John Adams: Vols more road kill than road warriors

Tennessee  cornerback Eric Gordon (24) during the second half of their 41-14 loss to Georgia Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee cornerback Eric Gordon (24) during the second half of their 41-14 loss to Georgia Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.

What must happen for the Vols to beat Georgia?

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What must happen for the Vols to beat Georgia?

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Tennessee keeps connecting with past themes this season.

Game 1 theme: The Vols can't win in the Georgia Dome. They did.

Game 2: Coach Bill Curry's team gets crushed in Neyland Stadium. It did.

Game 3: The Vols can't beat Florida. They didn't.

Game 4: The Vols don't lose to Terry Bowden. They didn't.

That brings us to Game 5 in Athens, Ga., on Saturday. You shouldn't need a hint to guess the theme, but I'll give one anyway: "When was the last time you heard the Vols referred to as "Road Warriors?"

Tennessee is 3-13 the past four seasons in conference road games.

Alarming facts: Vanderbilt has done that well, and Kentucky has done better.

The Vols haven't just lost consistently on the road in the SEC. They have lost big. Five losses have been by 21 or more points, and the average margin of defeat has been 15.4 points.

So you might already have filed Saturday's game at Sanford Stadium under "bad trips," especially if you remember UT's most recent Saturday at that venue. The Bulldogs led by 20 points at halftime en route to a 41-14 victory.

The previous Georgia road trip was just as bleak for UT, though the final score wasn't as harsh.

The Bulldogs won 26-14 but had 29 first downs and 448 yards while holding the Vols to 1 yard rushing and 13-for-30 passing.

As awful as that might sound to UT fans, it could be worse. The Vols could be going to Gainesville, Fla., or Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Despite Georgia's success in its last two home games against UT, the Bulldogs don't foster the same sense of dread that Alabama does at Bryant-Denny Stadium or the Gators do in The Swamp. In fact, some of UT's fondest football memories were made in Athens.

In 1992, UT knocked off 14th-ranked Georgia 34-31 under then-interim coach Phillip Fulmer. Two years later, the Vols rushed for 383 yards in a 41-23 victory over Georgia. They won 51-33 in 2006 after trailing at halftime. In the last 10 games at Sanford Stadium, UT is 6-4.

As rivals go, Georgia is the antithesis of Florida. UT invariably brings out the best in the Gators. And it often brings out the worst in Georgia.

In 2007, Georgia was good enough to win 11 of 13 games but lost to the Vols 35-14 in Neyland Stadium. Two years later, Tennessee beat Georgia 45-19.

Georgia's 2002 team went 13-1, won the SEC and finished third in both top-25 polls. Yet it beat the underdog Vols by only five points in Athens after leading 18-0 through three quarters. The outcome was more surprising in that UT was playing without injured quarterback Casey Clausen.

Georgia entered that game ranked sixth nationally. Ten years later, it's ranked fifth, and perhaps eyeing bigger challenges down the road (sixth-ranked South Carolina will follow the Vols).

UT's road is more daunting. Beginning with the Bulldogs, its next four games — including three on the road — are all against SEC teams currently ranked in the top 25.

Unless Tennessee suddenly starts traveling better, those four games could lead to a dead end.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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

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Comments » 129

primetimevol writes:

Well heck John, lets cancel the game. No sense in going. The difference this year is we actually have some offensive weapons. Defense is a work in progress, but I'll be shocked if we get blown out.

CoverOrange writes:

Ah yes. The Casey "could have beat them with one arm tied behind my back" Clausen. The game that gave Florida Chris Leak.

So, John, are you saying that if UT doesn't win one on the road in October that November will be forfeit? What else could you mean by "dead end"?

papavol writes:

Sigh..... 1 win against a quality oppontent, just 1 win is all i ask. I can't believe how low my standards have gotten when it comes to UT football. It really is sad. I know this football team can be good. Dooley has to win at least one of these.

CoverOrange writes:

And those "theme" things, John? Not all themes held true so what was your point? And numbers 2 and 4 seem like you just pulled out of your recliner support system.

vq4nfo writes:

Providing UT has no injuries to the offensive impact players during the next 4 SEC games (Losses) UT should beat Troy and Kentucky at home. Missouri is a toss up at home. Vandy on the road, toss a coin. What was the title to this article?

mdvol writes:

We can score on Georgia. The question is, can we stop them? I'd say load up to stop the run and take our chances with Murray.

Bray needs to distribue the ball better ala another Chaney protege, Drew Brees. Can't just focus on Hunter and CP. We need 8 different guys with catches. Why have we stopped throwing the ball to the backs? That could be Bray never wanting to take the dump off.

fearthehound writes:

Great. Thanks for the history lesson. You're probably right, we'll get our butts kicked, but your perennial, constant negativism really doesn't add much to our edification.

thevoice writes:

No sense in bashing the messenger. Until the Vols beat a significant SEC foe, hard to pretend anything different will happen.

thevoice writes:

in response to fearthehound:

Great. Thanks for the history lesson. You're probably right, we'll get our butts kicked, but your perennial, constant negativism really doesn't add much to our edification.

There was a glimmer of hope. I believe most on here befriended him during Florida week, during which he predicted a Vol win. I don't think he strays from the truth too much; just telling us what many of us don't want to hear: the truth.

thevoice writes:

in response to mdvol:

We can score on Georgia. The question is, can we stop them? I'd say load up to stop the run and take our chances with Murray.

Bray needs to distribue the ball better ala another Chaney protege, Drew Brees. Can't just focus on Hunter and CP. We need 8 different guys with catches. Why have we stopped throwing the ball to the backs? That could be Bray never wanting to take the dump off.

Neal had 3, Barth had 2, Lane had 2 yesterday.

eduardo writes:

With the new shiny pants on our sidelines, of course without a winning coaching record, FORGET IT!!!! LOSS....BLOWOUT LOSS!!

mdvol writes:

in response to thevoice:

Neal had 3, Barth had 2, Lane had 2 yesterday.

You are correct. I have dismissed the Akron game in my mind given we rolled up 650 on them. Everything worked on offense. Against Florida, Bray connected to a back twice. Neal, 2 receptions. But in reality, stopping UGA will be the key to victory.

aspenvol2 writes:

John Adams: more 14 year old girl than journalist

6972 writes:

CBS game of the week! Good time for them to redeem themselves but it has to be 4 quarters of the best football they have played yet.

laraccoon writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

we have played one SEC game and you know all that ? change your diaper and shut up .

thevoice writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dooley's net worth to the UT program may be limited to favorably posturing the program to lure a decent COACH soon. I'm guessing the UT higher ups know this; furthermore, it may have all been planned.

thevoice writes:

in response to mdvol:

You are correct. I have dismissed the Akron game in my mind given we rolled up 650 on them. Everything worked on offense. Against Florida, Bray connected to a back twice. Neal, 2 receptions. But in reality, stopping UGA will be the key to victory.

I think UGA s going to stymie our offense by pressuring Bray and selling out to the pass stop, exploit our secondary, and run around the edges like FL did. We better hope for multiple turnovers in our favor.

tovolny writes:

AT a boy John, make it hurt. Tell us how bad we really are. Maybe the players and coaches will see your article and learn how to play defense. A good defense holds the score down. 1st and 10, Vols stop a run after 2 yards, 2nd and 8 the Vols tackle a QB scramble after 5 yards. Everybody smiles and says"wow, we finally have a defense; “ then 3rd and 3 the opponents run a SIMPLE AS IT GETS off tackle slant for 80 yards. The ROMPS, it happens every game going all the way back to the first game in 2010. Does Dooley know that a 15 or 20 yard run is better than blitzing the whole defensive backfield and creating the ROMP. IF the VOLS can stop the ROMPS, we might win a game against a ranked team. GO GET a defensive back's coach that can position safeties on 3rd down.

John, be sure and have a new article tomorrow and please tell us how bad we are...make it hurt John...make it HURT!

murrayvol writes:

The game will be played on Saturday and that's about all we "know" right now.

Snapshot writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Jethro you STILL have not told us about your coaching career. How about some info, you know, like where you coached or are now coaching.

Since you have ALL the answers you must be a head coach somewhere, correct?

HeyWhitey writes:

I'll be pleasantly shocked if the Vols win. 38-10 Ga.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to primetimevol:

Well heck John, lets cancel the game. No sense in going. The difference this year is we actually have some offensive weapons. Defense is a work in progress, but I'll be shocked if we get blown out.

You about to be shocked big time. You will wish you could have canceled the game. This will be like Arkansas last year.

If any of you looked at Bray's stats vs the few SEC elite he has played, or for that matter, any SEC team he has played, it is horrific. He is very good when he can stand there and pitch and catch when they have the opponent terribly out maned. The Big Boys (when he was not hurt) show us what Nuke Bray is made of. The NFL unlike the mock draft gurus look at that as well. Long month coming in Vol Land. Think that Troy attendance reaches 50K?

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

in response to mdvol:

We can score on Georgia. The question is, can we stop them? I'd say load up to stop the run and take our chances with Murray.

Bray needs to distribue the ball better ala another Chaney protege, Drew Brees. Can't just focus on Hunter and CP. We need 8 different guys with catches. Why have we stopped throwing the ball to the backs? That could be Bray never wanting to take the dump off.

We don't need Bray taking a dump during the game. However, he has thrown to 10, 8, 5, and 11 different receivers in the first four games, and to at least two different RBs in every game.

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ah, how cute. Sisters of the poor. It just never gets old. You must be sooooo proud of yourself for coming up with that one.

Volumnus writes:

Well, heck, at least they ain't the Akron Zippers, 'cause they dang near whupped our butts!

TylerBray4Heisman writes:

Vols 35, Dawgs 31.

Tennfan4075 writes:

The best thing the Vols have going for them is, on occasion Mark Richt can be a worst coach than Dooley. Unfortunately, Richt is almost always a better recruiter. Another loss in the conference.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to 6972:

CBS game of the week! Good time for them to redeem themselves but it has to be 4 quarters of the best football they have played yet.

The dreaded CBS jinx.. Can't remember the last time we won in that 3:30 slot.. Probably 2009..usually embarrassed nationally twice a year on CBS..Would love to break that curse.Just don't wear the Orange pants too.. Double Jinx..Would love to know our record in road orange pants..Superstitions be d@mned!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

Dang, I dont think writers should stoop this low to attack the team. The coaches are ok for attack but not the players.
Guess I cant complain since I get on the players while they are getting hammered in a game but I settle down by Monday.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

The best thing the Vols have going for them is, on occasion Mark Richt can be a worst coach than Dooley. Unfortunately, Richt is almost always a better recruiter. Another loss in the conference.

Richt is 110-38 (74.3) and 7-4 in blow games with a BCS bowl victory. He has won 2 SEC titles and 5 Eastern Division titles. Oh yeah, let's throw in 2 time SEC coach of the year. Could someone tell me what in the hell is wrong with that? Oh yeah, I forgot....dissing another coach whether it be Richt or Fulmer has become the newest way of justifying Dooley's worth. Why not let Dooley's track record speak for itself?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL, yes he did. He said that at media day just before saying "Bray had matured", blah blah blah." DaRick has matured" blah blah blah." There's no problem with Cam Clear", "that just message board journalism", blah blah blah. I wish he would just come out in his presser and say blah blah blah, get it over with quick. That would be far more credible than the stuff he spews.

Oh yeah...he was also quoted as saying "it's not the end of the world if we lose", before both the Kentucky game and the Florida game. And that attitude has trickled down to his team.

JimmyJoe writes:

in response to tovolny:

AT a boy John, make it hurt. Tell us how bad we really are. Maybe the players and coaches will see your article and learn how to play defense. A good defense holds the score down. 1st and 10, Vols stop a run after 2 yards, 2nd and 8 the Vols tackle a QB scramble after 5 yards. Everybody smiles and says"wow, we finally have a defense; “ then 3rd and 3 the opponents run a SIMPLE AS IT GETS off tackle slant for 80 yards. The ROMPS, it happens every game going all the way back to the first game in 2010. Does Dooley know that a 15 or 20 yard run is better than blitzing the whole defensive backfield and creating the ROMP. IF the VOLS can stop the ROMPS, we might win a game against a ranked team. GO GET a defensive back's coach that can position safeties on 3rd down.

John, be sure and have a new article tomorrow and please tell us how bad we are...make it hurt John...make it HURT!

What do you want John to write about? There is nothing good to write about. We are right where we were this time last year. We have virtually no chance in these next four games. Well, there may be a chance at State... But that's it. Which means at the start of November we will be 0-5 in SEC... Hoping that Missouri and Vandy will be beat up sufficiently for us to "maybe" pick up a win. That's reality... I don't know what you want John to write on that's positive. Mother always said if you can't say something good then don't say anything at all. But if that rule applies to sportswriters...well... they would all be out of a job in Knoxville.

SavTnVol writes:

in response to thevoice:

No sense in bashing the messenger. Until the Vols beat a significant SEC foe, hard to pretend anything different will happen.

"no sense in bashing the messenger"??? Just what is the name of this site on your computer? Mine say's GoVols. If this rag wants to post people like his thoughts and beliefs, we can bash the messenger. Especially when they drop into the "olemissoftheeast" and some of those other idiot trolls level of commenting like this fool did here, and does so often. Articles like this one are the reason I usually just pass over anything this guy says or post.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

LOL, yes he did. He said that at media day just before saying "Bray had matured", blah blah blah." DaRick has matured" blah blah blah." There's no problem with Cam Clear", "that just message board journalism", blah blah blah. I wish he would just come out in his presser and say blah blah blah, get it over with quick. That would be far more credible than the stuff he spews.

Oh yeah...he was also quoted as saying "it's not the end of the world if we lose", before both the Kentucky game and the Florida game. And that attitude has trickled down to his team.

Toddy,Walt, Merl, and Rich, congratulations Mr. Reborn, you're finally among your own kind.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Toddy,Walt, Merl, and Rich, congratulations Mr. Reborn, you're finally among your own kind.

What did I say that wasn't true? I'll be anxiously awaiting your idiotic answer.

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

The front left tire on the Vols wagon came off against Florida. This weekend we get to watch the front right tire fall off. After that that the entire Vol wagon will be sputtering along the interstate, catching fire as the front two tires are completely gone. After Alabama, we will need a tow truck.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whatever he said, he made more sense than you have ever done, MF '81

CrankE writes:

What? No mention of the 2004 squad of youngsters that were double digit underdogs, yet rolled into Georgia and upset UGA? Because of that win, one of the most talented UGA teams of the last 20 years sat on the couch and watched Tennessee play for the SEC Championship.

(grins)

Some teams get everyone's best shot because they are so good that everyone wants to beat them. Others get everyone's best shot because they are so bad that nobody can afford to lose to them. UT falls into the latter category right now.

I don't see UT having enough to withstand UGA's best shot and overcome it.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

What did I say that wasn't true? I'll be anxiously awaiting your idiotic answer.

I never accused you of lying. Relax, you're among friends now. You must feel liberated.

arkyvol writes:

its possible that this game may lay to rest for all time whether derrick dooley is an sec quality head coach.

munsondawg writes:

Any of you guys coming down to Athens for this week's game? Supposed to be nice weather here.......

Denvervol4life writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Denvervol4life writes:

in response to arkyvol:

its possible that this game may lay to rest for all time whether derrick dooley is an sec quality head coach.

That verdict was sealed when he lost to KENTUCKY with a WIDE RECEIVER at QUARTERBACK!!!

fearthehound writes:

in response to thevoice:

There was a glimmer of hope. I believe most on here befriended him during Florida week, during which he predicted a Vol win. I don't think he strays from the truth too much; just telling us what many of us don't want to hear: the truth.

Well folks, we are 3-1. I know, I know, we haven't beaten anybody, blah, blah, blah. But you know, it still wouldn't hurt to actually let them lose the games before we start kicking the kr@pp out of them. There's a lot of season left and still great opportunity for all the haters to watch Dooley squirm. And when this year is over, hey we can start all over again. Maybe we'll get lucky and only lose about a third of our team this time. Then we can give the next guy a couple of years before we start in on him.

signalcorps writes:

in response to Denvervol4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep

jdavolsfan1970 writes:

in response to Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother:

Ah, how cute. Sisters of the poor. It just never gets old. You must be sooooo proud of yourself for coming up with that one.

He can't take credit for that one. Credit goes to Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee in a comment he made about the opponents that Boise State play.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Jethro you STILL have not told us about your coaching career. How about some info, you know, like where you coached or are now coaching.

Since you have ALL the answers you must be a head coach somewhere, correct?

Snap....don't you know all about Jeffy by now. He won the Heisman at UT after he lead UT to a National Championship in his freshman year. First pick in the NFL draft. 3 Super Bowl rings with a $1 Beeeelion dollar contract. Retired from the NFL to coach college ball @ UT. Led UT to yet another National Championship. Wait a minute....whats that buzzing sound? Ohh its Jeffy's alarm clock. Time to wake up. Flowers is truly a legend in his own mind. Whatta loser!

signalcorps writes:

These are Precious's times.............what a joke

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to munsondawg:

Any of you guys coming down to Athens for this week's game? Supposed to be nice weather here.......

Yep I will be there. In fact, I am heading to Walmart today to get a pair of jorts, a wife-beater t-shirt, flipflops, a mullet wig, a set of Billy Bob teeth, and a 12 pack of Natty Light..... so I will fit in better with the typical UGA crowd. The only thing I need to complete my UGA fan look is a beer belly, which I am working on.

Vols 27 (Brodus wins it on a field goal)
Pups 24

munsondawg writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

Yep I will be there. In fact, I am heading to Walmart today to get a pair of jorts, a wife-beater t-shirt, flipflops, a mullet wig, a set of Billy Bob teeth, and a 12 pack of Natty Light..... so I will fit in better with the typical UGA crowd. The only thing I need to complete my UGA fan look is a beer belly, which I am working on.

Vols 27 (Brodus wins it on a field goal)
Pups 24

LOL!!! Now that's funny.. You crack heads really start early in the day. Put the pipe down and get ready for the beat down....GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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