Pressures not leading to sacks for Jacques Smith

Tennessee linebacker Jacques Smith misses an opportunity for a sack against Georgia State quarterback Ben McLane at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee linebacker Jacques Smith misses an opportunity for a sack against Georgia State quarterback Ben McLane at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee football practice on Oct. 9, 2012

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Jacques Smith has a problem. The numbers don't add up.

"Hell, I have like a million (quarterback) pressures now and no sacks," the Tennessee linebacker said Tuesday.

In 2011, interceptions and turnovers eluded the UT defense. In 2012, sacks are the white whale. The Vols have notched only six through five games.

"That's something I need to do — get sacks. It's not just me. It's our whole defensive line," Smith said.

Easier said than done. According to Smith, the Vols spent their off week prior to Saturday's meeting with No. 19 Mississippi State with two priorities — ramping up the pass rush and correcting what he called, "The Georgia mistakes."

After surrendering a humbling 560 total yards of offense to the Bulldogs, UT studied each of the numerous big plays on film and replayed them on the field.

"Every offensive coordinator takes what a team has mishaps on the previous week," Smith said. "I guarantee Mississippi State tries the same trends Georgia did."

Georgia, of course, scored 51 points.

Smith said the key will be getting to — and sacking — Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell. The junior has been sacked just three times this season, but has yet to face a front seven resembling UT's.

"If we get pressure it will change everything," Smith said. "They haven't had a team get in their face, somebody literally hitting the quarterback, all season."

***

After late-game turnovers marred quarterback Tyler Bray's stat line against Georgia, UT coach Derek Dooley continues to preach that a composed version of the quarterback will emerge. Dooley said Tuesday that it takes time to change "the core" of who Bray is because "he can do it nine times and do a great job, but it is that one play. There is no room for error because everybody is looking."

***

Saturday's 9 p.m. kickoff in Starkville has been a topic of conversation all week. Bray, however, is unfazed.

"We'll play in a Walmart parking lot," the junior quarterback said.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 37

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Jacques Smith one of the most gifted athletes on the UT defense has played the poorest in my opinion. Containment, big hits, sacks and consistency have eluded the man thus far..I hope he gets it together before the season ends..JMO

movol53 writes:

Could some of it be that he gets doubled frequently??? Perhaps but he needs to learn from it and get away from the double team.

6972 writes:

Pressure changes everything. Ask the Georgia QB who spent half the night against SC either running for is life or on his back looking up at the stars.

exlineman writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Jacques Smith one of the most gifted athletes on the UT defense has played the poorest in my opinion. Containment, big hits, sacks and consistency have eluded the man thus far..I hope he gets it together before the season ends..JMO

Beare, maybe he is on the verge of turning into the player he can be. I think the 3/4 may be causing him some problems as well as some of the others. We have some great players, just need to work together and learn this system and get it down pat and maybe he and the others will start to jell and bring a defense to the table, we can be proud of.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to exlineman:

Beare, maybe he is on the verge of turning into the player he can be. I think the 3/4 may be causing him some problems as well as some of the others. We have some great players, just need to work together and learn this system and get it down pat and maybe he and the others will start to jell and bring a defense to the table, we can be proud of.

I hope you're right..The man is a beast and if he could dominate his side of the line UT's defense could make giant leaps of progress in switching to the 34 scheme. I think until UT gets more acclimated to the 34 they should mix in the 50 front..GBO!

OrangePride writes:

No question.....the test of a QB comes when he is put under all day pressure. That's when mistakes are made, and that's when breaks are made. MSU has not had to worry about this so far and that accounts for a good bit of his seemingly gaudy success. But Saturday will be different...lets look for that Vol front line to confuse, confound, and lobotomize the MSU QB and offense! GO VOLS!!

OrangePride writes:

And one more thing, this team reminds me of my crumby golf game.....there is always one or two phases always out of whack. I seem to never get them all together at the same time. This years Vols have been the same. When one phase is going well, something else seems undependable. I've been waiting (as have we all) all year to see Tennessee get everything working together. We need that to begin THIS SATURDAY!!

allvol8 writes:

in response to OrangePride:

And one more thing, this team reminds me of my crumby golf game.....there is always one or two phases always out of whack. I seem to never get them all together at the same time. This years Vols have been the same. When one phase is going well, something else seems undependable. I've been waiting (as have we all) all year to see Tennessee get everything working together. We need that to begin THIS SATURDAY!!

And never end! ;)...GBO!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Mr. Smith needs to step it UP!! Yes he does.

WE (as in fans) want to see the other Tyler on his back wondering who was in that truck that just ran over him!! NOT looking at the stars but seeing stars(the kind that ain't really there).

Seriously fellas we have to play harder. This ain't "tag".

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Good gawd! Some quality coaching would probably help these kids. If UT beats Miss St it will be a fluke.
This really sucks, the Vols are a laughing stock. (not the players, everything else!)

mocsandvolsfan writes:

What I'd love to see is everyone show up with orange pants. Every Vols fan. Every coach. Every player. My own dear mother needs to show up in Orange pants with a glass of orange drink of some kind (that's drinkable and maybe an umbrella in it that's orange too!).

GO BIG ORANGES!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Good gawd! Some quality coaching would probably help these kids. If UT beats Miss St it will be a fluke.
This really sucks, the Vols are a laughing stock. (not the players, everything else!)

More like Vol_in_KNS? Anyhow. I don't know many fans who're laughing down here. Well we laugh at the teams in Michigan who wish THEY could be in the SEC and play in a real mans game. Oh yeah but you aren't probably really from Mich.? I don't know really.

You're wrong however. If UT beats Miss.St....it will be that quality win beating a top 20 team.
Whether or not MissSt deserves to be on the list is beside the point so don't even go there.hehe

JonGrudensAgent writes:

Naw Jacques, you have no idea what you are talking about.

The defense is fine, just ask Gerry OP and some of the other sunshine pumpers on here.

ooltewahorange writes:

Watched him play high school ball down the street from me. He is a super person with all the physical tools but needs to be coached up. One defensive cord and a scheme would held. Please someone in orange with a whistle coach em up!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to exlineman:

Beare, maybe he is on the verge of turning into the player he can be. I think the 3/4 may be causing him some problems as well as some of the others. We have some great players, just need to work together and learn this system and get it down pat and maybe he and the others will start to jell and bring a defense to the table, we can be proud of.

Lineman
I don't really mean to be corrective, but I think we have a very good def in the making. We know that a new Def always takes a little time togel and the 3-4 usually takes at least a year or better. We made some mistakes under pressure of very good teams, just have to give the guys a little to make moves that are natural for them. That takes a little time as you know. I think Ga game was the best thing to happen to our Def. they started getting it right in the second half.I think that will give them all the confidence they need to finish this year as a very good Def.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

I do realize it takes time to adjust to a new scheme. I can say my biggest disappointments have been, the lack of depth in the DL. Where have Hood and Walls gone? We are only playing 4 DL's. Smith and Maggitt have disappeared even though we still see them on the field. And please play McNeil! I wondered about the experiment to play Brewer as LB in spring practice. Now we all know! He is to slow to play safety! He is consistently 10 yards off the receiver in a spread formation and the slant is open all day long! At least press him, who knows you might slow him up enough to disrupt the play. The good news is Two Hand Touch Teague is not in the mix. Kameron Miles is a "soft verbal" now. Kameron if you want to play early come to UT.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Good gawd! Some quality coaching would probably help these kids. If UT beats Miss St it will be a fluke.
This really sucks, the Vols are a laughing stock. (not the players, everything else!)

Yep, the coaches are making peanuts and could make more cash elsewhere. That's why the coach them to miss tackles, be out of position, etc. So let's hire you at 45K per year, because we know you know how to coach em up. When you do then we give you a raise to current average of SEC position coach.

exlineman writes:

Thanks Beare and Volincalif, I also beleive our defense is headed in the right direction. They are very physical just rough around the edges, with coaching will make them improve. I look forward to some great defense the rest of this season. I beleive in the big orange and I am not ready to throw the towel in. lol.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey numnutts....why don't you spend some time learning the difference between "there", "their", and "they're"? Or would that cut into your trolling time? The little personal email you sent me a few weeks ago showed up under your other troll name...the one you used to bash the team and coaches so you are not fooling anyone.

PS...what the **** is "Specificly"? Ever hear of Spell Check?

BigOrangeFever has spoken.......

exlineman writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

Hey numnutts....why don't you spend some time learning the difference between "there", "their", and "they're"? Or would that cut into your trolling time? The little personal email you sent me a few weeks ago showed up under your other troll name...the one you used to bash the team and coaches so you are not fooling anyone.

PS...what the **** is "Specificly"? Ever hear of Spell Check?

BigOrangeFever has spoken.......

Go get him 76, sounds like he wants to be Witch Doctor, which we all know there is just one Witch Doctor and he is very knowledgeable about football and the ins and outs at UT.

crappieking writes:

Overated player that has not stepped up to the plate. Add terrible coaching and what you have is what we display every game.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to crappieking:

Overated player that has not stepped up to the plate. Add terrible coaching and what you have is what we display every game.

I have used almost every thing from Bubble Gum up for crappie bait. But I have never seen anyone use B..S..except you. No wonder you are King

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

I have used almost every thing from Bubble Gum up for crappie bait. But I have never seen anyone use B..S..except you. No wonder you are King

Good retort. I KNOW coming back at these idiots is what they hope and dream...but it adds a little flavor to the site when we reply to them. Otherwise it'd be all "Trollsville".hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to crappieking:

Overated player that has not stepped up to the plate. Add terrible coaching and what you have is what we display every game.

Honestly that could be said for the entire defense. But you know as well as anyone on here...hmmm that's probably...well definitely not true.

Our defense obviously is a work in progress.
That's why you see the red-faced Sunseri. It isn't anger as much as embarrassment. I said that for the trolls mostly. But it might be true.

The real truth as I see it is that we are in a rebuilding mode still. We're still building our defense, with a new coach. 3-4 is not what I'm used to seeing but it seems to work for Alabama and a few pro teams. I'll be sold on it when it works here. That's my hope anyhow.
You can't realize hope if you DON'T Got NONE!!

brokendownoldvol writes:

Either they have him playing out of position or he his another in a long line of TN 5 star busts.

voloffaith writes:

in response to exlineman:

Go get him 76, sounds like he wants to be Witch Doctor, which we all know there is just one Witch Doctor and he is very knowledgeable about football and the ins and outs at UT.

He's been doing this ESKIMO or is it PERRY COMO speaks for a while...as I recall he switched from his other poster child name somewhere around when our infamous witchydoc came through.

On topic, I disagree with some(crapsterkeeng) that think Smith was overrated. What was his position in HS? What is he playing now? The scheme sometimes doesn't play to a strength...so growing in a new scheme also can be a hindrance as the learning curve gets better....sayin just....

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

The ideal situation is to get QB pressure rushing 4 players..Hasn't worked for us because we don't have a John Henderson caliber player upfront..Coverage sacks aren't working either because we don't press cover..Sal also doesn't seem to blitz a lot because I think he likes to drop LB's back in coverage..Iam not sure what would help beyond more talent..I do know Russell is good enough to pick us apart if given the time..This probably a good game to throw out some blitz packages MSU hasn't seen on film because they don't really have an all SEC group of WR's..Either way we need to press cover the WR's instead of allowing routes to go totally unimpeded..Allowing these average WR's to have their way every game letting them sit down in the soft spot is just BS and bad coaching

MemphoVol writes:

Kick-off is at 8PM Central Time. Believe it or not, the entire world does not live in the Eastern Time Zone.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

More like Vol_in_KNS? Anyhow. I don't know many fans who're laughing down here. Well we laugh at the teams in Michigan who wish THEY could be in the SEC and play in a real mans game. Oh yeah but you aren't probably really from Mich.? I don't know really.

You're wrong however. If UT beats Miss.St....it will be that quality win beating a top 20 team.
Whether or not MissSt deserves to be on the list is beside the point so don't even go there.hehe

Let's see, how about all the Bamma & Dawg fans in Chattanooga (you know, where the Moc's are). You should know there's a lot of them, the Vol fans are just crying & saying wait till next year. Being in the SEC cellar would never be accepted by old time UT fans, I guess it's just fine with these new VFL's. I could give a rat's butt about any team from Mi., but you're right, I'm not from Mi., I just live here.
I hope the Vols can beat Miss.St., but I doubt it.
"aren't probably really from Mich." Where did you guys go to school?

UTVolWarrior98 writes:

I agree, he is was waaaaaaay overrated coming out of HS. A 5-star recruit..uhhh...I THINK NOT. The fact of the matter is we have a A LOT of 4 and 5 star recruits that have/are underachieving. See Corey Miller. See Eric Gordon. See Marsalis Teague. See Kenny O'Neal. See Bryce Brown. See David Oku. See Michael POS Palardy. We've had so many players throughout the past 10 years that have underachieved! I could name all of them..but I dont think they give you enough room in the comment box.

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

Miss State has a good drop back QB who will pick the Vols defense apart if they are unable to get pressure on him.

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

I have used almost every thing from Bubble Gum up for crappie bait. But I have never seen anyone use B..S..except you. No wonder you are King

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Let's see, how about all the Bamma & Dawg fans in Chattanooga (you know, where the Moc's are). You should know there's a lot of them, the Vol fans are just crying & saying wait till next year. Being in the SEC cellar would never be accepted by old time UT fans, I guess it's just fine with these new VFL's. I could give a rat's butt about any team from Mi., but you're right, I'm not from Mi., I just live here.
I hope the Vols can beat Miss.St., but I doubt it.
"aren't probably really from Mich." Where did you guys go to school?

I don't really care about "good grammer" that much...obviously. I went to UTC. I make my points just fine. I GOT nothin' against Mich nor any of it's inhabitants. I GOT nothin' against You NETHER Mr MICH. You're correct there are a lot of the enemy in Chattanooga. There is also a lot of the enemy on this site which is why I am skeptical about any negative "posterers".hehe
LOL I'm not a language instructor and don't want to be. It doesn't take away any points I'm making except to the "wanna be journalist" on here and a few uptight individuals.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're real name is Okemo?? Sounds like you're doing some hiding yourself..Just an observation.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OKEMO (LMAO) I got your personal email to meet you at a rest stop on Interstate 40 but I have to say "No Thanks". My gate does not swing in that direction. I am not judging you so don't be offended. I am happily married but you may want to get in touch with collegegrovehillbilly down in Tuscaloozer. And please in the meantime, brush up on the correct use of "their", "there", and "they're". Heck, you might as well learn the correct use of "your" vs. "you're" while you are at it. You are kinda like Ernest T. Bass.

BigOrangeFever76 has spoken..........

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

You're real name is Okemo?? Sounds like you're doing some hiding yourself..Just an observation.

BB....OKEMO sent me a personal email asking me to meet him at a rest stop on I-40. Not sure what he has in mind...any idea? I guess I should be flattered but it feels kinda creepy.

xvolx writes:

Instead of worrying about sacks, he needs to learn how to stop runs around his end.

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