I usually wait for the full stats to come out to do these, but I am super pumped right now! The Vols went to Atlanta, and took care of busines. Yo Georgia Dome! Suck it! Honestly I never even felt like that game was in Atlanta, what a glorious start to the season. Was it perfect? No of course not, first games never are, but against a quality opponent, on a neutral field, that’s the best opening game for UT since Cal in 2006.
Oh and the last 1:18 of the first quarter? Best short stretch I’ve seen in a LONG time. That was incredible. Now the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Lots of things to like here: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter, the front seven. Take your pick. Personally, I am going to go with the front 7. I expected the Vols to be able to move it through the air, and they did. Would it have been nice to see Da’Rick Rogers out there? Sure, three athletic freaks is better than two, but the Vols showed they’ll be ok in that department.
I loved what the front seven did. Mike Glennon was rattled a lot tonight, and even though the Vols didn’t get a lot of sacks, they put tons of pressure on Glennon. Daniel McCullers filled up the middle and allowed Jacques Smith, Curt Maggitt, and AJ Johnson to do there thing. Corey Miller got quality time. Dan Hood and Mo Couch were also disruptive. A shout-out to Couch in particular. He seemed to be everywhere tonight. I don’t know who the NC State center is, but I bet he is glad to be done with big Mo. It was truly a good performance by the Volunteer front seven, and with a new defensive scheme to boot! Yeah Glennon threw four picks and turned the ball over a fifth time, but the Prentiss Waggner pick was caused by serious pressure in Glennon’s face.
This might sound strange in light of getting four picks, but I didn’t think the secondary was real good tonight. (I am looking at you Byron Moore). But I can’t give a bad award based on that. So I am going with the Tennessee Running backs. I know as a team the Vols had 194 yards rushing, but 67 of that came on Patterson’s end-around. Rajion Neal was underwhelming at best. Devrin Young was ineffective in the backfield as well.Marlin Lane was ok. But ok isn’t going to be good enough. UT still needs to run the ball better.
Game wise- the refs blew the touchdown call at the end of the first half. That could’ve made this game effective over at the half. But the ugliest thing I saw was Herman Lathers on the bench with his arm in a sling. I didn’t like that at all. I feel terrible for that kid. I hope he can play soon, for his sake.