

Go Vols

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Just shows how dumb moving him to WR was.

Because of lack of depth it was necessary at that time, now his time at WR will help him and the team as a safety outlet if the other receivers are covered.

So at the time was the best option to have him as WR, we had Poole as our every down back and playing WR helped keep him in the game.

Understand why it happened, don't bash because it did.

Go Vols

pcorange writes:

I've been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the run game this year. It is obvious that Jay Graham is a pretty good coach, as is Sam Pittman. While there is still work to do, I think O-line and running backs are definitely a bright spot this season.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

The lack of many troll posters is showing. They are probably watching their real teams play today. OR maybe they are reporting on those teams for their next article?hehe
GBO. Go Vols. GO TENNESSEE!!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Because of lack of depth it was necessary at that time, now his time at WR will help him and the team as a safety outlet if the other receivers are covered.

So at the time was the best option to have him as WR, we had Poole as our every down back and playing WR helped keep him in the game.

Understand why it happened, don't bash because it did.

Go Vols

I'll bash if I want... Who the hell are you? Moving him to WR was moronic. They robbed him an entire season of reps he deserved at RB. And his reps at WR should have went to Arnett and/or Rogers. He's proven to be a very solid RB. And we CLEARLY would have benefited more from him playing RB than WR last year. But that's water under the bridge.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

DON'T be so CRANKY cranke! It's early yet and they'll prob catch it eventually.

Maybe he was just talking about the offense. They had a pick-6, so the offense scored 37 points.

OrangePsyched writes:

Too many gator trolls on here to root for Fla. today..rarely see LSU fans on here yammering so GEAUX TIGERS. Also I think Richt is a pretty classy guy while Spurrier is classless so GO DAWGS. Can anyone tell me if they've heard if Christian Harris might see some action next week against MSU. I'm hoping he might help us some at LB.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

I agree with most that you said and will expound:

I don’t know for sure but have seen and heard though several media outlets the reason Henry and a couple of others have chosen other schools was because of all the talk about Dooley being fired.

No Kid wants to sign with a school if the coaching situation is shaky, and yes you are correct the so called “fans” (Bashers, haters and other team fans) that post here and other sites, keep the fire burning on Dooley must go. They claim to want a winning team and better recruits but bash the program and coaches every chance they get.

I know they don’t believe it or won’t except it but recruits read these posts and seeing some of the stuff that is posted doesn’t help and can only hurt the program as a whole. I am not saying they are completely to blame for recruiting but they defiantly don’t help and they claim to love the Vols and they are the true fans, but they do things and post things to hurt the program.

Now I don’t agree with everything the coaches do and the administration but there is a way to state issues without bashing and criticizing. This article was about the number of carries Neal has and how the run game has improved but like most articles the bashers come out in full force to make it sound like the Vols are not improving and everything is bad.

We need to fix the defensive situation and the kicking issues, but the offence has been dramatically improved overall and we are on the cusp of turning the corner. We could end up 9-3 this year and if a miracle happened 10-2. I really think we will end with 8-4 so everything is not bad, we are coming back.

Go Vols

Dude, losing drives the recruits away. You might not know or believe this. But the VERY same stuff you read on UT sites, you will read on other sites nation wide.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Too many gator trolls on here to root for Fla. today..rarely see LSU fans on here yammering so GEAUX TIGERS. Also I think Richt is a pretty classy guy while Spurrier is classless so GO DAWGS. Can anyone tell me if they've heard if Christian Harris might see some action next week against MSU. I'm hoping he might help us some at LB.

I've pretty much gotta agree with your ENTIRE post...every last word. Well, one more thing. I'm a huge fan of Chavis so I hope he slaughters UF.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vols ranked in SEC:

Bray: 6th in QB ranking, 1st in Total yards, 1st in completions, 1st in TD passes, 8th total yards nationally.

Neal: 1st in attempts, 2nd in total yards

Hunter: 1st in number of receptions, 2nd in total yards

CP: 8th in receiving yards, 28th in rushing yards (8) Carries, 6th in Kickoff return yards

Morre: Tied for 1st in interceptions, 2nd interceptions return yards

Source: http://espn.go.com/college-football/c...

So don't be a hater

Go Vols

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I've pretty much gotta agree with your ENTIRE post...every last word. Well, one more thing. I'm a huge fan of Chavis so I hope he slaughters UF.

Yeah I didn't mention it but the fact that Chief is the DC did factor into my decision. Chavis will always be a Vol in my opinion.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

Maybe he was just talking about the offense. They had a pick-6, so the offense scored 37 points.

I'm sure he was but I still think he's a bit of a troll. No offense to him or you it's just a part of it all.hehe

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Yeah I didn't mention it but the fact that Chief is the DC did factor into my decision. Chavis will always be a Vol in my opinion.

Me too. It pains me to see people bash him on here.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I'll bash if I want... Who the hell are you? Moving him to WR was moronic. They robbed him an entire season of reps he deserved at RB. And his reps at WR should have went to Arnett and/or Rogers. He's proven to be a very solid RB. And we CLEARLY would have benefited more from him playing RB than WR last year. But that's water under the bridge.

I normally don’t reply to personal attacks, but who I am is a loyal fan of the Vols, a man that has defended your right to post what you want for over 27 year (freedom of speech), played football and have a good understanding of the game. (Game changes so wont claim to be an expert).

Now on your WR Hunter went down, you bring up Arnett he was having issues last year and dropped several passes, Z. Rodgers seemed to drop everything last year, I could go on but you can get the idea other than D. Rodgers , Neal was probably one of the most consistent receivers other than Rivera.

Neal was to be the slot receiver and was the backup running back had 5.0 yards per carry and 134 yards plus 2 TDs as the backup running back.

Now who the *** are you to tell anyone anything.

Go Vols

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Dude, losing drives the recruits away. You might not know or believe this. But the VERY same stuff you read on UT sites, you will read on other sites nation wide.

Not really. They listen to media though. If it was the losing then no school like Boise State or Oregan would ever turn their programs around. Bama wouldn't have made a comeback and UT would still be top 5 and vying of an NC.

It's media overall perception of the school that I think drives away recruits. We've actually recruited pretty well considering this after the Kiffin and Pearl debacles. I liked them both as potential coaches but they really messed it up for Dooley and Martin. Well they and the media hammering on it because certain media wants the recruits to go to their favorite schools.(ESPdarN etc.) It's the same with the trolls wanting the recruits to read the garbage on here so recruits will stay away. But it's the medias themselves who brought up the doubts of Dooley not being ready for a school like UT. It may still be proven but the reality is that the program has improved in many areas that the "trolls" refuse to even admit. If our defense can show any sign of improvement then the trolls will still be spewing their froth. Some recruits will still believe because they are kids and don't know better.

pcshowtime writes:

Well on a side note Looks like the Chief is shutting the gators down in the Swamp with that horribly out dated 4-3 defense. I wonder how he is doing it? All hail the 3-4.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Gators suck

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

I normally don’t reply to personal attacks, but who I am is a loyal fan of the Vols, a man that has defended your right to post what you want for over 27 year (freedom of speech), played football and have a good understanding of the game. (Game changes so wont claim to be an expert).

Now on your WR Hunter went down, you bring up Arnett he was having issues last year and dropped several passes, Z. Rodgers seemed to drop everything last year, I could go on but you can get the idea other than D. Rodgers , Neal was probably one of the most consistent receivers other than Rivera.

Neal was to be the slot receiver and was the backup running back had 5.0 yards per carry and 134 yards plus 2 TDs as the backup running back.

Now who the *** are you to tell anyone anything.

Go Vols

Neal was not the back up running back, Lane was. I guess we agree to disagree. We all played football, not sure what your point is. As for attacks...I didn't attack you. I just asked you who you thought you were. You expect to come on here and blow your fluff up people's rears then tell us not to bash. When in reality I was simply stating that I thought moving your second best back to WR was dumb. I've also stated prior to this season that Neal was the best back we had on roster. You and 99% of the people on the site kept talking about Lane. But I'm sure your football knowledge has a reason why that theory didn't work out either. All in all what it boils down to is that you get butthurt when you feel anyone is challenging Dooley's ability. And you feel that people who question his ability either don't know anything, or should keep their mouths shut about it. And that is 100% fact.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Merlot and go vols in the same name SURPRISED

knoxtenn writes:

Mediocrity for years until we wise up and hire John Chavis as head coach. For you "prevent defense" complainers look at the man's recruits and stats.

Billy Cannon was asked at UT QB club how he liked having Chavis at LSU. He answered, "how do you like it without him at UT?"

knoxtenn writes:

Yep, Chief has Florida shut down to 0 points in the 3rd. Aw, the good ole days.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to knoxtenn:

Mediocrity for years until we wise up and hire John Chavis as head coach. For you "prevent defense" complainers look at the man's recruits and stats.

Billy Cannon was asked at UT QB club how he liked having Chavis at LSU. He answered, "how do you like it without him at UT?"

I don't know if he's HC material, but I do know he's a great defensive coach..I believe UT's offense is better than it's been in years, but now our defense is a weak link..Frustrating.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features