Final: Mississippi State 41, Tennessee 31

UT had plenty of opportunities to pull off upset

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) makes a catch for a touchdown in the third quarter closing Mississippi State's lead to 27-23 during the third quarter at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) makes a catch for a touchdown in the third quarter closing Mississippi State's lead to 27-23 during the third quarter at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State is on hallowed ground it hasn’t trod since 1999.

Tennessee seems to be headed down the same path as the past couple of seasons.

With a 41-31 victory over the Vols Saturday night before a rocking, ringing, sold-out crowd of 57,831 at Davis Wade Stadium, the 19th-ranked Bulldogs improved to 6-0 for the first time since going 8-0 in 1999.

Tennessee, much like at Georgia two weeks ago, was late to the party, spotting Mississippi State a 27-14 halftime lead before making things interesting.

In the end, though, the Vols (3-3, 0-3 SEC) lost to a ranked opponent for the 14th consecutive time since a Halloween 2009 win over South Carolina.

Derek Dooley, coaching from the press box booth four days after hip surgery, is 0-13 against ranked opponents.

The Vols outplayed Mississippi State much of the second half and trailed 34-31 after Tyler Bray’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Ben Bartholomew with 5:22 to play.

Tennessee needed a defensive stop to get the ball back.

The only time the Vols touched the ball, however, was on a hopeless kickoff return after the Bulldogs tacked on a game-icing touchdown — Tyler Russell’s fourth-down, 9-yard pass to Malcolm Johnson with 9 seconds to play.

Mississippi State had done little offensively in the second half but mustered a clock-eating, 12-play drive to keep Tennessee’s offense on the sideline.

Russell made big throws all during the first half, including a pair of touchdowns to tight end Marcus Green.

He finished 23-of-37 for 291 yards passing with no interceptions.

The only turnovers came from the Vols.

Bray was intercepted late in the first half. More costly was Devrin Young’s fumble at the UT 30 with 9:12 to play.

Tennessee trailed only 27-24 at the time, but State capitalized on the short field. Russell hit Chad Bumphis for 25 yards to the 5, then LaDarius Perkins rumbled in from the 1.

UT was in a 34-24 hole with 7:58 to play. They got one score back on the pass to Bartholomew, but didn’t get a chance to try for another.

In snapping a six-game losing streak to Tennessee, State outgained the Vols 450-361.

Cordarrelle Patterson was UT’s best weapon, returning a kickoff 98 yards for a score to keep the Vols alive in a listless first half. He also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bray in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 27-24.

Bray finished 13-of-24 for 148 yards in the air.

Tennessee ruled the third quarter, cutting into Mississippi State’s 27-14 halftime lead with a Michael Palardy field goal and Patterson’s second touchdown.

The Bulldogs ruled the first half, holding the ball for nearly 23 minutes to 7 for Tennessee and piling up 19 first downs to the Vols’ five.

Tennessee was probably fortunate to get out of the half no worse off than trailing 27-14.

The Bulldogs moved the football virtually at will. Josh Robinson’s 10-yard run for a score complemented the Russell-to-Green combination.

Devon Bell kicked field goals of 31 and 24 yards, then missed from 38.

The Bulldogs didn’t punt until inside the final 30 seconds of the half. They hadn’t scored 27 points in the first half against an SEC team since 1994.

By the half, State had 293 yards of offense to Tennessee’s 97.

Tennessee’s defense at least got a partial stop on State’s opening drive, forcing a field goal.

Then Bray led a crisp, 10-play drive that ended on Rajion Neal’s 6-yard touchdown for a 7-3 lead.

The Vols didn’t do anything crisp the rest of the half. They shuffled through three three-and-out possessions, then Bray threw an interception to end the half.

If Patterson hadn’t reeled off the serpentine kickoff return, the game might have been out of reach by intermission.

State learned its lesson with Patterson. On the kickoff following a Bell field goal for a 20-14 lead, the Bulldogs blooped the kick and recovered at the UT 33.

Four plays later, Russell and Reed connected for a 7-yard TD to go up 27-14 with 7:46 left in the half.

That’s where it stayed at halftime. Bell missed a field goal and Tennessee never threatened.

Neal was injured in the third quarter, finishing with 40 rushing yards. Young had 58 on 13 carries and Patterson 57 on three.

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Comments » 589

NorthwestVol writes:

Ugly.

eduardo writes:

outtttttttaaaaa heeeeeeerrrrrrrrreeee!!!!!!!!!!

scott_m99 writes:

Sucks...I've decided that Dooley needs to go

movinonup writes:

Just fell off the bandwagon and it ran over me.......

NorthwestVol writes:

I can't help but wonder if Dooley had any choice in hiring Sal, or was that a forced decision by Hart. Either way, it's not working. And don't even go to the 3-4 excuse.

Tru138 writes:

Been giving him the benefit of the doubt this year.
No more.
Tennessee stinks.
Fire Dooley.

Rumblefish writes:

Bye bye Dooley! I would like to say "it's been fun"...but it hasn't. It's been horrible...to say the least.

Colts_VolFan writes:

in response to scott_m99:

Sucks...I've decided that Dooley needs to go

Maybe they will give him a participation trophy.

keepitreal4vols writes:

The Dooley experiment is over. He can't be the coach we expect, the SEC is too big for him.

marVOLous writes:

Don't jump ship now boys, we still have some winnable games left.

orange_glory writes:

.....and then it hit me and backed up and hit me again

pcshowtime writes:

Thank you coach Dooley for switching to the 3-4 defense in year 3. If you would not have switched you might have won GA, FL or Miss st and we might have gave you a fourth year. Thanks for making decision easy.....

kd45music writes:

There is no indication that things are getting better under Dooley. None whatsoever.

markc2 writes:

I hope ya'll Dooley supporters finally realize that this guy sucks as a coach. Nice guy- yes. Good coach- NO! bring in a real coach and let's get back to Tennesse football. Heads up Hart... we're waiting.

Rumblefish writes:

BigOrangeFever76 just posted on the "3rd quarter" story that he is ready to get rid of Dooley!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! This clown has been preaching about how great Dooley is for Tennessee! Good bye loser!!

ooltewahorange writes:

Thank you CP for your passion and play. Why do i see guys smiling all the time on sidelines. I must be missing something.

VOL_MAROONED_IN_NC writes:

Somebody send in the moving vans and get this Fool OUT OF HERE.

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to NorthwestVol:

I can't help but wonder if Dooley had any choice in hiring Sal, or was that a forced decision by Hart. Either way, it's not working. And don't even go to the 3-4 excuse.

Been wondering the same thing about Sunseri. Fire him on the way home tonight. All I see him do is scream and yell at the players on the sideline. This defensive team is the laughing stock of the SEC. If Hart hired him he needs to go too.

TheStupidPolice writes:

WHAT THE F WAS SUNSERI DOING THE LAST TWO WEEKS? EATING? HE SURE AS HECK WASN'T GAME PLANNING. SMH

govols26 writes:

Didn't really mind Dooley too much until tonight. What a terrible excuse of an effort. Bray and Patterson looked like the only ones who cared enough to try to win. Stupid mistakes and horrible, sloppy play from everyone else. This coaching staff is awful. I would say give them 1 more year but I have no faith in them anymore. Might as well start rebuilding sooner rather than later. If nothing else everyone on the defensive coaching staff needs to resign. Every pass Miss. State took was almost guaranteed to go for at least 10 yards. Horrible coverage, horrible tackling, horrible coaching.

WitcdoctaSucks writes:

Dooley sucks... and I was fan of his not now we wont beat a ranked team under him so all you vol fans that want to be good again pray derek dooley becomes unemployed

OLROCKYTOP writes:

Defense allows 40+ again. Absolutely no way to win in the SEC with such a poor defense. Offense puts points up, but the defense can't stop anyone. This is the worst tackling team I have seen at UT in a very long time.

kd45music writes:

in response to Here_Comes_Dooley_BooBoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nice, real nice. Your day is coming, pal.

VolinCalif writes:

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. But was there a single mistake a team could make that we Missed?! I am going into my hold my breath until my lips turn blue Mode. I will not predict UT winning again this year nor will I predict they will ever score 41 points again.
Not being Neg. Just can't stand all the mess-ups.

ooltewahorange writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

Thank you coach Dooley for switching to the 3-4 defense in year 3. If you would not have switched you might have won GA, FL or Miss st and we might have gave you a fourth year. Thanks for making decision easy.....

A Men! A Men!

HowboutdemVOLS writes:

Hard to keep getting back up from these....sad :(.... Vols4life

Smokey91 writes:

I have never seen a team that could shoot itself in the foot like these guys can. Get back in the game, then fumble.... Have a chance to hold them and get the ball back and look like a bunch of chickens running around with no heads. The best coached teams are the ones that make the fewest mistakes. We make mistakes because Hamilton made a mistake on who he hired. Dooley does not belong in the SEC. Sal does not know as much about running a defense that everyone thought he did, and I am pretty sure we have one of the most inept coaching staffs in the country. Glad the boys made a game of it but I am tired of Dooley's moral victories. We need a man like Gary Patterson running this program, not a mamma's boy from Georgia.

smokeygrowl writes:

in response to marVOLous:

Don't jump ship now boys, we still have some winnable games left.

Really?

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

Thank you coach Dooley for switching to the 3-4 defense in year 3. If you would not have switched you might have won GA, FL or Miss st and we might have gave you a fourth year. Thanks for making decision easy.....

As I posted earlier, do you think it was Dooley that made the choice to go to the 3-4 with Sal or was it forced by the other bammer Hart? Dooley may not be an SEC head coach, but he's no fool. I suspect Hart forced the issue.

rtrchatt writes:

On a positive note Vol fans there is plenty of spare Christmas money available next Saturday.
The Crimson Tide nation will take over your stadium and pay a fair price to do so.... Just like 2008 and 2010.

Retiredvol writes:

Unfortunately I am on the bandwagon now. No improvement at all. Still not executing. By Hart's grading there is no improvement in this team. Dooley will be fired at the end of this season with more than likely a 6-7 record. Absolutely pitiful and Sal's 3-4 sucks like our beloved DC. Offense isn't any better really. We have fallen so far in the SEC.

tulelakevol writes:

Football teams reflect their coaches personality.
This team reflects a loser personality. Exhibit # 1. Wannbe football coach Dooley. Get rid of him now.

Gmoney58 writes:

in response to markc2:

I hope ya'll Dooley supporters finally realize that this guy sucks as a coach. Nice guy- yes. Good coach- NO! bring in a real coach and let's get back to Tennesse football. Heads up Hart... we're waiting.

Yes Sir markc!!! What are you gonna do Hart? Just don't ask M Hamilton for advise....DO something, and do it soon, or go back to AL!!!

pcshowtime writes:

in response to NorthwestVol:

I can't help but wonder if Dooley had any choice in hiring Sal, or was that a forced decision by Hart. Either way, it's not working. And don't even go to the 3-4 excuse.

I am wondering the same thing. Do not get me wrong I want dooley gone but anybody with any since would not change defense scheme in year a year you might lose your job. I do not like hart I do not trust him hire fulmer for ad and clean house.

born2ride writes:

Dooley record is 4-15 in the SEC.

The only teams Dooley beat are:

Vandy (Twice)
Kentucky
Ole Miss

Those are the WORST BOTTOM TEAMS in the SEC - along with Tennessee thanks to Dooley.

Dooley has never beat a ranked team.

He has never won a game on the road.

Dooley should have been fired after the Kentucky loss.

Why is Dooley still coaching here?

Anybody?

Vol43 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

BigOrangeFever76 just posted on the "3rd quarter" story that he is ready to get rid of Dooley!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! This clown has been preaching about how great Dooley is for Tennessee! Good bye loser!!

Blow it out your arse rumbleface.

BruisedOrange writes:

Credit MSU with this: they did everything they could to win the game outright. They didn't let the clock or UT mistakes deliver the win to them.

Gotta believe that attitude will serve them well in recruiting.

Vols did almost everything they needed to do to win--they just also did several things they had to do to lose. MSU looked like they deserved their ranking--talent, coaching, individual effort.

Tough next few weeks for Vols... gotta figure some individuals will reveal their lack-of-character this next week (hopefully only a few).

VolzsFan writes:

The SEC is to big for Tennessee. Many of you grew up with the Hall of Famer's era and you do not know UT's real history. We used to start August knowing we would win about 10 per year (he won 10+ games in 9 of 16 years and averaged 9.5) and you think that is UT football. It is not. You are seeing now what UT football has been prior to the Hall of Famer. When you steal recruits from UAB, Natti and Memphis you lose all your SEC games. That simple.

badnewsvols writes:

I will not spend another dime on anything orange until Coach Dooley is unemployed. I can give anyone the benefit of the doubt and focusing on a rebuilding effort, but going 0-13 over three seasons against ranked opponents is unacceptable at the University of Tennessee. General Neyland is literally rolling in his grave knowing that complacency and mediocrity is considered acceptable by the administration, coaching staff, players and many misguided fans. We have been outplayed, outmuscled and outcoached at every turn. We have been embarrassed by our most heated rivals year after year. We even managed to lose to a Kentucky team that had not beat UT since before the players in that game were born…with a wide receiver at QB!
Before I start being berated for my opinion, which I am entitled to, please share with me a single reason that Coach DD should still be in Knoxville on 11/24. I am more than willing to change my mind for a logical, measured response that can prove to me that Tennessee is headed in the direction of competing for SEC and National Championships again. Someone please give me a reason to believe…please.

tulelakevol writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

On a positive note Vol fans there is plenty of spare Christmas money available next Saturday.
The Crimson Tide nation will take over your stadium and pay a fair price to do so.... Just like 2008 and 2010.

Yes they will tampon boy. Soak it up buddy.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to marVOLous:

Don't jump ship now boys, we still have some winnable games left.

Not if we play the way we did tonight.

smokeygrowl writes:

in response to ooltewahorange:

Thank you CP for your passion and play. Why do i see guys smiling all the time on sidelines. I must be missing something.

Its not their fault being led by idiots. tyrin to make the best of it I guess.

GloryDays writes:

This was a moral victory. Remember Miss St. is a top 25 team and playing at home. If Dooley would have been on the side line we would have won. Lane and Neal were hurt. Those cowbell were really loud. Don't jump off the band wagon, I know he hasn't done anything just give him 4 more years.

Volsfan1985 writes:

Coach Sal is a joke

VolMoment writes:

I agree Dooley is in charge and Chaney is a joke. Come on people who have already posted. We went for a low percwntage completion on 3rd and 4, 3rd and three. What a joke Chaney is but Dooley loves him. Tyler Bray is a joke too.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to Vol43:

Blow it out your arse rumbleface.

What's the matter hoss??? Can't stand it that many of us have been preaching how bad Dooley is and you've been defending this dumbarse???? Face it pal....Dooley is a figgin joke of a coach. I sincerely hope you come down.

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to markc2:

I hope ya'll Dooley supporters finally realize that this guy sucks as a coach. Nice guy- yes. Good coach- NO! bring in a real coach and let's get back to Tennesse football. Heads up Hart... we're waiting.

NOT a nice guy...but has a lot of folks fooled. He's an anal retentive, micro-manager - that the players and coaches dislike. He puts on a great "good ol' boy face"...just like Obama (sorry for the pol ref). I hope Hart fires him immediately. Time to move on...0-13 against ranked teams?...keeping him will NOT save a recruiting class.

ooltewahorange writes:

in response to born2ride:

Dooley record is 4-15 in the SEC.

The only teams Dooley beat are:

Vandy (Twice)
Kentucky
Ole Miss

Those are the WORST BOTTOM TEAMS in the SEC - along with Tennessee thanks to Dooley.

Dooley has never beat a ranked team.

He has never won a game on the road.

Dooley should have been fired after the Kentucky loss.

Why is Dooley still coaching here?

Anybody?

I heard they are short on money with Haslem family dropping 1 billion on Browns.

justafan4ut writes:

I hate to say it, but it maybe time to pack some bags. I like HCD, but they just are not getting it done. The defense played better the 2nd half, but dog-gone-it, couldn't get a stop when we needed it. Moral vic's (if you call it that)suck. Some things have gotten better, but others are worse. We have found a running game, but the play calling when we need a 1st down is less than to be desired. Frustration is at it's maximum. Defensively we are not very good, but from time to time they make some good plays, then follow it up with el suc o play. I don't know, just very frustrating. I don't know what else to say. DAMN!

423vols writes:

in response to marVOLous:

Don't jump ship now boys, we still have some winnable games left.

AND WHAT GAMES ARE YOU REFERRING TO

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