John Adams: Vols merciful and almost mistake-free

John Adams
Tennessee running back Marlin Lane (15) scores a touchdown during the first half against Austin Peay at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee running back Marlin Lane (15) scores a touchdown during the first half against Austin Peay at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Those bricks Butch Jones keeps talking about? Austin Peay probably felt as though it got hit by a stadium full of them Saturday evening.

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Comments » 4

FatherVol writes:

A fair article, but the negative comment about Tyler Bray was unnecessary. Keep it positive. Oh, that's right, you're John Adams. I forgot for a moment.

Orange_Power_T writes:

The "brick by brick" metaphor holds quite true from what I've seen so far. There are many things to build on which gives hope; hope that has not been seen around Knoxville in years. Excluding the O line and Neal, this is the least talented team I've seen in TN for a while. That's not to say there is talent that will certainly be developed by CBJ. Jones has made me a believer because I saw instances last night that will make a difference in years to come. Having the right personnel AND the right number of players on the field was not an obstacle as in previous years. I still gasp when seeing our Vols attempting to arm tackle when the opposing RB shoots through the middle of the line. At least I can now relax knowing this will brought up and corrected by years end. The team looked prepared and confident. There was also an excitement within the players AS A TEAM that I've not seen in almost a decade. In comparing speed and talent with our SEC foes, we aren't there yet, but we certainly have something to build with and build on. Give me a bowl at the end of the year and I will call this year a success. As far as years to come, the future looks VERY bright. A couple of years with top recruiting classes and the SEC East will be ours.

underthehill writes:

No contest against an overmatched team may be a bit of an understatement..next week will be more of an indicator as to whether or not this team can be competitive..I watched quite a bit of the W Ky-Ky game just to get an idea if Petrino is over rated..don't think he is ..the W Ky offense will be a real test..I too am impressed with coaching improvement and agree with those who see a bright future..what I am looking for next week is..can the Vols keep their composure when the going gets tough..this was a real weakness the last couple of years..

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

The "brick by brick" metaphor holds quite true from what I've seen so far. There are many things to build on which gives hope; hope that has not been seen around Knoxville in years. Excluding the O line and Neal, this is the least talented team I've seen in TN for a while. That's not to say there is talent that will certainly be developed by CBJ. Jones has made me a believer because I saw instances last night that will make a difference in years to come. Having the right personnel AND the right number of players on the field was not an obstacle as in previous years. I still gasp when seeing our Vols attempting to arm tackle when the opposing RB shoots through the middle of the line. At least I can now relax knowing this will brought up and corrected by years end. The team looked prepared and confident. There was also an excitement within the players AS A TEAM that I've not seen in almost a decade. In comparing speed and talent with our SEC foes, we aren't there yet, but we certainly have something to build with and build on. Give me a bowl at the end of the year and I will call this year a success. As far as years to come, the future looks VERY bright. A couple of years with top recruiting classes and the SEC East will be ours.

Nothing to argue with here. I could only listen to the game where I was, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the Butch Jones Show and maybe at least the first half of the replay. However, as the game unfolded and the team seemed to be making NO mistakes, I felt better and better about how this team would likely progress.

Since I didn't see it, I was concerned when you said that it seemed the defense was trying to arm-tackle too much. When I saw how hard the RBs ran in the more competitive games Thursday and Saturday, especially for South Carolina, Georgia, and LSU, I became very concerned about their ability to defend the better opponents coming up.

The other thing that concerned me was that Worley seemed to be consistently throwing the ball late and low, forcing receivers to go to the ground to make the catches. If a QB is going to throw the ball late, I would rather that he throw low than high, and it is a good sign that the receivers went where the ball was thrown to make good catches. He was probably under orders not to take chances; however, this particular quirk has to be remedied if the yards-after-catch stat is to mean anything for this team. I'll cut Worley a little slack for his first game of the year, but he really needs to get this fixed. Also, while I was generally impressed with Neal's running, it is clear the Vol RBs lack the breakaway speed of the elite backs.

It was both smart and classy of Jones to pull the starters after halftime. Lots of guys got some good on-field minutes that may well help them and the team later, but I doubt that the Vols will be substituting whole teams much as the season goes on, and I REALLY hope the subs can make better contributions if they are put in individually with the bulk of the starters. In fairness, most of them were on the field after the outcome was decided in combinations that have probably never had practice reps as units.

On the whole, this game was about all the Vols and the fans could have wished for. As far as I know, nobody got hurt, everybody played, and the starters at least on both units played pretty well. I would have liked for Palardy's kick-offs to have gone deeper--most of the kickoffs I saw by the better teams were at the back of the end-zone or all the way through it--but at least there were no major flubs that I recall in any phase of the kicking game.

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