After victory, Tennessee looks to clean up flaws for Week 2

Coach sees areas for UT improvement

Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, right reaches for a catch under pressure from North Carolina State defensive back Juston Burris during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, right reaches for a catch under pressure from North Carolina State defensive back Juston Burris during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Recap: Tennessee plays N.C. State

Moments after Tennessee finished off North Carolina State on Friday night in the Georgia Dome, crew members quickly wheeled a stage onto the turf.

Game officials presented a trophy to coach Derek Dooley and his players, who then insisted that Dooley place the leather helmet atop his perfectly coifed hair.

But amid the celebration, Dooley was sounding notes of caution before he even left the podium.

After congratulating his players and the Wolfpack on a good game, Dooley shouted above the din of the fans still in the stadium: "It's one game. We got a long season. We made a lot of mistakes. We're going to correct them and get to Game 2."

It's hard to find flaws in the result itself, a 524-yard offensive performance, a defensive effort that produced four interceptions and a safety, and a 35-21 victory. And after the dismal ending to last season, Dooley said the players enjoyed the victory.

"They're not sad they won," he said. "But we're not going to sit there and pat ourselves on the back because we won the game. It was a good win, but we've got 11 left and now we go to work on the next week."

Next week brings Georgia State (0-1) to Neyland Stadium on Saturday (TV: PPV, 4 p.m.). The Panthers, in the midst of a two-year transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision, were pounded by South Carolina State 33-6 on Thursday night. On Sept. 15, Tennessee plays host to Florida in a game that could determine who will be in best position to challenge Georgia and South Carolina for the SEC East title.

"I already know you guys (the media) are going to say, 'We're there' or 'We're on our way,' " Dooley said. "But all that matters is 1-0. We have to clean up a ton of mistakes."

Where to start the cleaning?

On defense, communication breakdowns appeared to lead to several big plays by the Wolfpack in the first half. The good news is that the defense was steadier after halftime.

Dooley said the Vols had a hard time adjusting to Wolfpack's quick pace. The defense went into "survival mode" as players didn't even have time to look over to the sidelines for direction.

When N.C. State's Quintin Payton caught a 49-yard pass in the first quarter, there were no Vols anywhere near him. Cornerback Prentiss Waggner released Payton as if Tennessee was in a zone, but there was no safety waiting to help out behind him.

Sometimes the fix is as simple as hand signals.

"Me and Byron Moore had a miscommunication with the signals," Waggner said. "We knew what we were supposed to do, but he gave me a signal that I thought was something else. When we got to the sidelines, we just made a different signal for it. That was it."

Dooley said the problems weren't only in the secondary.

"On the D-line we had a lot of problems in the pass rush lanes and let the quarterback break the pocket too many times," Dooley said. "So we've got a ton of work in all these areas."

Other issues could be more difficult to solve. Dooley was angry with running back Rajion Neal during the game for bouncing outside rather than attacking inside.

"I was real disappointed in a couple of those runs," Dooley said. "He knew to stick it up in the middle, and he just didn't trust it. The runs were designed to stay inside. He made some good runs, but then he kind of went back to his ways of trying to bounce it out in space."

Dooley also wasn't entirely satisfied with the offensive line, even though the unit kept quarterback Tyler Bray out of harm's way for most of the night. But the Vols' failure to convert first downs in short yardage situations could have been costly.

"(The N.C. State defensive linemen) were pushing us a little bit," Dooley said. "Third-and-1, fourth-and-1? We've got to get that."

On special teams, the news also was mixed. Coverage was good, except for a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Punter Matt Darr hit a couple of boomers, but struggled on a shorter field. The missed extra point on Tennessee's first touchdown was a "snapper issue."

"I thought we were solid (on special teams), but I wouldn't say we really impacted the game like we'd like to," Dooley said.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 77

mdvol writes:

No more losing...
No more moral victories.
It's time to play with the big boys.

4 years of pent up frustration all comes out on the Gators.

Who better?

Pandemonium Reigns - Sept 15th - Knoxville

VOLS hang 65 on Georgia State. Then drop 40 on the Gators in Neyland.
Start 4-0.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Funny. LOL Dooley wouldn't be worth his salt if he didn't see every flaw in that game. As for myself I see no flaws at this point...till and if we lose. Of course I ain't a coach. I'd much rather listen to the beautiful choir and ignore the alto that's a little flat.

tenndave writes:

Alot of things to fix. I agree. Hunter dropped several passes and ran backwards several times.
Neal will not start next game because he did not trust his line. O line did not dominate when they had too. Bray over threw Hunter on a sure touchdown pass. D line did a good job in most cases but did allow open lanes that should not have been there. Kickers were inconsistent.
The good news is all of these are fixable where in the past we did not have the talent or depth to fix some problems. Georgia State comes at a good time. Then it is pay back time. Don't think the Gators are as weak as they looked til we beat them by at least 21. Then I will believe.

TheVolSnake writes:

Every team works on becoming better, there was several thing mainly from the first half that needs to be corrected. I was very pleased with the play and intensity of our players, coaches and fan’s.

Two big areas we need to work on is the run defense we allowed too many yards from the line by NC State.

Our running backs need to hit the hole hard and move forward, Lane did a good job but Neal was too tentative. I fully expect a heavy run game against Georgia State this does two things: it builds confidence in out running back and line and two it controls the game. We will still have a large amount of passing but we really need to work on a strong running game.

iowavol writes:

It's not just Neal that was running sideways. All three had losses of 3-4 yards that could have been 2-3 yard gains at least. The O-line needs to get mean - I just haven't seen it out of them in a couple of years. They are big, they are strong, it's time to hit someone in the face and then pancake their butts. Bray needs to have some touch on the short passes. The one he bounced off of Hunter's chest was just a lot harder than it needed to be. A couple of short passes knocked to the ground early looked a little flat as well and didn't need to be. Good win no doubt but I agree with Dooley - lot's of things to clean up. Good news is we have a chance to do that this week.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Good comments. As for next week, we hope the Vols don't look ahead to the victory over the lizards, and thus play a less than stellar game against Georgia State.

I see possibly something that isn't reassuring. It just appears we are more focused on being a pass first team and therefore the excellent pass protection but the struggle blocking for Neal, Lane, and Young. Hope I'm wrong but that's the way it seems.

A good yard stick for Florida will be next week in a loud, hostile environment. It appears the lizard QB's are fairly mediocre.

Auburn ran into a pretty good Clemson team tonight and Tajh Boyd + Ellington were just too much for them. Kinda' wish Southern Cal was in the SEC.............then they'd find out just how good they think they are.

Orangeblood13 writes:

We have to run between the tackles, period. I don't see our zip in the running backs we have. Cp didn't see a pass or a look in the 2nd half. 98 didn't have a tackle either.

I hope we hang 50 on everyone, but we got some things to fix and Rivera run free all night, Bray has to hit em, I think he is a secret weapon.

I like Byron, but Brewer seems to be the smasher in the back, he brings the wood.

Rumblefish writes:

"Hard to find flaws"??? Who does Evan Woodberry think he's kidding with that?

There were a ton of flaws to be seen on Tennessee's side. Guess what...I've seen a ton of flaws from every other winning and losing team from all the games I've watched this season so far. First game, game speed against an unfamiliar opponent, timing against said opponents, hurry ups, checkdowns, audibles, in-game adjustments, etc. are all part of the opening of the season.

Looking forward to the tune up game against GA St before kicking the Gators out of Neyland!

Off topic...this Oregon game got ugly quick.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

We have to run between the tackles, period. I don't see our zip in the running backs we have. Cp didn't see a pass or a look in the 2nd half. 98 didn't have a tackle either.

I hope we hang 50 on everyone, but we got some things to fix and Rivera run free all night, Bray has to hit em, I think he is a secret weapon.

I like Byron, but Brewer seems to be the smasher in the back, he brings the wood.

Exactly...where the heck was McCullers all night? I barely even saw him on the field!

I really thought Rivera was going to be the leading reciever (# of catches, obviously not yardage).

I also posted on a the gamenight story, that Lane was > Neal. Also, I was confused how the coaches were quoting how Young was the #2 RB...where clearly, Lane was the #2...and eventually took most of the reps toward the end of the game...even when it was an 11pt game and the outcome was still "in question".

jack4444 writes:

Where was McCullers? When he was in the game, they did nothing between the tackles. He did alright and will improve.

Neal will continue to get opportunities because the coaches feel he is a potential gamebreaker at running back, not a 20 or 30 yard guy but a "to the house" back.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

DD sounded more like a quality coach with these comments than with anything he has said (publicly) in the past. While he, the players, and all UT fans are happy with a solid win, Dooley pointed out item for item what must be improved for Tenn to have a really good season. With all that said, I loved the effort by the Big Orange on the field, and listening to Rocky Top from the fans in the stands. Kind of reminds me of better times in the past, and hopefully better times to come. Uummmmmmm...yeah.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to decades_vol:

DD sounded more like a quality coach with these comments than with anything he has said (publicly) in the past. While he, the players, and all UT fans are happy with a solid win, Dooley pointed out item for item what must be improved for Tenn to have a really good season. With all that said, I loved the effort by the Big Orange on the field, and listening to Rocky Top from the fans in the stands. Kind of reminds me of better times in the past, and hopefully better times to come. Uummmmmmm...yeah.

"old men dream of the past...young men visualize the future"

I'm old too and have some great memories...even leaving off the NC!

My best memories are at UTC when the late great Joe Morrison led the terrible 4-7 Mocs to a coupla 9-1-1 seasons in a row with two star running backs Mike Hogan and lol I can't remember the other one!? I really am getting old.
Most on here don't care about the little schools but those two Morrison teams were really good and hang with the big schools somewhat at least. Heck we even played in a bowl!

GreerVol22 writes:

Great effort all around. Two biggest concerns is Lathers health and the running game was still pretty anemeic at times.

There was a noticeable drop off in pressure after Lathers left the game, i hope he is just sore and not injured.

I watched several other games like Clemson and Florida and their backs seemed to be small, Devrin Young small, but they hit the hole with such intensity and speed they were going to get 5 yards no matter how the line played. Our backs either don't have the confidence or the same speed to make the small holes open up. Marlin Lane was running with a chip though...he gets my vote for starting next week.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

The other RB was Mike Smith who also went pro for a short time. UTC's head coach now was on those teams of the late 70's and early 80's.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

You can't really blame a 200 pounder for not wanting to be at the bottom of a 800-1000lbs. pile. But we need to get thru the middle sometimes.hehe

WhitePineVol77 writes:

DD was right, and I saw blatant mistakes. These 3 games before Florida are good opps to make corrections. When the game scores came out the next day i.e. A,B,C, KNS was too lib with the A's. Go Vols, work hard, and play only one game at a time.

orangeintampa writes:

Did Palardy miss the extra point or was it a bad snap? Over all good effort cant wait for FL.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to orangeintampa:

Did Palardy miss the extra point or was it a bad snap? Over all good effort cant wait for FL.

Holder dropped the ball but Palardy had time, maybe a timing thing. DD was spot on with the mistakes! All fixable this week and should be a good focused fine tuning game before the swamp lizards! CP is the real deal and Hunter will be just fine. Hunter's first game in a year after total knee rebuilt, he said the drops were on him and he got the rust off. I'm amazed he is this far along having had the same injury myself!

Over-all great win VOLS! Tune up this week, stay focused and Then BEAT the swamp lizards!

GO VOLS ALWAYS!

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

Yes,we had a good victory----but I agree with Coach.Too many times NCST receivers got behind our dbs for long gains.We have to pick up 3rd and 4th down and ones.More
pressure on quarterbacks and stopping run-----SEC is coming and a lot better than NCST.
GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!

Jakevol writes:

Vols must run the ball for long term success. It will only make their passing that much better.

Go Vols.

Orangeblood13 writes:

We always play out worst game of the year for Florida
Dang it, I hope we clean up and compete with a chip on our shoulder

gerwmor writes:

The most important difference I saw between this team and the teams from the past two years was on defense. These guys hit, tackle, and, move to the ball. How many times did the NC State backs find themselves buried under five or six Vols. Coach Sal has gotten them back to basics, and I loved seeing it. The things Coach Dooley is talking about are fixable, but a team that does not take pride in doing the basics--that is not fixable. I'll say it again, Coach Sal is the best thing that happened to this team since last year!

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

Fortunately, NC State has more things to fix at this point. I'll sure take the feeling I'm experiencing this morning over the one that's been lingering for the last few months.

Eastbrainerdvol writes:

It's refreshing to see the lack of trolls today. Where is the Dooleave, Doofus, Doolaid drinker guy?

volfaninutah writes:

I was glad to see some ADJUSTMENTS after the half. We haven't seen that for a few years now. In the first half, we let the tight ends free off the line, when all we had to do was chip em a little to throw off the timing. As for McCullers, I think he had his hands full of double teams all night. If you noticed the tackling, we had multiple guys at the ball frequently. State didn't get a lot of yardage up the middle. The defense looked much better than I thought they would. Kudos to Sal and the staff. I think we will be in a lot of games this year. We'll improve and move on.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to volfaninutah:

I was glad to see some ADJUSTMENTS after the half. We haven't seen that for a few years now. In the first half, we let the tight ends free off the line, when all we had to do was chip em a little to throw off the timing. As for McCullers, I think he had his hands full of double teams all night. If you noticed the tackling, we had multiple guys at the ball frequently. State didn't get a lot of yardage up the middle. The defense looked much better than I thought they would. Kudos to Sal and the staff. I think we will be in a lot of games this year. We'll improve and move on.

A lot us were wondering if the staff changes were actually an upgrade. If you judged by the first game, I'd say absolutely. CSS is a real DC waiting to happen. I think we'll be glad it happened here. The main thing for me though is that Chaney finally has an offense that can run his playbook with confidence. The backs weren't hitting the holes, but Chaney was calling the right plays. I believe that will be dealt with, and our backs will see the error of their ways in that regard, through "spirited" practices.

For those that have been doubting the ability of Dooley to coach, take a close look at this game. I know it's only one game, but Dooley did a great job, especially for an opener.

The BAD CALL to end the half would have killed the underclassmen teams of the last two years as far as drive and deremination. Dooley convinced them to put it behind them, and play Vol ball for 60 minutes, which they did. Good coaching.

No personal fouls in the opener equals good coaching.

One very good sustained drive in each half, with the addition of explosive plays. Good playcalling/coaching. We need at least two a half, but I believe we have the potential there.

Also, many things that went wrong in the beginning of the game were corrected. Secondary adjustments, and the running game are two major things that were corrected in the second half.

I think these things can be attributed to three things. (1)More experienced players, and (2)coaches being more successful, BECAUSE of a more experienced and deeper team that can put their coaching into action on the field. And (3) a better SEC qualified staff all around.

Pompey writes:

....after the win, the most important thing that happen in Atlanta was Dooleys post game comments....!

Ironcity writes:

in response to iowavol:

It's not just Neal that was running sideways. All three had losses of 3-4 yards that could have been 2-3 yard gains at least. The O-line needs to get mean - I just haven't seen it out of them in a couple of years. They are big, they are strong, it's time to hit someone in the face and then pancake their butts. Bray needs to have some touch on the short passes. The one he bounced off of Hunter's chest was just a lot harder than it needed to be. A couple of short passes knocked to the ground early looked a little flat as well and didn't need to be. Good win no doubt but I agree with Dooley - lot's of things to clean up. Good news is we have a chance to do that this week.

I agree with some of your points but I thought Lane ran hard and where he needed to go. As for Bray throwing it to hard, you NEVER throw an out soft. Hunter has to make that catch, no excuses. On the pass deflections I would rather it get knocked down then overthrown in the middle of the field. After the first series I thought Bray was fantastic. He made a ton of big throws some while under duress and had zero picks against a secondary that lead the nation last year in picks. Additionally with DR gone he really had to adjust where he was going. I think as Patterson begins to truly understand the offense it could get even more exciting. I expect Lane to start next week. He did take it up the middle and showed some skill. I wish he was faster but he is quick through the hole. Was really excited at how the DB's broke on those balls. 4 INTs against a top QB is something I haven't seen in a long time. Lots to feel good about. Go Vols!

givehim6 writes:

I think it was two year ago that I said I liked Lane as an RB, and thought he had a lot of heart as a runner, i got blasted with hate. I still think Neal is a disciplined hard nosed RB, I think he showed this Fri. night. I agree with CDD the Vols need to play one game at a time. It's hard not to look a week ahead to UF, they looked beatable Sat. But keep our head in the game, fix our bad plays, 1 week at a time, SEC east trophy could be UT's.

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to iowavol:

It's not just Neal that was running sideways. All three had losses of 3-4 yards that could have been 2-3 yard gains at least. The O-line needs to get mean - I just haven't seen it out of them in a couple of years. They are big, they are strong, it's time to hit someone in the face and then pancake their butts. Bray needs to have some touch on the short passes. The one he bounced off of Hunter's chest was just a lot harder than it needed to be. A couple of short passes knocked to the ground early looked a little flat as well and didn't need to be. Good win no doubt but I agree with Dooley - lot's of things to clean up. Good news is we have a chance to do that this week.

Do you mean getting mean like ramming their pads and headgear into their opponents' face and headgear, and then driving them backwards in whatever direction they please? I saw that during the AL-MICH game. That's what we need in our OL. That would work.

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to LibertyVolance:

Do you mean getting mean like ramming their pads and headgear into their opponents' face and headgear, and then driving them backwards in whatever direction they please? I saw that during the AL-MICH game. That's what we need in our OL. That would work.

Hey - question for anyone:
HOW IN THE WORLD does USC get the number one ranking over the defending National Champions when they really haven't proven much? I mean, sure - that was an impressive 49-10 over NCAA-powerhouse Hawaii. I know it certainly does prove to me that they are better than an Alabama team that totally dominated an unknown Michigan team (for those of you that have never heard of them, the University of Michigan is a fairly large college in Ann Arbor, MI). [sarcasm intended]

Part of me wishes they will make it to the BCS Bowl and get embarrassed by an SEC team, while part of me hopes that the Rose Bowl has Urban and the Buckeyes embarrassing them in front of the home crowd in Pasadena (how hilarious would that be?).

Sorry for the rant - just amazed at how some things don't make any sense. As Jim Rome used to say: "Why even play the game?"

Navaloranges writes:

in response to VolinVirginia:

Hey - question for anyone:
HOW IN THE WORLD does USC get the number one ranking over the defending National Champions when they really haven't proven much? I mean, sure - that was an impressive 49-10 over NCAA-powerhouse Hawaii. I know it certainly does prove to me that they are better than an Alabama team that totally dominated an unknown Michigan team (for those of you that have never heard of them, the University of Michigan is a fairly large college in Ann Arbor, MI). [sarcasm intended]

Part of me wishes they will make it to the BCS Bowl and get embarrassed by an SEC team, while part of me hopes that the Rose Bowl has Urban and the Buckeyes embarrassing them in front of the home crowd in Pasadena (how hilarious would that be?).

Sorry for the rant - just amazed at how some things don't make any sense. As Jim Rome used to say: "Why even play the game?"

Most "experts" were trying to say that there were too many question marks with bama because of the number of starters they lost. I think this was an attempt to downplay the dominance of the SEC. After this first week, number one should be adjusted in favor of bama by just about everyone of the "experts". Those that don't will be the ones trying to further the ruse that the SEC isn't that superior.

WeAreTheTide writes:

Hey Vol Nation, thanks for letting me crash your board for just a minute. I haven't posted here in a couple of years, but I still lurk from time to time. I just wanted to say congratulations on the great win Friday night. It was good to see the Vols do the SEC proud. Sure, like CDD said, you may have a few things to work on, but it's the first game of the year. Who doesn't have things they can improve on? Bama does too (penalties, coverage issues, etc). The BO will be just fine, just give the process time.
VolinVirginia, I like the way you think, and feel kind of the same way. Bama's not going to worry too much tho about the rankings at this time of the year. We'll just try to take care of our business and try to continue to improve. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.
Congrats again, looking forward to the visit on the third Saturday in October, and I'd love to see the Vols put together a great 11-1 season.
Good luck to all,
RTR & GBO

(If anyone wonders why a Bamaguy would wander to a Vols board, I've got some friends and colleagues who are UT grads, and I like to pull for UT along with them. I'm also a CDD fan, I think he'll take your program in the right direction if he can continue to get some positive support. Lastly, with the recent influx of Alabama personnel to Vol Land over the last few years (CSS, Dave Hart, favorite players Darrington Sentimore, Nick Gentry) all leaking north, I still just like to see the Vols do well every game of the year, except 1 of course ;-) )

Navaloranges writes:

in response to WeAreTheTide:

Hey Vol Nation, thanks for letting me crash your board for just a minute. I haven't posted here in a couple of years, but I still lurk from time to time. I just wanted to say congratulations on the great win Friday night. It was good to see the Vols do the SEC proud. Sure, like CDD said, you may have a few things to work on, but it's the first game of the year. Who doesn't have things they can improve on? Bama does too (penalties, coverage issues, etc). The BO will be just fine, just give the process time.
VolinVirginia, I like the way you think, and feel kind of the same way. Bama's not going to worry too much tho about the rankings at this time of the year. We'll just try to take care of our business and try to continue to improve. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.
Congrats again, looking forward to the visit on the third Saturday in October, and I'd love to see the Vols put together a great 11-1 season.
Good luck to all,
RTR & GBO

(If anyone wonders why a Bamaguy would wander to a Vols board, I've got some friends and colleagues who are UT grads, and I like to pull for UT along with them. I'm also a CDD fan, I think he'll take your program in the right direction if he can continue to get some positive support. Lastly, with the recent influx of Alabama personnel to Vol Land over the last few years (CSS, Dave Hart, favorite players Darrington Sentimore, Nick Gentry) all leaking north, I still just like to see the Vols do well every game of the year, except 1 of course ;-) )

It's nice to hear from you, not looking at a fan like you as a Troll. Saban has an impressive thing going on down there. His players BELIEVE they can win every game, and have the talent to pull it off. I happen to believe Dooley can get us there from what I've seen so far. There are of course, many fans here who just can't bring themselves to believe that for several different reasons. I don't blame some of them for being gun shy, but I detest the ones that aren't willing to give Dooley a chance because of his name, or Fulmers. Dooley doesn't need the "support" from those types.

See my above post. I believe bama is well deserving, so far, of the number one spot. As for when we meet, I'll need to see a lot more from both clubs until then. Anything can happen.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to WeAreTheTide:

Hey Vol Nation, thanks for letting me crash your board for just a minute. I haven't posted here in a couple of years, but I still lurk from time to time. I just wanted to say congratulations on the great win Friday night. It was good to see the Vols do the SEC proud. Sure, like CDD said, you may have a few things to work on, but it's the first game of the year. Who doesn't have things they can improve on? Bama does too (penalties, coverage issues, etc). The BO will be just fine, just give the process time.
VolinVirginia, I like the way you think, and feel kind of the same way. Bama's not going to worry too much tho about the rankings at this time of the year. We'll just try to take care of our business and try to continue to improve. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.
Congrats again, looking forward to the visit on the third Saturday in October, and I'd love to see the Vols put together a great 11-1 season.
Good luck to all,
RTR & GBO

(If anyone wonders why a Bamaguy would wander to a Vols board, I've got some friends and colleagues who are UT grads, and I like to pull for UT along with them. I'm also a CDD fan, I think he'll take your program in the right direction if he can continue to get some positive support. Lastly, with the recent influx of Alabama personnel to Vol Land over the last few years (CSS, Dave Hart, favorite players Darrington Sentimore, Nick Gentry) all leaking north, I still just like to see the Vols do well every game of the year, except 1 of course ;-) )

Nice, thanks. And even if there is envy with this statement, you should be number 1. No discussion.

Volunista writes:

I can't wait to see Coach Sal's D after a week of adjustments and then fine tuning it against Ga.St. After watching us Friday, Florida coaches and players aren't looking forward to coming to Knoxville. The Gator offense I saw yesterday couldn't have beaten NCSt. Yeah, one game at a time, but this team could be something really special. Go Vols!

volsathleticsupporter writes:

It was great to finally see our defensive backs wrapup tackles. The rollups and arm tackling they have done for years made me sick. After the first quarter seems like they played a pretty good game. I loved the hard hits that we finally put on some people. Things are looking up for the Vols finally. The way Bama ran the ball last night made our running game look pathetic. Hopefully the mistakes we made can be corrected. The offensive line and backs could learn something by looking at the Bama game film but over all it was a great game. This is the first game in a long while that we put away in the forth quarter and I didn't see anyone go down with cramps. That says alot for conditioning. GBO!

RaineyVol writes:

in response to mdvol:

No more losing...
No more moral victories.
It's time to play with the big boys.

4 years of pent up frustration all comes out on the Gators.

Who better?

Pandemonium Reigns - Sept 15th - Knoxville

VOLS hang 65 on Georgia State. Then drop 40 on the Gators in Neyland.
Start 4-0.

Gators have an excellent defense... 40 is going to be tough.

RaineyVol writes:

We didn't use half of our offensive power in that game.. it will be fun to watch when they unload their offense and all the players.

fratricide08 writes:

All I know is that I'm THRILLED to hear Dooley say that Rajon Neal was supposed to be running forward and up the middle instead of sideways. Some of those sideways runs looked like bad play calling but if it was Neal then that can be taken care of. The run game will improve and this game helped. Our guys just need to build confidence in the run game which is probably why Neal went sideways. Once that's there we should have a pretty good run game.

WeAreTheTide writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

It's nice to hear from you, not looking at a fan like you as a Troll. Saban has an impressive thing going on down there. His players BELIEVE they can win every game, and have the talent to pull it off. I happen to believe Dooley can get us there from what I've seen so far. There are of course, many fans here who just can't bring themselves to believe that for several different reasons. I don't blame some of them for being gun shy, but I detest the ones that aren't willing to give Dooley a chance because of his name, or Fulmers. Dooley doesn't need the "support" from those types.

See my above post. I believe bama is well deserving, so far, of the number one spot. As for when we meet, I'll need to see a lot more from both clubs until then. Anything can happen.

NavalOranges, I agree 100% when you say Bama players "Believe". It is a such a simple, innocuous word, and it sounds so cliche, but if you don't have belief in what you're doing, success is hard to come by. It takes a lot of people and a bit of time to change the culture, but UT can make it happen and challenge for championships again, I firmly believe that. Like you, I'm not fond of people who won't give somebody deserving a fair chance.

In looking at the TN schedule, with the way everyone played this week (SC, Bama, FL, GA), there is not a team there that UT cannot beat, and I included UA. We were far from perfect.

Anyway, if we earn the top spot this week, thats fine, although in my opinion it just makes the bullseye on our back a little bigger.

By the way Clarkrm, thanks for the vote too ;-)
RT and GBO

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to WeAreTheTide:

NavalOranges, I agree 100% when you say Bama players "Believe". It is a such a simple, innocuous word, and it sounds so cliche, but if you don't have belief in what you're doing, success is hard to come by. It takes a lot of people and a bit of time to change the culture, but UT can make it happen and challenge for championships again, I firmly believe that. Like you, I'm not fond of people who won't give somebody deserving a fair chance.

In looking at the TN schedule, with the way everyone played this week (SC, Bama, FL, GA), there is not a team there that UT cannot beat, and I included UA. We were far from perfect.

Anyway, if we earn the top spot this week, thats fine, although in my opinion it just makes the bullseye on our back a little bigger.

By the way Clarkrm, thanks for the vote too ;-)
RT and GBO

I believe in yin and yang. I want to be on top but I want to compete with the great Bama, I do not wish to win a game during a Bama off year and declare victory.
I have noticed a decline in Bama fan trolling as of late and I believe it to be a result of disappointment in our struggles. Slamming us last season would be equal to us showing pride in defeating the local high school team. Hope we win but hope we do so in legit fashion.

orangeman1 writes:

UT showed me what I expected. I like the way Lane hits the holes better than Neal. I like our Receivers and Qb even more. I expect improvement from the Defense and Offensive line, but overall, I would say UT is on its way to a good season. Georgia, SC, and Florida struggled so I think UT will win at least one of those and Dooley do what it takes to be successful.
VolinVirgina, I've listened to all the hype the media's given USC and its already getting old. They may make it though the weak PAC12(Oregon looked good though), but Kiffin knows how much tougher it is to win in the SEC. The bad thing is, USC does have enough talent to beat anyone in 1 single game, but I dont think they will be undefeated at the end of the year anyway. USC is the sexy pick, big market pick. The media loves Kiffin too. I used to get on the CBSports boards and there was always comments about UT and Kiffin. Dooley is a lot more low key with the media, but he is showing he can get his players ready to win. UT fans have a reason to be excited about this season

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Nice congenial comments from both WearetheTide and our Vol friend, NavalOranges. You see, this is what football fans used to be like in days past. Good to see.

We know Alabama is an excellent team and program. Always has been. So different from Florida.

This morning on Sports Soundoff with Jimmy Hyams and Todd Kelly......Todd went on to mention how regardless of winning or losing, true Tennesee fans back the team and I thought of several of our chronic gripers, then wished they'd say their piece to Todd in person.

One thing I noticed over the weekend from numerous teams. Many ran a running play to the tailback from the shotgun as opposed to a hand off from the QB while under center.
Yes, the back had a good look at the hole if the blocking was there and would make nice runs. On the other hand, many such plays saw the back stuffed in the backfield..........so it goes both ways.

If it's 4th and 1 for instance, just my opinion, but I cringe when we run from the shotgun and give it to the back 5 to 7 yards behind the LOS. Another situation is having a 2nd and 1 or 2, and many teams want to put it up and wind up punting.

Vols, we will probably see Tyler in the first half or 3 quarters, then CDD will turn it over to Worley the rest of the way against Ga State. Hope many of you can make it to the game. Enjoy.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Don't laugh at this, but Johnie Majors could teach the running backs to run North and South instead of East and West

Navaloranges writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

Don't laugh at this, but Johnie Majors could teach the running backs to run North and South instead of East and West

You can lead a Running Back to water, but you can't make him drink. Depends on the RB at some point.

BMSvol writes:

i wish sal would have brought his son with him to knoxville. He looked awesome against michigan

Colliervol writes:

in response to decades_vol:

DD sounded more like a quality coach with these comments than with anything he has said (publicly) in the past. While he, the players, and all UT fans are happy with a solid win, Dooley pointed out item for item what must be improved for Tenn to have a really good season. With all that said, I loved the effort by the Big Orange on the field, and listening to Rocky Top from the fans in the stands. Kind of reminds me of better times in the past, and hopefully better times to come. Uummmmmmm...yeah.

If you had the team he had to deal with the last two years, you'd have been grasping at straws for things to say as well. As far as I could tell, there wasn't a lot he or anybody else could say during that time. Friday night was the first positive feeling I've had about the entire team (offense, defense, special teams and coaches) in about five years. Still got things to fix but, like you, I like what I saw.

TNVol71 writes:

Great weekend for all of the SEC. Thanks to the Bama posters on this site for their kind comments. Bama sure looked like the number one team.

As for the Vols, great start to the season. The defense needs to get closer to some of the other team's receivers. We got lucky with NC State having several dropped balls to wide open receivers. We can pull that off with non-conference teams. It will be totally different inside the SEC schedule.

Loved seeing the defense pressure the quarterback. The Vols need to come out and take care of business against Georgia St. We need to use this as a warmup for the Gators, especially the attack with the running game.
Key for this week is to get the win, give some of the younger players some playing time and not get anyone hurt. We need to be at full strength to start the conference schedule.

GBO!

Colliervol writes:

in response to WeAreTheTide:

Hey Vol Nation, thanks for letting me crash your board for just a minute. I haven't posted here in a couple of years, but I still lurk from time to time. I just wanted to say congratulations on the great win Friday night. It was good to see the Vols do the SEC proud. Sure, like CDD said, you may have a few things to work on, but it's the first game of the year. Who doesn't have things they can improve on? Bama does too (penalties, coverage issues, etc). The BO will be just fine, just give the process time.
VolinVirginia, I like the way you think, and feel kind of the same way. Bama's not going to worry too much tho about the rankings at this time of the year. We'll just try to take care of our business and try to continue to improve. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.
Congrats again, looking forward to the visit on the third Saturday in October, and I'd love to see the Vols put together a great 11-1 season.
Good luck to all,
RTR & GBO

(If anyone wonders why a Bamaguy would wander to a Vols board, I've got some friends and colleagues who are UT grads, and I like to pull for UT along with them. I'm also a CDD fan, I think he'll take your program in the right direction if he can continue to get some positive support. Lastly, with the recent influx of Alabama personnel to Vol Land over the last few years (CSS, Dave Hart, favorite players Darrington Sentimore, Nick Gentry) all leaking north, I still just like to see the Vols do well every game of the year, except 1 of course ;-) )

Welcome aboard. Unlike rtrchatt and the childish low class FL trolls and our very own negavols, we welcome all intelligent posters. I'm not ashamed to admit that I admire Nick Saban and I believe he's the best in the business. It's only one game but I think we've made some strides in getting back to where we're competitive again. As far as our game with Bama goes this year, I think the UT passing game can challenge the Tide a bit. UT probably can't run on Bama but I don't think anyone else can either. If anybody can beat Bama, it's going to be someone that gets a few turnovers, holds down their own and has an exceptional passing day. UT could do that but they would have to play their A game and Bama would have to help them some. I think UT will at least let them know they are in the stadium this year.

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