Mike Strange: Should Vols beware a MAC attack?

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore advances the ball against Ohio safety Patrick Tafua on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Neyland Stadium. The Vols evened their record to 2-2 with a 34-23 win.

Photo by Joe Howell/Special to the News Sentinel

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore advances the ball against Ohio safety Patrick Tafua on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Neyland Stadium. The Vols evened their record to 2-2 with a 34-23 win.

Dooley, players preview Tennessee vs. Akron

The spotlight has moved on from Neyland Stadium. The sellout crowd and ESPN GameDay have left the building.

What's coming to our city on Saturday night? Why, it's the Akron Zips.

Why should you, the deflated, heartbroken Tennessee football fan, care about the Akron Zips?

Granted, that's a tough sell under the circumstances.

The hangover of losing to Florida (again) lingers. And Akron isn't exactly hair of the dog that bit you. A meaningful cure will have to wait.

The Vols are favored by five touchdowns Saturday night, which raises the question: If you put Akron and Georgia State in identical green uniforms, could anybody tell the difference?

The answer is "yes.''

Tennessee's coaching staff could tell the difference.

"The one thing you know about any Bowden, and Terry especially, is they know how to score a lot of points,'' Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said earlier this week.

"And they're scoring about 40 points a game, 400 yards throwing the ball, spreading it out. It's going to be a whole different dynamic again on trying to stop these guys.''

So, Akron, in its first year under coach Terry Bowden, can jack up some offensive stats — and points, if you're not paying attention.

There's another way to distinguish Akron from Georgia State. Bill Curry's team from Atlanta is a fledgling program. The Zips have a long history in that league of occasional giant-slayers, the Mid-American Conference.

MAC teams can be counted on annually to knock off a BCS opponent or two, almost always on the road in a hostile environment.

Ohio University did exactly that earlier this month at Penn State. Ball State beat

Indiana for the second consecutive year.

In the past decade, Central Michigan has won at Michigan State, Toledo has won at Michigan, Akron beat N.C. State and Ohio has won at Kentucky.

The MAC was never more dangerous than in 2003. Marshall stunned No. 6 Kansas State. Northern Illinois upset No. 15 Maryland and then won at No. 21 Alabama. Bowling Green beat Purdue and Northwestern.

Can't happen here, you say. The Vols trucked Buffalo last year, 41-10.

True, but it is instructive to review the MAC's three previous visits to Neyland this decade.

In 2009, Lane Kiffin's Vols were a 23-point favorite over Ohio. It wasn't that easy.

The Bobcats led 14-7, then trailed only 24-20 in the second half.

UT was up 31-20, then Ohio returned a Jonathan Crompton fumble 46 yards for a touchdown. The crowd regained its breath when a review nullified the play. The Bobcat defender had a foot out of bounds when he made the recovery. UT won 34-23.

In 2008, Northern Illinois arrived amid Tennessee's struggles with the "Clawfense.''

The half was 3-3 before Nick Stephens and Denarius Moore hooked up on a 52-yard bomb, the game's only touchdown.

UT led 13-9 when the Huskies lost their starting quarterback. That was the final score.

In 2003, Tennessee's offense was healthier, but Marshall gave the Vols a scare before falling 34-24.

There was an uneasy feeling that the Herd might have pulled the upset if quarterback Stan Hill hadn't limped to the sideline for good after throwing a TD pass to cut UT's lead to 28-24 in the third quarter.

The point is that these are vulnerable times for Tennessee football. Wyoming proved that in 2008. Dooley's first team needed overtime to beat UAB.

The 2012 Vols are superior to either one of those teams. But given Akron's pedigree and its coach, it would be wise to pay attention.

I would not pick Akron to pull off a stunner Saturday night. But their chances of making things interesting?

They're better than zip.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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

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Comments » 49

pcorange writes:

Tennessee doesn't have an automatic win left on the schedule. We should win this game, but if the defense proves to be as porous as they were in the second half last week, it's anybody's guess. I liked Bowden when he was at Auburn. Shame he couldn't play nice around the girlies. Go Vols!

BigVolinCarolina writes:

In light of where our program has been the past 4 seasons, two things appear obvious:

1. Visiting teams aren't afraid of playing in Neyland Stadium like they were 10 years ago;
2. Talent-wise, Tennessee cannot, and should not, take any opponent for granted.

Our margin for error is very thin and we can't expect to win simply by showing up.

Rumblefish writes:

If the writer (and the fanbase as a whole) is wondering if we should "be aware of Akron"...then it just goes to show how incompetent the coaching staff is as a whole.

My god...just get rid of Dooley and move on.

For those saying "getting rid of Dooley will only set us back further"....uhh, you think keeping this non-winning clown is moving the program further??? Nope.

Yeah...I got an agenda, to get Tennessee back to competing for the SEC championship.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Toddyturd.....is the TV rental store closed already? I guess not too many Alabubbians renting TV's late at night, huh?

voloffaith writes:

collegegroovebilly & rumblingfish are delightful fans.....Dooley plays on the field in all 22 positions huh? Yeah buy him out too and see who will come when we throw coaches away like used Krystal wrappers......what type of buyout clause will thay have to protect themselves from intolerant AD's/Donor's? Yes we want to be relevant in the SEC again, but realistically there are no quick fixes...really they don't exist fot today's fast food mentality generation who want now...patience is a virtue long forgotton sadly by many.....

Vol43 writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

Toddyturd.....is the TV rental store closed already? I guess not too many Alabubbians renting TV's late at night, huh?

76, I think you're right. I think that is ole Toddy and he responds to you by saying you have the hots for Dooley. Yep, I believe we have a toddygirl sighting.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Something about those orange pants......

Toddy...your dumb*** schtick about 100,000 fans ponying up money to bring in a new coach is about as stupid as someone paying $39.95 per week for 24 months to rent a $300 TV. You have not been on here for months, yet you come back with the same stupid BS. Stick to renting TV's.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Vol43:

76, I think you're right. I think that is ole Toddy and he responds to you by saying you have the hots for Dooley. Yep, I believe we have a toddygirl sighting.

43....no doubt its old Toddygirl. He has been laying low around here but I knew he would be back. He probably has been recovering from the surgery he went to Sweden to have.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Toddygirl....you really need to get out of the TV store a little more often. Come to think about it, you need to get out of Tuscaloozer some too. Just don't come to Tennessee.

Speaking of "over 40", my sources tell me you are about 45 years old. That makes you extra sick.

thevoice writes:

Haven't heard from that ceramic dog lately. How's he doing? Still a puppy, on the learning curve?

Rumblefish writes:

in response to voloffaith:

collegegroovebilly & rumblingfish are delightful fans.....Dooley plays on the field in all 22 positions huh? Yeah buy him out too and see who will come when we throw coaches away like used Krystal wrappers......what type of buyout clause will thay have to protect themselves from intolerant AD's/Donor's? Yes we want to be relevant in the SEC again, but realistically there are no quick fixes...really they don't exist fot today's fast food mentality generation who want now...patience is a virtue long forgotton sadly by many.....

preacher boy,

keep fooling yourself. there is WAY TOO MUCH $$ to be won and lost in college football in the short term.

win in the short term...and the new coach has been paid for, and then some.

comments like yours are straight out of the "old school" line of thought. yeah...there is a reason they call it "old". wake up man. you are seriously out of touch.

rbut5252#220065 writes:

It'll be good to see the gum chewin' dwarf on the sideline again...

jobrando#216494 writes:

Vols 62 ZIPS 0
Vols 35 GA 3

luke255#536431 writes:

The Fact is Dooley had a losing overall record at La Tech, even had a 4-8 record when we hired him. He has a losing record after three years and not looking any better this year. So for all the people who want to bash rational vol fans who have pride in our program, how do you rationalize supporting this loser?

voloffaith writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

preacher boy,

keep fooling yourself. there is WAY TOO MUCH $$ to be won and lost in college football in the short term.

win in the short term...and the new coach has been paid for, and then some.

comments like yours are straight out of the "old school" line of thought. yeah...there is a reason they call it "old". wake up man. you are seriously out of touch.

Thanks for the disrepect...you know I'm right or you are delusional..."old school" doesn't mean out of touch or no longer relevant....would you say the Bible is an out of date book? Your answer will clarify many things of where your positions derive their beginning... "Preacher boy" NOT ....sharer of the truth with those who have an ear and mind to listen...goodnight sir/ma
am

Loud_Proud writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

If the writer (and the fanbase as a whole) is wondering if we should "be aware of Akron"...then it just goes to show how incompetent the coaching staff is as a whole.

My god...just get rid of Dooley and move on.

For those saying "getting rid of Dooley will only set us back further"....uhh, you think keeping this non-winning clown is moving the program further??? Nope.

Yeah...I got an agenda, to get Tennessee back to competing for the SEC championship.

God, you idiots truly don't get it. you just don't.

luke255#536431 writes:

in response to Loud_Proud:

God, you idiots truly don't get it. you just don't.

Loud_ignorant please explain how this comment is idiotic? Your the one supporting a coach who has always been a LOSER. I bet your an Obama supporter as well!

voloffaith writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you and cap'n rumblescarp are one in the same...in one post gimme Gruden...next post Cowher...neither has coached or recruited one game or player to show you they have all the ingredients to return the Vols back in a fast fashion...disappointed in Coach Dooley? Duh! However I realize that quick fixes are far and few between/rare....so support the team and let's see how the season plays out and let the powers that be deal with the results at the appropriate time....

luke255#536431 writes:

Alabama dumped their Dooley (Mike Shula) and Saban won a NC in three years. The SEC is best conference by far, WE WON'T GET BACK TO AN ELITE LEVEL WITH A PROVEN LOSER. For all the idiots still supporting him you have nothing to back up your supoport other than blind faith or pure ignorance. Maybe it's both, but as a vol fan living in Bham it's sad. Auburn and Alabama fans LOVE him though because he makes the entire vol nation look foolish!

Razor784 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

If the writer (and the fanbase as a whole) is wondering if we should "be aware of Akron"...then it just goes to show how incompetent the coaching staff is as a whole.

My god...just get rid of Dooley and move on.

For those saying "getting rid of Dooley will only set us back further"....uhh, you think keeping this non-winning clown is moving the program further??? Nope.

Yeah...I got an agenda, to get Tennessee back to competing for the SEC championship.

Totally agree with all of that, Akron will probably have a coaching advantage on Saturday, I remember seeing some of Bowden's early Auburn teams and they were really good I think he won his first 10 or 11 games when he was there

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Vols 62 ZIPS 0
Vols 35 GA 3

Man ! What are you smoking ? I think I need some.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Thanks for the disrepect...you know I'm right or you are delusional..."old school" doesn't mean out of touch or no longer relevant....would you say the Bible is an out of date book? Your answer will clarify many things of where your positions derive their beginning... "Preacher boy" NOT ....sharer of the truth with those who have an ear and mind to listen...goodnight sir/ma
am

awww....poor baby seems to forget he started it off by calling me rumblingfish and cant take what he/she dishes out....let alone the truth about the TN football program.

Again...wake up man/woman. You are way lost.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to Loud_Proud:

God, you idiots truly don't get it. you just don't.

Don't get what exactly? Really...I'd love to see your response to that. What am I not getting? (besides wins from our head coach)

Rumblefish writes:

in response to voloffaith:

I think you and cap'n rumblescarp are one in the same...in one post gimme Gruden...next post Cowher...neither has coached or recruited one game or player to show you they have all the ingredients to return the Vols back in a fast fashion...disappointed in Coach Dooley? Duh! However I realize that quick fixes are far and few between/rare....so support the team and let's see how the season plays out and let the powers that be deal with the results at the appropriate time....

Nice reach....but I don't want Gruden, nor Cowher. Care to try again?

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

No

bljvol writes:

Here is an idea for you negative fickle fans. Be realistic. Your memory is a as short as ..... well anyway. Actually Coach Dooley has only been here 2 1/2 years he came in Jan and had to quickly assemble a coaching staff knowing there would be changes to that later on , did a good job of holding on to a decent recruiting class that year, next year had a great recruiting class and this year finally was able to get a little depth we are still a year away from really competing in the way we are acustom to in Tennessee. O.K. we lost to FLORDUH again disappointed yes giving up on the team and Coach Dooley NO WAY GO VOLS Come on true fans support their team not start negative campains against them. Get a life

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Not to worry Vol fans, these 2 kids, the t.v. rental Billy boy and his cousin, Rumble tumble, are as most trolls learn, are heading down the old road of being banned here.

Remember fans, just hit remove and if the KNS chooses to allow said trolls to linger a bit longer, we can then easily see how the staff has allowed the site to deteriorate.

It's not our fault the t.v. rental business has fallen off as it has. As far as the other troll, Rumble tumble, who knows what her excuse is?

This we do know, trolls such as these 2 cousins, are little kids, consumed with the Vols regardless of whether we win or lose. Either way, we win and the trolls lose.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Toddygirl.....I am having a big party to watch Dooley and the Vols wax UGA next weekend. What kind of deal can you make me on a 60" HD TV with Rabbit Ears? I live outside Atlanta so how much would delivery, set-up, and weekend rental run? I think Tuscaloozer is about 200 miles from Atlanta. Ask your Mommy if you can give me the "Go Vols" discount.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Toddygirl....while I am sympathetic to you being around 45 years old and still living at home I have to wonder about you. Since you popped back up, a lot of your posts have mentioned "male models", being "turned on", Dooley being shirtless, etc. Hey if thats the way your gate swings...then knock yourself out. Just keep it behind your basement bedroom door. OK?

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So how much for the TV rental? Are Rabbit Ears extra? I have a competitive bid from Rent-A-Center. Will you price match?

As for Dooley....YES I support him. He is the Coach of the Vols. No I do not like losing. In fact, I hate losing about as much as you probably hate living at home. You do hate living at home, don't you? Maybe not.......

SCVFL writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Groovy,
Not interested in starting an argument, but am asking seriously.
If Dooley wins 2 of the 3 games against Ga, MissSt, SC and does not screw up any of the other SEC games(not including Al)will you be satsfied with Dooley getting one more year?
Or are you just intent on having Dooley gone regardless of results?
I am not sold on the fact that Dooley is the coach to take the VOLS to the NC, but I do think he took a job that NOONE else wanted and has done much toward cleaning up the program and stabilizing it enough that in 1-2 years SOMEONE of substenence(spelling?) might be interested. And I will also agree that if goes 1-7 0r 2-6 in SEC he should go.He needs at a minimum beat one of the 3 named above and not get blown out by anyone(Al an exception).
I asked my original question in all seriousness.
GO BIG RNG...VFL

SCVFL writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Would really have liked a simple YES or NO to my question, but I will just move on to next article.
GO BIG RNG...VFL

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Toddyturd....you better be careful. I see they have already deleted some of your recent BS posts. I guess even the KNS staff is getting sick of you already.

Just to be safe go ahead and come up with some new screen names. Let me give you a couple ideas:

1. Basement_Dweller_Feller

2. Rabbit_Ears_For_Free

3. Dooley_Makes_Me_Drooley

CrankE writes:

Actually, Dooley's first team needed TWO overtimes to beat UAB, but who's counting?

If a mere 87,821 will show up to watch Georgia State in UT's home opener prior to the Florida game, I wonder how many will come to watch UT-Akron AFTER UT's loss to UF? I'm thinking maybe 80,000 tops for the attendance, but it could be much lower.

"You won't have Tennessee to kick around anymore"

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fulmer lost to Wyoming and Majors had a tie with Army, Battle lost to North Texas & Rutgers..$#it Happens.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CrankE:

Actually, Dooley's first team needed TWO overtimes to beat UAB, but who's counting?

If a mere 87,821 will show up to watch Georgia State in UT's home opener prior to the Florida game, I wonder how many will come to watch UT-Akron AFTER UT's loss to UF? I'm thinking maybe 80,000 tops for the attendance, but it could be much lower.

"You won't have Tennessee to kick around anymore"

Unless you are in attendance, you have no right to criticize or complain about it. It's kind of like voting, if you didn't vote you have no right to complain about the ones elected..Just sayin', enjoy the game tomorrow I hope it doesn't rain. GBO!!

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

You guys wanting to get rid of Dooley are nuts! Until Haslam decides to pay the cash to buyout his contract, its not happening.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep that was me. That must have been you standing next to the girl wearing the
"I'm With Stupid" t-shirt.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

Nice reach....but I don't want Gruden, nor Cowher. Care to try again?

Naw man you Rumblefish have got my # and I'm overmatched......I apologize for not respectfully addresssing you as I should.That rebuke was appropriate.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

55 posts on a KNS story about the MAC and Akron and 52 of them are about Dooley or firing Dooley..The whole thing is just Exhausting to read with no end in site..Gonna log on to 247 in hopes of some actual vol football chatter

south_alabama_vol writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

Toddyturd....you better be careful. I see they have already deleted some of your recent BS posts. I guess even the KNS staff is getting sick of you already.

Just to be safe go ahead and come up with some new screen names. Let me give you a couple ideas:

1. Basement_Dweller_Feller

2. Rabbit_Ears_For_Free

3. Dooley_Makes_Me_Drooley

That's just too funny!!

CrankE writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Unless you are in attendance, you have no right to criticize or complain about it. It's kind of like voting, if you didn't vote you have no right to complain about the ones elected..Just sayin', enjoy the game tomorrow I hope it doesn't rain. GBO!!

If that were true then no game should ever be televised because only those in attendance matter. Not buyin'

I just think turnout will be low and I know why. So does everybody else-including UTAD. The attendance in the stands will say a whole lot more about the future of the program than anything that happens on the field.

RealisticVol writes:

If we win it, really does not matter if we lose all the real games. If we lose, then it shows just how really low we have sunk.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CrankE:

If that were true then no game should ever be televised because only those in attendance matter. Not buyin'

I just think turnout will be low and I know why. So does everybody else-including UTAD. The attendance in the stands will say a whole lot more about the future of the program than anything that happens on the field.

I take it you won't be at the game..Got it.

6972 writes:

I hope it is not close. It shouldn't be close but even if it is close, someone may be backing a U-Haul truck up to DD house. I hope the team and the coaches are sucessful. Who wants anyone to lose?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to luke255#536431:

The Fact is Dooley had a losing overall record at La Tech, even had a 4-8 record when we hired him. He has a losing record after three years and not looking any better this year. So for all the people who want to bash rational vol fans who have pride in our program, how do you rationalize supporting this loser?

Why should we repeat all the "rational" posts we've made concerning the need for Dooley to at least have time(most said five years when he came here)to make the necessary recruitment. Why do we need to keep repeating ourselves and "casting our Pearls before swines" as the great book says?hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to 6972:

I hope it is not close. It shouldn't be close but even if it is close, someone may be backing a U-Haul truck up to DD house. I hope the team and the coaches are sucessful. Who wants anyone to lose?

I think a lot of the complements trolls are giving out now are sandwiching your real message of propaganda against our team. Who know's maybe your wish for Dooley to be fired will come true? Or maybe it's just a desire to increase posts? But I seriously doubt he'll be fired just because some fake fans think he will. You "visitors from beyond" are just silly.
If he gets fired this year it'll be because Dooley and Hart believe it's time for him to move on. It will be a shame as it will set the program back in spite of what Fumblewish says.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to voloffaith:

collegegroovebilly & rumblingfish are delightful fans.....Dooley plays on the field in all 22 positions huh? Yeah buy him out too and see who will come when we throw coaches away like used Krystal wrappers......what type of buyout clause will thay have to protect themselves from intolerant AD's/Donor's? Yes we want to be relevant in the SEC again, but realistically there are no quick fixes...really they don't exist fot today's fast food mentality generation who want now...patience is a virtue long forgotton sadly by many.....

Amen ... talking to my son today ... he's quit following sports altogether because of the idjits posting here. They think its all about them. It's not. All they live for is wins. As if any coach anywhere could be doing better digging out of the mess left by Kiffin. They think they ... know. They don't.

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