Good day, Everyone,
It was a really good Home Coming Atmosphere in Knoxville last Saturday. I think the BEST Half Time Ceremony I have seen. The Bands (Pride of the Southland and Alumni) and Pipers were just OUTSTANDING!! I wish that I had the rendition of “Amazing Grace” on tape.
The game was a good change of pace for the Vols. A lot of backups played on both sides of the ball. Worley and the defense carried the team to an easy win.
My notes are going to take three things into consideration this week. First, in my opinion we are going into the two toughest games on our schedule the next two weeks. Early in the year I had thoughts that the Sooners, Dawgs, and Bama were going to be our real tests. Now it appears that Ole Miss is a bit tougher than the Dawgs. How well we play and how the team reacts to these games win or lose will have a major impact on how well we do the last four games of the season.
On that point, I think that barring injury the Vols can beat every team left on their schedule. If they do I will be surprised. The next two are the toughest and going to Columbia for the Gamecocks is next because we ruined their season last year. It will take the same kind of effort to beat them this year. The next two weeks could shape that game for both teams. One win in the next three is needed for a Bowl Bid in my opinion.
Second point, we played a lot of kids extensively for the first time. The Mocs were not as talented as the Vols player by player but they were a seasoned team and fundamentally sound on both sides of the ball. What did we see about our backups? A mixed bag is my answer to that question. The talent is there but as a whole they do not mesh as well and play as a unit like the first line players. This is especially true on defense. The DL did not maintain gap responsibility nor contain on the outside. The LB’s made some plays but did not limit the Mocs success like the first unit. The Mocs gashed them in the 4th QTR because they did not play as a unit.
RB Scott was getting his wheels moving. He found out that he cannot just go outside and beat everyone to the corner. As his carries increased he did better. Johnson at WR showed that he can be a primary piece of the offense if called upon. He made some good catches and ran good routes. He was able to make good plays because his routes were good and he was where he was supposed to be. I think that he did well enough that Butch will consider a Medical Redshirt for Josh.
Third Point, Special Teams? Their best game of the Year in all phases despite missing a FG. There were a lot of new kids on coverage units and they did well.
Finally, the SEC is showing the talent and depth that it has above all other conferences. The second half of the season has always been the hardest part of the season. On teams without depth the young players are dragging after game five and six. The road games and travel are killers for the new kids. There are no pushovers at Home.
Go Vols! Beat Ole Miss!!