Starting free safety Brian Randolph says he'll be back 'next year' after knee injury

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph (37) stop a run by North Carolina State wide receiver Quintin Payton (88) during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph (37) stop a run by North Carolina State wide receiver Quintin Payton (88) during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

University of Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph addresses members of the media at Neyland Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. Fall practice for the Vols begins Friday and the team opens the season Aug. 31 against North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS

University of Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph addresses members of the media at Neyland Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. Fall practice for the Vols begins Friday and the team opens the season Aug. 31 against North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

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Tennessee starting free safety Brian Randolph appears to be done for the season, dealing a blow to the Vols' defense.

Randolph was helped from the field in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Florida. He seemed to be favoring his right knee.

Well-wishers flooded his Facebook page, and Randolph responded appreciatively. "Thanks for all the support from everyone," he said. "I'll be back next year!"

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is expected to discuss the injury during his regular news conference on Monday. On his Sunday television show, Dooley said the injury "didn't look good."

Randolph made the SEC all-freshman team last year after making 55 tackles in his rookie season. He played in every game, starting eight. He entered the Florida game with a team-leading 15 tackles.

If Randolph is out, the Vols would likely start junior Brent Brewer or senior Rod Wilks in his place. Junior Byron Moore is the starter at the other safety position.

* Could Wildcat quarterback A.J Johnson, a starting linebacker, be the answer to the Vols' short-yardage woes?

Dooley said Johnson was a "big help" on Tennessee's lone third quarter touchdown drive.

The 6-2, 240-pound Johnson offers more size than any other Tennessee back. Johnson said his goal was to "get in, go a couple yards and don't fumble."

Easy enough.

* Linebackers Herman Lathers (shoulder) and Curt Maggitt (toe) showed no apparent effects from their injuries. Lathers briefly left the game when he landed on his sore shoulder, but he said it was never an issue during the game.

* Another true freshman made his debut Saturday, meaning 10 players in the Class of 2012 now have seen the field for the Vols.

Receiver Alton "Pig" Howard did not catch a pass but played as a slot receiver.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Christian Harris also played for the first time. He was returning from an ACL injury suffered in the spring.

* Akron, Tennessee's next opponent, broke records in a 66-6 win against Morgan State Saturday.

The Zips set or tied school records for points (66), first downs (43), passing yards (565), passing attempts (59), completions (44), completions by a quarterback (37), according to the Akron Beacon-Journal. The 565 passing yards (combined between quarterbacks Dalton Williams with 446 and Kyle Pohl with 119) was the most in Mid-American Conference history.

Akron (1-2) was blown out 56-14 by Central Florida in the season opener, but lost a nail-biter to Florida International, 41-38 in overtime, in Week 2.

It was the first win at the school for Terry Bowden, who was head coach at Auburn from 1993-1998.

"I'm just so happy for our players," Bowden told the newspaper. "I've been so down after last week because I wanted them to have a big win, but that was something that happened that was beyond my imagination."

* Only one team in the Bowl Subdivision has had as many problems with extra points as the Vols, who have missed one in each of the first three games.

UCLA's Ka'imi Fairbairn missed three extra points in the Bruins' first two games. But he kept his job and was perfect Saturday in a win against Houston.

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

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Comments » 24

PUL4VOLS writes:

Not a good thing losing Randolph but the Vol D has to pull together and regroup. They need to come out mad an ugly against the Zips. No records we hope except an improvement in our win record for the year.

Millisa writes:

Get Well Soon Brian and Hopefully We will have a "Real" Coach next year.

vols48 writes:

Get well Brian..i kinda like A.J. at running back

CommodoreCapital writes:

I thought the Florida RB broke Randolphs ankles also.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Get well young man, us real UT fans will still be here when you return..VFL.

tnbuzzman writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Anyone who refers to themselves in the third person is a DA and shouldn't be taken seriously.

VolGrad writes:

Wish Brian Randolph a speedy recovery. He has been one of bright spots on defense.

Despite the loss to Florida, it was still good to see Lathers back out there and making an impact. The defense may have blown some assignments and allowed too many big plays, but they still had more "man-sized" tackles in this game than we saw all of last year.

Go Vols!

eduardo writes:

hopefully dufus wont be back next yr!

keepitreal4vols writes:

This is how out of touch the UT athletic office is. A 7:30 kickoff for Akron game, SERIOUSLY???
Its a 2+ hour drive for many Vol fans and the UT athletic dept really expects mid state, tri cities, or Chatty fans to drive over here, watch a snoozer of a game unit 10:30, then sit in a log jam traffic snarl for 1-2 hours and then drive 2-3 more hours home for a 2AM arrival time??? And just to please CSS which most homes don't get???
My goodness, what is happening over there on the HIll?

pcshowtime writes:

get well soon Brian Randolph I appreciate your effort you gave us all you had. thank you.

TNVol71 writes:

Brian, hoping you have a full recovery. We'll be glad to have you back next year. You gave a great effort. GBO!!

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

in response to tnbuzzman:

Anyone who refers to themselves in the third person is a DA and shouldn't be taken seriously.

You leave us District Attorneys out of this!

tnfanincali writes:

I've never heard any other team referred to as many times as if they were little kids that need to be coddled. These young men need to grow up and realize that they are a damn good team in a damn good conference, and more than likely no one in this conference isn't going to lose a game or two. It is one loss, and we need to forget it and move on. Akron is going to be a win unless they just completely fall apart, which will leave us at 3-1 going into the meat of the SEC schedule. These boys need to forget about the loss and move on. if they don't recover and win a bunch more games like they can, then we'll replace the coach at the end of the season. till then we need to get behind them. without our support, how many games will they win?

dcap8424 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

This is how out of touch the UT athletic office is. A 7:30 kickoff for Akron game, SERIOUSLY???
Its a 2+ hour drive for many Vol fans and the UT athletic dept really expects mid state, tri cities, or Chatty fans to drive over here, watch a snoozer of a game unit 10:30, then sit in a log jam traffic snarl for 1-2 hours and then drive 2-3 more hours home for a 2AM arrival time??? And just to please CSS which most homes don't get???
My goodness, what is happening over there on the HIll?

Are you suggesting that the athletic department controls the times for these games in any way? If they had any choice, it would have been play on TV at 7:30 or don't play on TV. More people get CSS than ESPNU.

If you're sitting in traffic for 1-2 hours after the Akron game, you're parking in the wrong place.

arkyvol writes:

bad coaches draw bad luck like an outhouse draws flies.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Akron is not a game to fret over. I hope the stands are full but I don't see far off fans coming to the game. It is probably true that a lot of fans don't have cable. CSS nor ESPdarNU.
However we WILL win I think I can say with confidence.

UT 45-Akron10 DANG I hope this predict doesn't go as bad as my last one.
LOL watch it on the radio. It's not as bad as the negatives say it is. You can at least keep the score.

signalcorps writes:

Get well soon young man

govolsn3 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

This is how out of touch the UT athletic office is. A 7:30 kickoff for Akron game, SERIOUSLY???
Its a 2+ hour drive for many Vol fans and the UT athletic dept really expects mid state, tri cities, or Chatty fans to drive over here, watch a snoozer of a game unit 10:30, then sit in a log jam traffic snarl for 1-2 hours and then drive 2-3 more hours home for a 2AM arrival time??? And just to please CSS which most homes don't get???
My goodness, what is happening over there on the HIll?

Ut has absolutely nothing to do with the start times. It is all based on the TV networks

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to tnfanincali:

I've never heard any other team referred to as many times as if they were little kids that need to be coddled. These young men need to grow up and realize that they are a damn good team in a damn good conference, and more than likely no one in this conference isn't going to lose a game or two. It is one loss, and we need to forget it and move on. Akron is going to be a win unless they just completely fall apart, which will leave us at 3-1 going into the meat of the SEC schedule. These boys need to forget about the loss and move on. if they don't recover and win a bunch more games like they can, then we'll replace the coach at the end of the season. till then we need to get behind them. without our support, how many games will they win?

The players will be fine. It's our fanbase that is immature and irrational and needs to be coddled.

We are still on track to win 8 games which is what most of us predicted back in July.

Brian Randolf will be missed. Get well Brian.

SCVFL writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

The players will be fine. It's our fanbase that is immature and irrational and needs to be coddled.

We are still on track to win 8 games which is what most of us predicted back in July.

Brian Randolf will be missed. Get well Brian.

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to Brian. Please come back next year bigger, better, faster, meaner than ever.

A_H
I hope you are right about the players being fine. I hope they have not quit. You're right about still can make 8 wins, but one of our best chqances for a quality SEC win just passed us by.
CDD needs to win 2 of 3 (Ga, SC, Mizz) and win all of the "should" wins to have a truly successful season. With the VOLS schedule 8 wins would not be all that great of a season. I still support CDD, but I also think he needs at least two quality wins from this schedule to prove his ability to "coach."

GO BIG RNG...VFL

TheVolSnake writes:

Hope you heal quickly Randolph and keep your head up.

Go Vols

FrostyVol writes:

Hate this for Brian, seems like a good kid. Look forward to seeing him back next year. And third person or not, Okemo is right. This next game is when the stadium should be filled. Show the players and staff that we support this team through thick AND thin. It's easy to show up and be a fan when your team is ranked and undefeated. True support that is meaningful is showing up in the tough times too! We Vols are not fair weather fans. I will watch my vols i dont care what the record is. That is what being a FAN is! I wish we had beaten Florida. Sitting in that stadium watching the UF fans gator chomp clap in the 4th quarter made me sick. But if we dont want our players to quit, then we cant quit on them!! Go Vols! Rip the Zips!!

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Brian...We real Vols fans love you and have seen what a great player you will become for us.

I wish you all the best for a fast recovery young man.

CDD is NOT the problem.

The problem is that we're still rebuilding and don't have SEC type starters at every position and we don't have SEC type backups with experience for a solid 2 deep rotation which is why we're still playing most starters too many snaps and they can't get a breather.

THINK people and LOOK at how many really good SEC type players we have that are Sophs and Freshmen that CDD has brought in with his first 2 recruiting classes.

Remember that I DID warn you all that even in the NFL switching to a 3-4 D takes normally 2 YEARS to get everything down pat and this was GAME 3 so mistakes were made, players were out of position and we will see more of these mistake as this season goes along but they WILL get better over time too.

The other problem was our O couldn't stay on the field long enough for our D to rest up and try to make adjustments as the game went along.

Being patient and losing sucks but that's where we're at for another year or so.

VFL...GBO!!!

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

in response to TitanandVolfan4life:

Brian...We real Vols fans love you and have seen what a great player you will become for us.

I wish you all the best for a fast recovery young man.

CDD is NOT the problem.

The problem is that we're still rebuilding and don't have SEC type starters at every position and we don't have SEC type backups with experience for a solid 2 deep rotation which is why we're still playing most starters too many snaps and they can't get a breather.

THINK people and LOOK at how many really good SEC type players we have that are Sophs and Freshmen that CDD has brought in with his first 2 recruiting classes.

Remember that I DID warn you all that even in the NFL switching to a 3-4 D takes normally 2 YEARS to get everything down pat and this was GAME 3 so mistakes were made, players were out of position and we will see more of these mistake as this season goes along but they WILL get better over time too.

The other problem was our O couldn't stay on the field long enough for our D to rest up and try to make adjustments as the game went along.

Being patient and losing sucks but that's where we're at for another year or so.

VFL...GBO!!!

I respect your post, but how long does it take to rebuild a program?? Former CPF has been out since 2008. We have had plenty of time to build a national powerhouse in my opinion. The fact is the blue chip recruits are not sold on Dooley. If Kiffen hadn't bolted or had we stuck it out with Fulmer, then we might be in a much better postion right now. Unless Dooley pulls some kind of magical rabbit out of a hat, next year will be probably his worse year here yet and will more than likely be his last. Look how fast Dan Mullen built Mississippi State or how fast Arkansas came back to relevance once they hired Petrino. Or how about how fast Auburn won a NC after years of being a doormat. These coaches had their respective schools built back up after 1-2 years on the job. Dooley has had four and continues to disappoint. Just think how bad they will be next year when they lose Bray, Hunter, and Patterson to the NFL. And why would Dooley take a chance on a new defense when he is already on the hot seat. Remember what happened to Fulmer when he experimented with a new offensive system? That's right, it proved to be the final nail in his proverbial coffin..

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