John Adams: Vols avoid epic upset but raise more doubts

John Adams
Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley (14) passing under pressure from South Alabama outside linebacker Maleki Harris (6) during the first half Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley (14) passing under pressure from South Alabama outside linebacker Maleki Harris (6) during the first half Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Justin Worley is Tennessee’s safe option at quarterback.

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Comments » 21

MikeNPS writes:

I was shocked at the difference in the way the Vols played in the first half and in the second half. It was as though two totally different UT teams were playing.

South Alabama didn't even have a football program just a few short years ago and yet now they are basically playing on the same level the Vols are. I really find this hard to believe.

maciste54 writes:

Last year the Vols would have lost this game. That's about the only positive I've got right now.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

I hope I am wrong but the Dogs will eat Worley alive.

oldvol59 writes:

The bad news, many of these kids aren't that good. The good news is they are kids and may improve. If they don't improve we may have seen their last win of this season today. USA has only been playing teams with scholarship players for 2 years, and I will leave that at that.

TommyJack writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

I hope I am wrong but the Dogs will eat Worley alive.

It will get ugly.

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

It will get ugly.

You aren't wrong Tommy but I wish you were. Our level of talent right now is way, way down. The kids are doing the best they can and the coaches are doing the best they can with them and that is exactly where we are. Better days will come in a year or so providing Butch can raise the level of talent significantly in 2014 & 2015. We need to stop the immature booing of the kids and be supportive they are doing the best that they can.

cltvol writes:

in response to maciste54:

Last year the Vols would have lost this game. That's about the only positive I've got right now.

I concur. I think we are improving each week. We will give GA more than a fight. Think this team will keep improving and go to a bowl and win. It looks like we are one of those teams that gets, forces turnovers and that will ocntinue, and we will stop the turnover mess on offense.

Vol-in-GA writes:

in response to maciste54:

Last year the Vols would have lost this game. That's about the only positive I've got right now.

Agreed. Last year when they got punched in the mouth, they'd quit.

ccjensen writes:

UT got Kiffened a few short years ago, and now Kiffen got Kiffened. As Pat Summit's dad told her, you can't race donkey's in the Kentucky Derby, and expect to win.

That is not to call UT's current footballers a bunch of donkeys, but as a whole, they are not Kentucky Derby eligible....in fact they couldn't even beat Kentucky.

Patience is not a characteristics that is abundance in sports, but we probably have no alternative. Jones seems to be the right person at the right time to start righting the ship, so we need to give him the time to do it....check in 2-3 years, not next week, as to whether we are on the right path.

allvol8 writes:

in response to ccjensen:

UT got Kiffened a few short years ago, and now Kiffen got Kiffened. As Pat Summit's dad told her, you can't race donkey's in the Kentucky Derby, and expect to win.

That is not to call UT's current footballers a bunch of donkeys, but as a whole, they are not Kentucky Derby eligible....in fact they couldn't even beat Kentucky.

Patience is not a characteristics that is abundance in sports, but we probably have no alternative. Jones seems to be the right person at the right time to start righting the ship, so we need to give him the time to do it....check in 2-3 years, not next week, as to whether we are on the right path.

Well said..this team has more fight and never give up attitude.

johnlg00 writes:

If anybody just looked at the raw numbers, it would be hard to have a whole lot of confidence in Worley. However, football is the ultimate team game. Worley has gotten a lot more pressure in his face than should be the case with an O-line thought by many to contain at least three future NFLers.

The receiving corps has yet to produce a consistent, let alone game-breaking, presence. Howard had a major hand in at least two of Worley's INTs. The first was on a pass to a triple-covered Howard that probably shouldn't have been thrown, but Howard didn't even raise his hands as if he never saw the ball. On the second one, Howard let up on his route--the pass was thrown where he would have been if he had just kept going. North and Croom, for all their size, strength, and speed still seem to have trouble getting open. Josh Smith can get open but needs to get stronger to make catches when he gets hit.

As another game article pointed out, there were positives Saturday, but the whole team clearly has a long way to go. I strongly disagree that it is at all likely they won't win another game as long as they stay reasonably healthy and their morale holds up.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

If anybody just looked at the raw numbers, it would be hard to have a whole lot of confidence in Worley. However, football is the ultimate team game. Worley has gotten a lot more pressure in his face than should be the case with an O-line thought by many to contain at least three future NFLers.

The receiving corps has yet to produce a consistent, let alone game-breaking, presence. Howard had a major hand in at least two of Worley's INTs. The first was on a pass to a triple-covered Howard that probably shouldn't have been thrown, but Howard didn't even raise his hands as if he never saw the ball. On the second one, Howard let up on his route--the pass was thrown where he would have been if he had just kept going. North and Croom, for all their size, strength, and speed still seem to have trouble getting open. Josh Smith can get open but needs to get stronger to make catches when he gets hit.

As another game article pointed out, there were positives Saturday, but the whole team clearly has a long way to go. I strongly disagree that it is at all likely they won't win another game as long as they stay reasonably healthy and their morale holds up.

I hope you are right about your last statement..right now..I think the Ky and Missouri games are winnable..not sure the Vandy game is at this point..Vandy was in the S Car game in the 4th qtr with a chance to win..they had Ole Miss beat with under 2 min and gave up a 75 yard TD to lose by about 4 points..may be a stretch ..but I think the Vols may still get 6 wins..as for the positives in this game ..when you are favored by 20 and your opponent has the ball on the 8 yard line with one play to tie or win..unfortunately..the negatives are stronger than the positives..

oldvol59 writes:

University of South Alabama (USA) vs. University of Tennessee. Had UT continued it’s epic 2nd half let down against USA that loss would have gone down in history like Appalachian State beating Michigan. It would have been a loss that would have lived on in history forever, NEVER to be lived down.

I have spent a lot of time working in Mobile, AL over the past 8 years or so. My company has a major office there. I know USA’s history intimately. They never had football before 2009. In 09 and 10 they played Prep Schools (think Excellent H.S. football) and other non-scholarship tiny colleges with football teams. They have only been playing other teams with scholarship athletes for two years. Now that I think about it a loss to USA would have been worse than Michigans loss to Appalachian State. Appalachian State has a rich history of football and have won national championships in their division.

There are bright sides to this victory that felt like a loss. One thing I have learned in my over 5 decades of being a Vol Fan is that these are kids. And they can play poorly one Saturday and fantastic the next. If UT’s own place kick holder had not blocked a UT field goal, had a TN offensive lineman not jumped offsides on another kicking play there was another probable 10 points. If Worley had just made a few better decisions, and if a frog had wings……

The next thing I learned gives me hope for ETSU and it’s efforts for revival of it’s Football program. ETSU and USA are similar Universities. They both have highly regarded medical schools, current and past excellence in other sports, and a distinctive campus. Maybe ETSU needs to be talking to USA instead of Phil Fulmer about how to go about bringing back a defunct football program.

OrangePride writes:

JA is right, the game raised plenty of doubts. But there were lots of doubts before the first kick off, so this is not new. To my mind, one of the BIGGEST question marks is this receiving corps. Their inconsistent route running, failure to get separation, and seeming lack of timing with Worley just hasn't improved much over the year. I know Worley can too often throw way off the mark and has recently had some woeful decisions. But the receivers aren't helping much either; and frankly, we have to play the cards in our hand cuase there's nothing in the deck much better. With the gauntlet ahead, I think we VOL fans are in for some tough times. We will just have to stick together, have patience, and hope for the best. If you need me for anything, I'm out back looking for bricks.

psychovol2 writes:

UT has fallen on tough times but it has hired a tough coach to right the ship. I do question if a QB coach is indicated. T may be available since his current boss finally got his comeuppance. If the Vols are ever eliminated as a bowl contender, I hope to only see Worley as a backup. I don't think he has Jonathan Crompton potential. Additionally, I can't help but wonder why the true freshmen aren't more ready if they're really was an open QB competition and they were getting coached up. Imagine if a mobile QB was afforded some of the holes that have been available on the outside.

murrayvol writes:

in response to cltvol:

I concur. I think we are improving each week. We will give GA more than a fight. Think this team will keep improving and go to a bowl and win. It looks like we are one of those teams that gets, forces turnovers and that will ocntinue, and we will stop the turnover mess on offense.

I applaud your optimism.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

If anybody just looked at the raw numbers, it would be hard to have a whole lot of confidence in Worley. However, football is the ultimate team game. Worley has gotten a lot more pressure in his face than should be the case with an O-line thought by many to contain at least three future NFLers.

The receiving corps has yet to produce a consistent, let alone game-breaking, presence. Howard had a major hand in at least two of Worley's INTs. The first was on a pass to a triple-covered Howard that probably shouldn't have been thrown, but Howard didn't even raise his hands as if he never saw the ball. On the second one, Howard let up on his route--the pass was thrown where he would have been if he had just kept going. North and Croom, for all their size, strength, and speed still seem to have trouble getting open. Josh Smith can get open but needs to get stronger to make catches when he gets hit.

As another game article pointed out, there were positives Saturday, but the whole team clearly has a long way to go. I strongly disagree that it is at all likely they won't win another game as long as they stay reasonably healthy and their morale holds up.

I think we'll win another game but it's going to be a month or so.

You're spot on about Howard. His posistion (slot) in CBJ's offense at Cincy caught 100 balls a year. He's got to start finishing routes and fighting for the ball.

SummerfieldVol writes:

In a little of Worley's defense it is hard to complete a pass when the defense is in the backfield before the receivers can run their routes. Terrible OF line play, Worley also has a hard time completing a pass when he is rolling out,when he sets his feet he does ok not good just ok. He plays like a 16 or 17 year old teen thinking they can throw the ball and complete any pass they throw. It does not matter the receiver is double or triple covered he has his mind already made up to who he is going to throw to, never looks the defensive back off one on one he has a good to better chance of completing a pass. He needs a lot of help in how to read a defense,how to find the open man. The ideal is to throw to the open man. The problem with the interceptions if you review them is not finding the open man. If a receiver is doubled or very closely covered you have to know someone is open. You either have the talent or ability to preform or you don't. It is hard to impossible to teach talent or speed. Yes the Dawgs will eat his lunch. Good to great teams will show you your weakness just like Oregon and Florida did.

murrayvol writes:

in response to psychovol2:

UT has fallen on tough times but it has hired a tough coach to right the ship. I do question if a QB coach is indicated. T may be available since his current boss finally got his comeuppance. If the Vols are ever eliminated as a bowl contender, I hope to only see Worley as a backup. I don't think he has Jonathan Crompton potential. Additionally, I can't help but wonder why the true freshmen aren't more ready if they're really was an open QB competition and they were getting coached up. Imagine if a mobile QB was afforded some of the holes that have been available on the outside.

While you're imagining think of Tajh Boyd under center. Thanks again Lane and good luck in your new job.

STEELMAN4VOLS writes:

in response to johnlg00:

If anybody just looked at the raw numbers, it would be hard to have a whole lot of confidence in Worley. However, football is the ultimate team game. Worley has gotten a lot more pressure in his face than should be the case with an O-line thought by many to contain at least three future NFLers.

The receiving corps has yet to produce a consistent, let alone game-breaking, presence. Howard had a major hand in at least two of Worley's INTs. The first was on a pass to a triple-covered Howard that probably shouldn't have been thrown, but Howard didn't even raise his hands as if he never saw the ball. On the second one, Howard let up on his route--the pass was thrown where he would have been if he had just kept going. North and Croom, for all their size, strength, and speed still seem to have trouble getting open. Josh Smith can get open but needs to get stronger to make catches when he gets hit.

As another game article pointed out, there were positives Saturday, but the whole team clearly has a long way to go. I strongly disagree that it is at all likely they won't win another game as long as they stay reasonably healthy and their morale holds up.

Good points. Worley needs help from both the line & recievers, and hopefully they can improve and not be de-moralized.

Volhead1 writes:

Fundamentals, gentlemen, basic fundamentals. Concentrating on the fundamentals will get us to where we need to be. Sorry to say it won't be this year, but I can hardly wait for the years to come.

GO VOLS!

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