Vols to face 8-1 Auburn for Homecoming 2013

Saturday at noon, the Tennessee Volunteers will face an 8-1 Auburn team in Neyland Stadium. Saturday is Homecoming for the University of Tennessee so the stadium will be close to capacity with students and alumni alike.

The Auburn Tigers have been playing with a fire in started their season a perfect 3-0. They were handed their first loss in their fourth game to LSU. The tough road loss lit a fire under the Tigers as they’ve gone 5-0 since. Auburn has scored at least 30 points every week since the loss including a staggering 15 rushing touchdowns. The passing game has lacked all season as the Tigers are 98th in overall passing yards. The Volunteers will look to their veteran offensive line to stifle the versatile rushing attack and force Tigers’ quarterback Marshall to throw.

All of this season’s wins for the Vols have come inside Neyland Stadium. Team 117 seems to play above their talent when at home, losing to Georgia in overtime and ousting 11th ranked South Carolina with a game winning field goal from senior Michael Palardy. In front of what promises to be a full house, true freshman Joshua Dobbs will have his first home start for the Volunteers. Dobbs’ mobility will provide an extra dimension to the Vols’ offense and his cool demeanor will keep the Vols in the game right to the end.

The Auburn Tigers look to upset royalty at Saturday’s Homecoming game for the Volunteers. However, coming into Neyland Stadium with a top 15 ranking has spelled near disaster for more than one team this year.

Edited by: Will Lomas

Late rally not enough for Vols

Despite Tennessee’s first half woes, the Vols were in position to win the game with 6:09 left in the game.

The Vols had reduced the Florida lead to 14 points until a costly Justin Worley interception ended the game.

Worley was only on the field after an inept performance by Nathan Peterman, who had been selected as the starter before the game. Peterman posted a 4-11 day managing only five yards, two interceptions, and one fumble.

The offensive line, usually a spot of pride for Tennessee, had a rough outing against a dynamic Florida front. James Stone in particular had a tough outing against the pride of the Gator defensive line, Dom Easley. Most say rushing yards is the telling stat for the offensive line, and the Vols only managed 66 yards on 23 attempts.

The defense was really the positive for the Vols this week, despite the score reading 31-17. The Tennessee defense forced two fumbles and a pick-six, and held the Gators in check for much of the day. If the Vols hadn’t turned the ball over so many times on offense then this game could have turned out differently.

Aside from the late game interception, Worley had an admirable performance off the bench. He hit receivers in the hands routinely and showed a “never-give-up” attitude. Worley ended the game with 10-22, for 149 yards, a TD, and 2 INTs. Keep in mind that most of his incompletions came late when he was trying to get chunks of yardage to even up the game.

Another praiseworthy Vol was Alton “Pig” Howard. Howard had four receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Howard made big catches in big spots, and he was the rare bright spot on the Tennessee offense.

The Vols will regroup against South Alabama before getting into the “meat” of their schedule, which includes seven SEC teams in a row.

 

 

Oregon tramples Tennessee in 59-14 Vols Loss.

The Volunteers looked to be off to a good start after a 7-0 early lead, however that didn’t last long.

Oregon opened up the throttle on their up-tempo offense and beat the Vols in a staggering 59-14 loss.

Oregon’s balanced offense was too much for the Vols to handle. In the first half alone the Vols allowed 38 points and over 450 yards. Both numbers were higher than the Vols had allowed in the entirety of either of their last contests.

On offense the Vols looked futile early and often. Junior QB Justin Worley ended the day going 13-25 for just 126 yards and a TD, but the stats don’t tell the story. Worley led the Vols to just five third down conversions on 15 tries. Worley’s passes were off target and he put the Vols in bad spots when he was asked to pass on early downs.

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota on the other hand was exceptional, seemingly getting first downs at will. Mariota passed for four TDs and more than 450 yards, while only missing 10 passes all game. He also was a factor on the ground racking up 27 yards and a TD.

Butch Jones and the coaching staff made very poor decisions punting as many times as they did. At one point the Ducks had seven straight touchdown drives that started from Tennessee punts.

One interesting and possibly positive note, is by the beginning of the fourth quarter the Vols started using freshman quarterback Nathan Peterman. Peterman wasn’t spectacular, but the move alone was a statement that Butch Jones wouldn’t settle for mediocrity and that he isn’t afraid to pull starters after bad performances.

The Vols will have a chance to redeem themselves against Florida 3:30, Sept. 21 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Butch Jones first coach since Fulmer to open 2-0

It was fitting that Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones opened his post-game press conference with General Neyland’s second Maxim.

After all, it was Jones’s second win in as many weeks. It also was only the second time in the last decade that the Volunteers have had a head coach start 2-0.

The Tennessee defensive unit was the star of this game. Between the five interceptions and the two forced fumbles, the Volunteers managed to take the ball away from the Hilltoppers seven times. That is the most turnovers forced by a Volunteer defense since 1984.

Defensive MVP honors should be given to Brian Randolph, though both Cam Sutton and Justin Coleman should also get consideration. Randolph posted eight tackles tied for second among Tennessee players and two interceptions, which lead the Vols. Sutton and Coleman both managed to return interceptions for touch downs, but Coleman managed six tackles and Sutton got only four.

Offensively it was not a promising day for QB Justin Worley. The starting QB was hovering around a 33% completion percentage at halftime, but he did manage to rally eventually ending the game 11-19 with a TD and an INT.

The majority of the offense came from an efficient running game. The offensive line and running back’s seemed to be on different pages early, but as the game progressed the Vols really came together. By the end of the game, 63% of the team’s offensive yards had come from the running game. In terms of scoring, 80% of the touchdowns were on the ground.

The offensive Co-MVP honors go to Antonio Richardson and Rajion Neal. Richardson continued to hold pass rushers at bay on the left side of the line, and Neal was responsible for three of the four rushing TDs for the home team.

Special teams had an up and down day. The good news for Tennessee was kicker Michael Palardy pinned WKU inside the one yard-line early in the game. Also despite missing their starting kick returner (Devrin Young) the Vols had a good day returning the ball, culminating in a return to the 40-yard line to start the second half. The bad news for Tennessee was a blocked punt late in the second quarter. Michael Palardy didn’t look deep enough and ended up having an errant defender come in and block the kick.

The Volunteers now look ahead to an Oregon team known for tempo and team speed, and the must cross the country to face them.

UT to ban backpacks on game days at Neyland Stadium

by News Sentinel Staff

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Jennifer Brake/TNJN

Fans gearing up for Saturday’s season opener will not be allowed to bring backpacks into Neyland Stadium, University of Tennessee officials confirmed Monday.

UT Police Chief Troy Lane plans to talk about the new policy at a news conference this afternoon with the Knoxville Police Department outside the stadium.

UT has long banned bags larger than 12 square inches, officials said.

The policy change follows similar moves across college football. The University of Kentucky announced last week it would not allow backpacks and large bags into Commonwealth Stadium. Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Vanderbilt all have similar rules, said a UTPD spokeswoman.

Read the full article on knoxnews.com.