Recap: Akron at Tennessee
Tennessee Stat Book
Tennessee employed three different players at quarterback in its Wildcat package Saturday against Akron in its most expansive use of the formation all season. Linebacker A.J. Johnson, fullback Justin King and receiver Alton "Pig" Howard all took snaps as Wildcat quarterback.
Johnson scored his second touchdown of the season in the first half, but he was stuffed on fourth-and-short in the second half in the 47-26 victory.nMarcus Jackson and Alex Bullard got significant snaps on the offensive line. Coach Derek Dooley said it was simply a reward for hard work in practice.
"I always have felt like we have seven starters," Dooley said. "They just deserve to play, so we played them. If guys are practicing well, they need to get in there and play. I think it'll help the other guys too."nTennessee linebacker Herman Lathers played sparingly for much of the first half. He suffered a shoulder injury in the opener against North Carolina State and missed Week 2 before returning against Florida.
Dontavis Sapp earned his second career start in Lathers' place.
* The Vols also started two new defensive linemen, Corey Miller and Steven Fowlkes. Fowlkes' start was the first of his career. As expected, Tennessee nose guard Daniel McCullers didn't play much against the hurry-up, pass-heavy attack.
* Dooley said safety Byron Moore, who had two interceptions, is playing well because he's focused on his job.
"He's playing smart football," Dooley said. "He's not trying to do anything beyond what he's capable of doing. Good things happen when you do that."
* Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden spoke to Akron players before the game. His son, Terry, is in his first season as coach of the Zips.
"We had a chapel service, so a lot of it was spiritual, but he talked about them just doing the best they can," Terry Bowden said. "He talked about how Akron reminded him of when he first started at Florida State. All their big games were on the road. He talked about us and where he thought our program was starting to go. The kids really enjoyed it."
* Terry Bowden said Tennessee has "beautiful athletes."
"Their receivers and their quarterback reminded me of the SEC," said Bowden, who coached at Auburn from 1993-1998. "The last time I played against Tennessee was with Peyton Manning and Peerless Price. I played against them the next year with Tee Martin. Tennessee has always had beautiful athletes. They were going to hit their receivers eventually. We were just holding our breath when you play a 5-foot-9 (cornerback) on their receivers."
* The Vols have won nine consecutive non-conference games in the regular season, the longest streak since 2000-02.
* Under Dooley, the Vols are 11-1 when scoring 25 or more points. Tennessee has won 25 consecutive overall when scoring at least 28.
* The announced attendance at Neyland Stadium was 81,719. The 20,000 or so empty seats were concentrated in the upper end zones. Tennessee's next home game is Oct. 20 against Alabama.
* Receiver Justin Hunter gave fans a scare when he appeared to be limping late in the game. Hunter missed most of last year with a knee injury.
Hunter said after the big he was fine.
"One of the offensive linemen tried to celebrate too hard and landed on my foot," Hunter said.
Hunter wasn't sure of the culprit. Told it was Dallas Thomas, Hunter said, "He's 300 pounds of pure man."
* Derrick Brodus retained his hold on the kicking job after missing an extra point last week. He rewarded his coaches with a flawless performance. Brodus scored 17 points — four field goals and five extra points — to tie a school record for points by a kicker.
"I didn't want to hammer him for one extra point," Dooley said. "I felt like he deserved another shot."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.