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October 4, 2007

The Enemy Perspective: Q&A with Vol Blogger Part 2

Kyle King at, Doug at HeyJennySlater and I swapped questions with Joel from RockyTopTalk and CornFromaJar at AOL's Vol FanHouse. Below, I have answers to my questions about the Vols from Joel.

Image: Hipple

1. What are you most worried about Georgia doing?
2. What is UT most vulnerable to?
Joel: Let me combine my answers to Nos. 1 and 2. Tennessee is 91st in the nation (10th in the SEC) in net punting. Unless Britton Colquitt kicks the thing into the Tennessee River, Mikey Henderson, who's 22nd in the nation (3rd in the SEC) in punt returns, will run to the end zone and will not have to wash his jersey for next week. But the punting game isn't the only thing. Normally, we wouldn't be all that concerned about a rushing offense that is 41st in the nation and 6th in the SEC, but this year, with a rush defense that is 88th in the nation, Georgia's backs figure to absolutely trample us, keeping Erik Ainge and the league's best passing offense off the field

3. Is the Vol run defense as bad as it has looked at times this year? Are there extenuating circumstances?
Joel: Unconditionally and unequivocally, no -- we're much, much worse. Eighty-eighth nationally and 9th in the SEC is bad, bad, bad for a Tennessee defense. Our d-linemen get pushed around so much that opposing running backs are practically launched out of the backfield, which proves troublesome to linebackers and defensive backs that haven't yet learned to tackle even under normal circumstances.

4. If Georgia wins the game, how many Vol coaches ultimately get fired at year end?
Joel: These guys are in it together. With the possible exception of Trooper Taylor, I think they're all either going or staying, and while the Georgia game will figure prominently into the end result, it's not the only factor. A loss, though, would likely foretell more losses down the road, and the cumulative effect of those losses will decide their collective fate.

5. Can the Vols realistically still win the East?
Joel: Mathematically possible, yes. Within the realm of actual possibility, uh, yes, I guess. The team's offense is sharp, the running game is improved with Coker in the backfield, the secondary is growing up, and the defense's worst problem is tackling, which you'd think could be fixed. Plus, our two toughest games are probably behind us. Realistic? No. The team has too many problems to expect them to be fixed all at once, and there are too many difficult opponents ahead.

6. With Randy Sanders' incredible success in developing Andre Woodson (who looked like a complete bum his first two years), does that reflect negatively on Fulmer? Or said differently, how are Vol fans reacting to UK's rise and their offensive success?
Joel: I don't think it reflects negatively on Fulmer. I've said all along that Season of Which We Do Not Speak wasn't all Sanders' fault. Keep in mind, too, that Fulmer didn't fire Sanders -- Sanders
fell on his sword. I think that most Vol fans recognize all of this and are genuinely happy for the success Sanders is having with Woodson at Kentucky. That may change come November 24, but most fans don't begrudge him anything

Thanks Joel.


Anonymous said...

Sanders "fell on his sword"?? Damn, that had to hurt!!

Georgia Bulldogs

Chris said...

he was trying to do "sword" push-ups.

I'm glad we're still "underdogs"

Anonymous said...

All that poor-mouthing is a little overdone. TN is going to be fired up as hell and looking for blood. It will be a damn war and our boys had better be ready or the results will be painful.

Throw stats out the window folks - this one is going to be tough.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Chinese villages who endured the Huang He flood of 1931 think the Vols are over-sandbagging.

Rocky Top Talk said...

Maybe, maybe not. I'm telling you, we have not been able to stop the run this season or last. At some point, I think we'll get it figured out. I just don't know that it will be this week.

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