No. 7 Auburn runs over Tennessee, 55-23

Auburn cornerback Chris Davis (11) scores a touchdown on a punt return during the first half against Tennessee in Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn.    (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2013

Auburn cornerback Chris Davis (11) scores a touchdown on a punt return during the first half against Tennessee in Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Butch Jones talks after UT's 55-23 loss to Auburn (Pt. 1)

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Tennessee regained its rushing mojo on Saturday and got a big defensive score. Good work on Homecoming day.

But none of that mattered in the least.

The Vols couldn’t tackle Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall or any Tiger returning a kick.

The No. 7 Tigers crushed the Vols 55-23 before a sold-out Neyland Stadium crowd of 102,455 and an ESPN national audience.

Auburn (9-1, 5-1 SEC) continued its surprising success, trashing the Tennessee defense for 444 rushing yards, 214 of them from Marshall.

The Tigers also scored on an 85-yard punt return and a 90-yard kickoff return.

A third consecutive bashing by a top-10 team leaves UT at 4-6, 1-5 SEC.

There is no more margin for error to get bowl eligible. The Vols have to beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

A 226-yard UT rushing effort was wasted.

So was Jacques Smith’s 18-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

So were three Michael Palardy field goals.

After allowing 339 rusing yards last week to Missouri, the Vols were even more inept against Auburn.

The Tigers’ 28-point second quarter was the turning point.

Early on, the Vols saw two promising drives end in Palardy field goals. But Rajion Neal’s 17-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter gave UT a 13-6 lead.

All heck was about to break loose.

Marshall’s 62-yard keeper set up a 13-yard Tre Mason touchdown to tie the score. The two-play drive lasted 32 seconds.

The next Auburn score was even quicker. Chris Davis took a Palardy punt 85 yards and the Tigers led 20-13.

The next Palardy punt went out of bounds. But the Tigers reeled off chunk plays, including 23- and 12-yard runs by Marshall. Marshall scored from the 7 for a 27-13 lead.

The Vols’ only defensive highlight came when Marshall tried to pass. Defensive end Smith picked off a third-down pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

That cut the Auburn lead to 27-20 but it didn’t flip momentum.

Smith was penalized for celebration, Palardy kicked off from his 20 and Mason returned it 34 yards to the Tennessee 45.

Two plays later, Marshall went 38 yards untouched on a keeper.

The 30-second drive made it 34-20 at the half.

The Tigers picked right up where they left off after the break. Corey Grant returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards for a score.

Mason’s 4-yard TD run made it 48-23 going into the fourth quarter.

Mason capped the scoring with a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.

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Comments » 20

H_I_McDonough (Inactive) writes:

Painful trivia, but I need to know.

What is the all-time record for rushing yards allowed by Tennesssee (444 today)

Or return yards? (319?)

underthehill writes:

I thought if the O line stepped up and played well..UT would have a chance..the O line did step up..it was wasted by the defense..on a day when Vandy dominated the Gators on their home field..the Vols laid an egg at Neyland..

Orange_Power_T writes:

Seems our LBs and DBs had no answer for covering the run. Sapp, McNeil, Brewer got burned consistently. It even seemed as though our Def. Cord. had no answer to stop the bleeding. Multiple re-alignments on D but the fact is we are just too slow. Hope recruiting solves this problem quickly. We can not compete with speed we have seen this year.

rkarakis#235780 writes:

Well, at least the Vols showed that they don't have to be on the road in order to get shellacked . . .

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

Seems our LBs and DBs had no answer for covering the run. Sapp, McNeil, Brewer got burned consistently. It even seemed as though our Def. Cord. had no answer to stop the bleeding. Multiple re-alignments on D but the fact is we are just too slow. Hope recruiting solves this problem quickly. We can not compete with speed we have seen this year.

A lack of speed and depth is killing us. After this season, a lot of Dooley's players will be gone, and I hope a losing attitude will go with them. I think this is what CBJ means when he talks about "changing the culture at Tennessee". Next year Tennessee will be very young, but better. We are all having to learn patience the hard way. G.B.O.!!!

standfast#211788 writes:

Several comments:
1. Good job by Palardy -- not that he hit all his kicks and punted well - but for the effort he put forth trying to stop those long returns of his kick-offs and punts that his inept teammates whiffed on.
2. Just before halftime, Jacquez Smith made one of the few nice plays he has made since he came to Knoxville, but instead of collecting themselves, refocusing and dedicating themselves to stopping Auburn, the defense incurred a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct while acting like a mob of uneducated, undisciplined barbarians. So, instead of going into the half down by just 7 points, we got behind by two touchdowns. We promptly came out after the half and folded out tents.
3. Good job by Rajjon Neal and Marlin Lane who ran well. The offensive line will probably get a lot of credit for this, but what I saw was a lot of gutsy, hard work by the two tailbacks when there was not much (if any) hole to run through.
4. Still backing Butch and wish him well. The players just didn't buy in and give much effort in the second half today.
5. Speaking of Butch, he is one of the few coaches who can go into a young recruits home and promise him he can come to UT and start as a freshman next year. All coaches say this, but given the talent level of this team, Butch can really mean it. In my opinion, the only player who should not have to worry about his starting position next year is Marquez North and that includes Richardson if he comes back.
6. Sadly, it appears that Missouri, Ole Miss, Auburn, and Vandy are moving forward. Since we almost beat Georgia and beat the Gamecocks, we are going in the opposite direction.
7. I'm still backing Butch and can only suggest that he recruit, recruit, recruit. We need speed, maturity, and young men who are not worrying about their NFL draft status and willing to lay it on the line for Tennessee. GBO

SmokeysPup writes:

I never thought that we would get ran out of the stadium like that. Our players need to understand what the word contain means. Making someone turn in and not allowing them to get to the sidelines is not about speed. It's simply not doing your assignment.

TommyJack writes:

You can't coach speed. The lack of it was more glaring in this game than in the OR game. And I think these guys are worn slap out.

sseivers#1394928 writes:

Just received word that in an alternate Universe a Phil Fulmer coached Tennessee team shellacked Auburn 49 to 12 to complete his total dominance over Alabama teams for the last five years.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

You can't coach speed. The lack of it was more glaring in this game than in the OR game. And I think these guys are worn slap out.

I agree. Thank goodness for bye weeks.

RoadTrip writes:

To be honest bye weeks will not mean much to this bunch. They have been mailing it in. They have no guts - especially on D.

Free Fergie or call it a day at QB. Dobbs is not the answer at this point. He winds up like Worley, locks on primary receivers, has bad footwork when passing on the move, and has no touch. May get better, but not ready for prime time. The D was worse than pathetic. There are many teams with less than desirable speed that compete well and win. Did everybody miss what Stanford did to Oregon? But our guys are dumb when it comes to football smarts and have no heart. Slow recognition, no anticipation, bad angles, terrible tackling, etc.

The Special Teams of Jones were also pathetic on coverage. The overall schemes were pathetic. Total embarrassment in the house that Gen. Neyland built. Think about that for a moment. Gen. Neyland. He would never, ever, field a team as poorly prepared and incompetent as Teams 115, 116 and 117. We are Tennessee - not some Central Michigan or Cincinnati or La Tech or whatever. Take this Dools/Jones mess somewhere else. I want Tennessee football back.

goobervol writes:

in response to H_I_McDonough:

Painful trivia, but I need to know.

What is the all-time record for rushing yards allowed by Tennesssee (444 today)

Or return yards? (319?)

Rushing yards: 457, Alabama, 1986
Passing yards: 496, Troy, 2012
Punt return yards: 152, Mississippi St., 1998
Kick-off return yards: 2??, Mississippi St., 2013

UT Sports.com History, Page 220-225 PDF

pbsii#463368 writes:

We need out of the SEC!! Hello Conference USA

MikeNPS writes:

in response to sseivers#1394928:

Just received word that in an alternate Universe a Phil Fulmer coached Tennessee team shellacked Auburn 49 to 12 to complete his total dominance over Alabama teams for the last five years.

Sorry, but it was Phil who was the coach when the Vols started their current slide. I still support Butch and really do believe he will turn things around.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

To be honest bye weeks will not mean much to this bunch. They have been mailing it in. They have no guts - especially on D.

Free Fergie or call it a day at QB. Dobbs is not the answer at this point. He winds up like Worley, locks on primary receivers, has bad footwork when passing on the move, and has no touch. May get better, but not ready for prime time. The D was worse than pathetic. There are many teams with less than desirable speed that compete well and win. Did everybody miss what Stanford did to Oregon? But our guys are dumb when it comes to football smarts and have no heart. Slow recognition, no anticipation, bad angles, terrible tackling, etc.

The Special Teams of Jones were also pathetic on coverage. The overall schemes were pathetic. Total embarrassment in the house that Gen. Neyland built. Think about that for a moment. Gen. Neyland. He would never, ever, field a team as poorly prepared and incompetent as Teams 115, 116 and 117. We are Tennessee - not some Central Michigan or Cincinnati or La Tech or whatever. Take this Dools/Jones mess somewhere else. I want Tennessee football back.

Hopefully Gen. Neyland never had to put up with fans like you.

tntuba#225866 writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Hopefully Gen. Neyland never had to put up with fans like you.

You mean fans that want to win? Fans that hate to see a team fold like a rag doll in the second half of a HOME conference game? Fans that are not ok with mediocrity?

I say the fans that blindly support what is going on now and consistently defend what has happened over the last 5 years are as much a problem. Look....if you are ok with losing like we have lost for the last 3 weeks, then PLEASE...go root for someone else. As for me and mine...we LOVE Tennessee and will NEVER...and I do mean NEVER...be ok with watching another SEC team celebrate in our house after a game.

I recorded the game so i could re-watch(I was at the game) what I was hopping to be a very special day in Neyland. I woke up this morning at 4:00am and just forced myself to watch it. I can't get over how badly both our lines were beat yesterday. If you happen to have the game on DVR...watch it. And look at how far "The best line in the Country" moves the line of scrimmage on run plays. The go watch our Defensive line play "Patty Cake" with Auburn's O-Line.

I can live with getting beat by a team that is better than we are, if we truly "Gave our all for Tennessee today"....but is seems like over the last five years we have "Given a little but only when things are going our way and as long as it doesn't hurt too much"

threehundredbowler writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Sorry, but it was Phil who was the coach when the Vols started their current slide. I still support Butch and really do believe he will turn things around.

If Phil had been left in place there would have already been a turn around.

allvol8 writes:

in response to pbsii#463368:

We need out of the SEC!! Hello Conference USA

Want some cheese w/ that whine? We have beat who we are supposed to and had an upset to boot. The lack of depth; speed and talent are taking its toll on this grueling schedule. Either support the team or go find another one. It takes time. GBO!

johnlg00 writes:

The more I have seen of good teams across the country this season, the more appalled I become at the stunning lack of speed and athleticism of the Vols these days. Even to somebody who knew nothing about the game itself, the players just look tentative, off-balance, and have little feel for the geometry and physics of the game. I have to believe that the coaches are privately aghast at the low level of physical ability on the squad, especially now that they have had close looks at the rest of the conference.

I would have to account it as almost a miracle if they hold onto the bulk of what still looks like a great recruiting class. The very real promise of immediate playing time may still hold some appeal, but it is hard right now for the coaches to show that they have made that much positive difference in the players they inherited. The old saying that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear may apply here. I can't speak to the team's morale or effort, but the sense of futility must be rampant after the last few weeks.

We knew that this part of the schedule would be a "death march" for these guys, so I guess we can't be surprised that they didn't win more. Still, most of us, and probably most of them, didn't expect to look so bad doing it. This bye week couldn't have come at a better time. If they can't get it together enough to win these last two, this will be a pretty grim winter around the football complex.

As for the fans, there is much to look forward to from both basketball teams, and if the recruiting class holds together, we may still have hope that the sun will rise again over Big Orange Country. But right now, I would have to say that things look pretty dark.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

The more I have seen of good teams across the country this season, the more appalled I become at the stunning lack of speed and athleticism of the Vols these days. Even to somebody who knew nothing about the game itself, the players just look tentative, off-balance, and have little feel for the geometry and physics of the game. I have to believe that the coaches are privately aghast at the low level of physical ability on the squad, especially now that they have had close looks at the rest of the conference.

I would have to account it as almost a miracle if they hold onto the bulk of what still looks like a great recruiting class. The very real promise of immediate playing time may still hold some appeal, but it is hard right now for the coaches to show that they have made that much positive difference in the players they inherited. The old saying that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear may apply here. I can't speak to the team's morale or effort, but the sense of futility must be rampant after the last few weeks.

We knew that this part of the schedule would be a "death march" for these guys, so I guess we can't be surprised that they didn't win more. Still, most of us, and probably most of them, didn't expect to look so bad doing it. This bye week couldn't have come at a better time. If they can't get it together enough to win these last two, this will be a pretty grim winter around the football complex.

As for the fans, there is much to look forward to from both basketball teams, and if the recruiting class holds together, we may still have hope that the sun will rise again over Big Orange Country. But right now, I would have to say that things look pretty dark.

The best post I've read so far. Most of us knew before the season started things would likely turn out the way they have. All I wanted was to see the team improve as the year progressed,and the team did that. The team seemed to be on a roll after beating South Carolina, but then they entered the proverbial meat grinder. There is still a chance to win six games, and earn a bowl bid. The bye week couldn't have come at a better time. G.B.O.!!!

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