Rocky start…that is as pleasant as I can say it. The Volunteers came out and embarrassed the University of Tennessee, its fans, and more importantly the Southeastern Conference. One of only two SEC teams to go down this week.
Offense- Amazingly awful, most would come out and put this on Crompton after he turned in a less than impressive 19 of 41 0 TD 1 INT performance, but I just can’t do that to the kid. But you know who I can attack is the five returning starters on the O line, they looked like swiss cheese out there. An O line who only surrendered four sacks last season left Crompton running for his life. Secondly, Arian Foster, the fumbling woes continue, this kid is suppose to be a senior and a leader for the Vols and he looked like a rookie.
Defense- I can’t blame the players, we have the most talented secondary in the land and they showed it in the 1st half with 4 picks, can’t blame Berry and the boys when their offense can’t make points out of turnovers. Speaking of Eric Berry he looked like a beast as expected and is going to make history before he leaves Tennessee despite the mediocrity of the program. D line also created good pressure in the first half.
Special Teams- return game looked good for the first time in a long time, I give credit where it is due. Punt team you have got to be joking, I could have blocked that punt, they stepped aside and let that play change the entire pace of the game. Daniel Lincoln, I will give him the two 50+ yarders, it happens, and great job sending this one to extra innings, but come on the missed OT field goal is inexcusable. And I have to say I was shocked because Lincoln was clutch last season.
Coaching- Halftime adjustments, who needs them, this must be Fat Phil’s stand on that matter. He brought the Vols in completely unprepared and flat in the second half as if the Bruins were just going to lay down and die for “Phillip the Great.” Offenses given enough time will always find holes in a zone defense and UCLA did exactly that, talent only gets you so far. Do I recall seeing the G gun package with sophomore Gerald Jones tear up an LSU national championship defense in the SEC title game last year…I believe so and Phil’s old school style sees a few successful looks and puts it away in his “bag of tricks” for another day. The game is quickly passing old Phil by and will continue to inless he quits living in the past.
Overall thoughts after week one: Its sink or swim time Vols, you get two weeks to prepare for AUB who you better not over look then Florida comes to town who we haven’t beaten in years. Hardesty might need to get a little more love with carries with Senior “leader” Foster struggling. Lincoln better toughen up and his press clipping fall on deaf ears and prove the upset Orange faithful and myself wrong in the coming weeks.
Next week: off week, following UAB comes to Fort Neyland.
Prediciton: Vols thump UAB, UT-38 UAB-17