I got a chance to attend the game this Saturday at Fort Neyland where to University of Tennessee Volunteers moved to 1-1 with their win over UAB with the final score of 35 to 3. The score in my opinion hardly reflected the game, if you asked me I would say the Vols looked less than impressive.
This saturday should have been almost scrimmage-like for the Volunteer offense, more of a preparation than a competition. The offense despite putting up five touchdowns still struggled. The offensive line is still struggling to protect Johnathan Crompton who continues to make bad decisions when rushed. He forced more throws this week and in doing so turned the ball over two more times. Although he did throw a pair of beautiful fades to Gerald Jones in the first half. The running game certainly didn’t struggle this weekend putting up big yardage but the Blazer’s defense was hardly a test. Montario Hardesty certainly looked explosive this week with a pair of TD’s, Foster might be getting the glory if he had break away speed, but Arian seems to slow after the initial boost and gets dragged down from behind. The depth at running back will be key next week as the vols need to get going on the ground early. Credit Luke Stocker for a handful of John’s incompletions this week, he watched three balls drop out of his hands like a bad habit this week, completely unacceptable.
The defense was so-so, secondary stellar, rushing worrisome. The QB draw success is an obvious concern going into next week against the Gators and Tebow. Eric Berry is no doubt one of the best athletes on the Tennessee football team and in the SEC. Sporting a mohawk Berry accounted for another plus in the turnover margin for the vols, making it three ints in two showings. There was a few missed tackles which could present a problem but easily fixable with a kick in the butt. The linebackers looked decent especially with staying home on a few reverses and pitches in the backfield which is good considering how Florida run’s their defense.
Moving on, the story for Daniel Lincoln this week, sure no shots at any field goals this week but flawless from fifteen. The return game was mediocre this week, the volunteers have yet to find a big time return man, it might be time to let Berry or Jones hall in a few and take it back to the house. And the coverage team better be on their toes with Brandon James coming to town, they also were lackluster this week.
Phil and the coaching staff had a better weak after taking Tennessee to UCLA and getting embarrassed. It was a definite worry of mine that the vols would overlook the Blazer’s this week but luckily we got out with the W. Phil Fulmer got a little out of character this week going for the fourth and one on the very first possession, but why a pass? They even got the depth chart involved, Nick Stephens stepped up and enjoyed his experience this Saturday.
Overall, the Vols definitely have not made the progress I was looking for after almost two weeks off. The offense has got to find some type of rhthym before next weekend.
Volball…see you on the River.