This season is lost though it’s not over: The Tennessee/Alabama Grade book
Posted by Thomas the Terrible on October 27, 2008
If a picture is worth a thousand words then the above photo is clearly a copy of War & Peace. Quite honestly that is also what best describes this season. The fans are at war with the coach and Fulmer is constantly trying to bring peace.
The Phreaky Phil-Osophy show goes on and on and on while the status of the Tennessee Football program goes down.
A lot of Tennessee fans had a “gut feeling” about this game. That feeling turned out to be a mirage of hope. This team is bad, no make that dreadful.
No matter how this rest of this season plays out Tennessee will not beat a major rival. This was the first time Tennessee has lost consecutive games to Bama in the Fulmer era. It’s another clear sign that it’s time for a coaching change.
“I’m obviously very disappointed,” said Fulmer. “We’re in a battle from top to bottom, whether it’s recruiting or whatever. But I’m more concerned about our team right now.”
Tennessee is just 6-14 against ranked teams over the last four years and a stunning 1-9 at home against the Top 10 this decade.
If a storied NFL team like the Cowboys can cut ties with a coach that gave them 2 Super Bowl victories and 5 appearances, then surely Tennessee can cut ties with Fulmer. Bring in some fresh blood and reawaken this program.
Of course Phil continues with saying the right things.
“All I know,” Fulmer said, “is we’ll keep working to get it fixed.”
Where have I heard that before?
Let’s look at these weeks grades and see just what needs fixing.
Stephens still has not turned the ball over since he took the job from Crapton Crompton. He was 16 of 28 for 137 yards. However he made some questionable throws and missed some open wide receivers.
RUNNING BACKS D
36 rushing yards. Pathetic. Absolutely no explosive runs. I do credit Hardesty for making a first down due to second effort
Clearly Gerald Jones was missed and fears of seeing Chavis in drag allowed Eric Berry only one opportunity on offense. Taylor and Stocker each had drops. I’m not going to blame Taylor for the offensive pass interference penalty though, that was total BS.
OFFENSIVE LINE F
Though this group got a good push in short yardage situations, they also had two penalties at critical times.
DEFENSIVE LINE C+
Robert Ayers continues to shine. The game score could have turned out different if Dan Williams didn’t suffer an injury.
Even though Rico McCoy had 13 tackles he often knocked on his ass and they were so far down field that it didn’t make much of a difference. Ellix Wilson had nine stops as well.
Eric Berry had 11 tackles and laid the wood on several Bama players. DeAngelo Willingham was picked on by Bama forcing man-to-man coverage to stop the run.
SPECIAL TEAMS C
LaMarcus Thompson forced fumble on a Bama punt that was recovered by Rogan at the five yard line. Colquitt had a productive night though he shanked a punt that was costly. Lincoln Logs missed a 51 yard field goal, but I’m not going to blame him for that because that’s clearly out of his range, but he should have made that 43 yard attempt.
The A is for the defense. Considering they received zero help from the offense they deserve it. Offensively Clawson called a boring and horrid game. When the VOLS needed big plays the calls were not made.
Though the defense was solid and the special teams were productive, the offense is awful and laughable. The penalties that the offensive committed during opportunistic situations took points off the board.
A look ahead:
South Carolina is next week and believe it or not I think Tennessee should win this game. South Carolina’s run game is actually worse than ours. Stephens has an advantage due to the fact he protects the ball by not throwing interceptions and not fumbling. This should be a low scoring affair. Both defenses are equally good but I believe our secondary is considerably better.