Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Lincoln’
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It wasn't necessarily pretty, and it wasn't necessarily easy, but the Tennessee Volunteers managed to defeat the Ohio Bobcats 34 to 23. There were good things, less good things, and downright lousy things. On the whole, however, this game marked the continuation of Tennessee's long road of slow and steady progress back toward the top.
It was a win, and to each of the Vols and the coaching staff, I can only say one thing: mission accomplished (for this week, at least)...
The bad news is that Nick Reveiz is likely out for the rest of the season which will leave the Vols without a much needed leader and even thinner at linebacker. That one may hurt for quite a while.
The defense did not exactly have its best night tonight, but that happens every now and then. Quarterback Jonathan Crompton, however, seemed to feel a little more confident this week and -- on the whole -- looked pretty decent. That said, the wide receivers did not give Crompton much help as they were unable to break the Ohio coverage schemes to get open. Still, a decent night passing.
My gut tells me that -- though no one on the team will admit it -- there was probably a bit of an emotional and physical let down after the game against the Florida Gators last week which left the men in orange feeling a little deflated coming into today's game. It is really tough to maintain that level of intensity perpetually. So long as it does not become oa habit, I'm pretty much okay with that happening occasionally.
The other area of concern that stuck out like a sore thumb tonight was the break down of special teams coverage. While Daniel Lincoln notched a personal best nailing a 49-yard field goal, the kick coverage unit allowed a touchdown runback which simply never should have happened.
Still, it is a win.
Beats the hell out of a loss...
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This Week's Roundtable is hosted by: MoonDog Sports.com
Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, Once more unto the breach, dear friend…
Given the fact that I have been tied up with re-modeling and am just generally incompetent, HSH and I have decided to both jump in on the Roundtable and offer our points as a team. In the event we disagree, I’m wrong…
Here are our thoughts for the week:
1) In my mind, this season's success—or failure—centers around one man, Jonathan Crompton. What is your opinion of Crompton's ability to run Lane Kiffin's pro style offense? Can Crompton overcome his miserable 2008 season and lead the Vols to a winning record?
HSH: Crompton absolutely cannot be much worse, right? A common theme in the answers you're likely going to see here will say something along the lines of Crompton's main responsibility of managing the game—and doing quite a bit of handing the rock off. You would think that in Lane Kiffin's offense he won't be throwing the ball too much, assuming the Vols are able to run the ball well. Obviously the running game can help make Crompton's job easier, although the WR injuries this week aren't helping his Heisman hopes.
The optimist in me says that most of Crompton's issues last season were due to the overall overwhelming ineptitude of Dave Clawson's offense. However, the Auburn debacle, which I placed almost direct blame on Crompton, has me hesitant. Tennessee wasn't too far away from being at worst 8-4 last year , so even marginal improvement by #8 should get the Vols above 6 wins. I'm willing to give him another chance, but hopefully for everyone's sake he doesn't throw a pick or botch a handoff in the first series at Western Kentucky come September 5...
Lawvol: It’s a funny thing. Last year—based solely upon his performance while filling in for the injured Eric Ainge in 2006—I was expecting great things from Crompton. In fact, I was actually convinced that the Crompton would wow the Vol faithful with a new look as a mobile quarterback who is not afraid to make contact with defenders. At one point last year I actually predicted that, after an 8 or 9 win season in 2008, the Vols would potentially contend for a national championship in 2009 behind Crompton and the much vaunted Clawfense.
This proves two things. First, it shows that rising to the occasion in a moment of need—which I think Crompton did admirably while standing in for Ainge—is not the same thing as being a starter. The second thing it proves is that I am a moron.
All that said, I too agree that Crompton’s biggest goal is to just play cleanly. In 2008, there were times when it seemed likely that he might trip over the yardlines or deliver a handoff to a blitzing linebacker. Personally, I think that much of this owed to a fundamental lack of understanding of the Clawfense by the offense as a whole—which pretty much just peed down its leg for the entirety of the 2008 season. This is not to say that Dave Clawson was not a good coach or that the Clawfense could not work, it simply did not work in 2008 for the Vols.
Not to be overly critical, but Crompton does not (or at least has never shown) that he has the mental game of Eric Ainge or any of the other quarterbacks that preceded him in Orange. Crompton likes to play loose and makes plays based purely upon athletic ability and less upon great decision-making ability. As he made clear when filling in for Ainge (famously dropping his head and planting a “T” in the chest of an LSU defender), Crompton is an instinct guy. I don’t think he cares much for his mind getting in the way of him playing football. Perhaps that is why he often seemed to have the deer in the headlights look when trying to work through the permutations of the offense last year on the field. As a result he made bad decisions, held the ball for what seemed like ten minutes in the pocket, and generally failed to meet expectations. I just do not believe that he “got it.” Thus, I suppose the 2008 season was the proverbial “Perfect Storm” that was destined for disaster from an offensive perspective. On one hand there was an offense inspired by the theories of Niels Bohr and Stephen Hawking and on the other a quarterback who is not exactly known for his mental toughness.
If Kiffin and Jim Cheney can keep it simple, allowing Crompton to simply play, I continue to believe that he has the ability to be a decent quarterback. I actually think he has the ability to be a competent passer (that is if there are any receivers left for him to throw to), so long as the system is simple. For Crompton, I think it is all about just letting him play. Hopefully that is what they will let him do.
2) Last season, the kicking game was mediocre at best and the special teams—especially the punt coverage unit—was a disaster. Daniel Lincoln returns as the kicker and Chad Cunningham will return as the punter. What are your thoughts about the Vols kicking game and special teams?
HSH: When you bring up Tennessee and special teams, the first thing that comes into my mind is Florida's Brandon James. This is my senior year of college here at UT, and I've seen—in person—that little guy take a punt back on my Vols every year of my college career. That can't happen again, right? At least I won't be there in person if James does...
Will Kiffin kick to him? Or will the Vol offense be such a juggernaut that Tennessee won't have to punt or attempt anything more than extra points? Chad Cunningham punted well on occasion last year, but can he do that each and every kick? Daniel Lincoln right now has to cause lost sleep because he was pretty bad last season. Fortunately for him, Erik Ainge's pair of picks in the '07 SEC title game made people forget about Lincoln's pair of missed kicks, which seemingly was the beginning of his troubles. Hopefully he can break out of his funk.
As for the return game, I just hope Nu'keese Richardson is either doing punt returns or kick returns (or both). Remember the spark Dennis Rogan brought back in 2007? Yeah, having that would be nice.
Lawvol: Other than devotees to General Neyland’s Game Maxims, few people notice a kicker until they screw up. It’s all fun and games till the winds are a blowin’ and the refs are swinging their arms. That said, I actually believe that both Cunningham and Lincoln are more than talented enough to do the job—after all, Lincoln was an All American Selection in 2007. Still, last year was not a good one for the kicking teams. Kickers tend to be a bit fragile—one or two big misses and they lose their confidence. The best way for that to change is by not depending on field goals to win close games. In other words, put the ball in the checkerboards and the pressure is off Lincoln, giving him a chance to get his stride back. I think that, if given the opportunity to have a little success early in the season, he will find the mark again.
As for Cunningham, he has the distance, but seems to lack control and consistency. Given all of the upheaval within the team as whole last season, I am hopeful that this might have simply been a by-product of a fanbase in a feeding frenzy paired with a program stuck in the process of melting down. Confidence is everything for kickers and that comes from the top. Lane Kiffin is many things but is not short on confidence. I think this, along with the general change in attitude for the team as a whole will have a positive impact on the two most important toes on the team.
As for kick returns, things actually seemed okay at times last year, but there was no explosive threat on the return. I agree that Nu’keese Richardson might play a significant role here … if he is ready.
3) Tennessee's offensive line was thought to be a strength in 2008, but like the rest of the offensive unit, didn't perform well. What are your thoughts regarding the offensive line for 2009?
HSH: I think the returning lineman have gone on the record saying how much the flipping line offense threw them off, not to mention it gave away the direction of Tennessee's play to opposing defenses. So I would think the zone blocking schemes in the Kiffin offense would be easier and better for these guys. Anything is better than that silly line-flipping nonsense of the Clawfense, right?
The other issue is obviously depth. Tennessee is hardly a deep team anywhere save for the secondary, but the offensive line is a place where the depth issue maybe the most severe and most uncomfortable. The starting five: Chris Scott, Josh McNeil, Vlad Richard, Jacques McClendon and...? Behind them...? It's just a tad frightening what a injury here or there may mean.
Lawvol: After the 2007 season, the Vols were thought to have one of the best offensive lines in the country. After allowing only four sacks in 2007 that was an easy conclusion to reach. 2008, however was a four-cornered disaster on offense. The offensive line just never figured out whether they were supposed to pirouette, dip, or moonwalk when facing the onslaught of a defense under the Clawfense. Again, I’m not saying that Dave Clawson’s paradigm was a bad one, but it was not the right one for Tennessee in 2008.
Going back to what I said above, keep it simple, stupid. While The Full Monte—who Eric Berry refers to as the “Google of Defense”—is installing the “Tennessee Two” (which very well may be the most complex defense ever fielded by the Big Orange), Jim Cheney’s job has got to be making things simple. The fact of the matter is that a well-executed simple system will beat a razzle-dazzle, knock-em-stiff, approach which is fouled-up. “Simple,” however, does not have to mean “un-creative” or “one-dimensional”—given his experience at both Purdue and with the St. Louis Rams, where can i buy Cephalexin online, Order Cephalexin from mexican pharmacy, I imagine Cheney’s offense will be anything but boring. I also expect to see solid fundamentals by players who understand their role in the game. Accomplish those goals, and you are more than halfway to fixing the problem.
As for the issue of depth, Cephalexin long term, Cephalexin treatment, well, there are only so many bodies to fill the holes. Kiffin, kjøpe Cephalexin på nett, köpa Cephalexin online, Where to buy Cephalexin, however, has made a strong commitment to giving the players who work the hardest and show the drive the chance to win the starting position. I imagine that there will be a lot of jockeying for positions from hungry underclassmen for a shot at field time. One the whole, Cephalexin pictures, Cephalexin dose, I like the people we have, but if someone gets hurt things could get really interesting really quickly.
4) Tennessee finished 5-7 last season, Cephalexin photos, Buy Cephalexin from canada, a huge disappointment for a team expected to perform much better. How do you believe the Vols will finish in 2009?
HSH: I've got some SEC previews coming in the near future where I'll go on the record with my predictions for everybody, but I'll go ahead and give mine for the Vols here. Here's how the sked breaks down for me:
• 5 games to assume Tennessee should win: Western Kentucky, Cephalexin from canadian pharmacy, Taking Cephalexin, Memphis, Ohio, Cephalexin no prescription, Fast shipping Cephalexin, Vandy and Kentucky (because Tennessee never loses to Vandy or Kentucky).
• 3 games to assume Tennessee will lose: Florida (duh) and Alabama - measuring-stick games (how competitive will Tennessee be?)—and Ole Miss (road game, and they'll wanna get some revenge on Coach O).
• 4 toss-ups: UCLA, where can i cheapest Cephalexin online, Cephalexin dangers, Auburn, South Carolina, Cephalexin alternatives, Where can i buy cheapest Cephalexin online, and Georgia.
Fortunately, Tennessee gets the four toss-ups at home. The Vols are equal in talent or more talented than 3 of those teams. Tennessee should honestly pound UCLA like they should have last year, online buying Cephalexin, Buy cheap Cephalexin, and I have my doubts that Auburn and South Carolina can really come into Neyland Stadium and win. The Auburn game is especially key, for two reasons: first, order Cephalexin from United States pharmacy, Real brand Cephalexin online, it's the battle of the SEC coaching newbs, and losing at home to a coach whose own fanbase hated his hire (at first at least) probably wouldn't be good, Cephalexin from mexico, Cephalexin price, coupon, and second, it's the beginning of a stretch of big games (AU, Cephalexin from canada, Buy Cephalexin from mexico, UGA, Bammer, Cephalexin street price, Get Cephalexin, and SC).
That leaves Georgia. I'm not sure how good the Bulldogs will be this year, order Cephalexin online c.o.d, Comprar en línea Cephalexin, comprar Cephalexin baratos, but to expect Tennessee to win that game might be a little too much. So it's safe to assume UT beats UCLA, Auburn, Cephalexin schedule, Buy Cephalexin online cod, and Carolina, and loses to UGA, Cephalexin class. Buy cheap Cephalexin no rx, All that means 8-4 is a safe expectation.
Lawvol: Well, I’m going to be a sheep and go on the record that I believe that Tennessee will win one game that it is not supposed to: namely either Alabama or Florida. Most will think that I am crazy for that, Cephalexin over the counter, Cephalexin images, but I think Kiffin’s chutzpah gets them one off of sheer belief in the new system. On the other hand, I think they may likely have a chance of losing one they shouldn’t (to me, Cephalexin description, Cephalexin without prescription, Kentucky seems especially likely in that regard). I also do not think that the Ole Miss will be as big a deal as some think. I really do not believe that Ole Miss will have an axe to grind with Coach O since, after all, Cephalexin no rx, Generic Cephalexin, Ole Miss fired him.
In the end, 7-5 is a distinct possibility. I agree with HSH, however, that 8-4 is a safe expectation, but I believe that 9-3 is actually achievable. I’ll have a much better feeling, however, after the first week of the season when we get to see not just what the Vols have to offer, but what the other teams put on the field.
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on my largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):
- Rocky Top Talk
- 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- Vol Junkies
- Pigskin Pathos
- Bleeding Orange
- Loser With Socks
Also be sure to check out the round-up over at MoonDog Sports later this week…
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The 2009 Orange and White game has come and gone and now we have a little bit of an idea of what we should expect from the Tennessee Volunteers this fall. It was less than exciting—as most scrimmages are—but showed a brief glimpse of the 2009 Vols and what is on the horizon for Tennessee fans and haters alike.
Cephalexin For Sale, On the whole, it looked pretty good…
I was unable to attend the game in person, but got a chance to catch some of the replay on SportSouth last night. If you missed it, GVX now has a play-by-lay recap posted (HT: RTT). On the whole there were some nice things shown, as well as some areas that need a little improvement.
Here are my thoughts in semi-stream of consciousness mode:
First, the running game looks strong. Montario Hardesty, Toney Williams, and Taurean Poole all looked solid running behind the offensive line. The run game was quick and crisp and seemed to have far more of a “north-south” orientation than it has in years past. The addition of incoming freshmen Bryce Brown and David Oku this fall should only improve this squad. Runningbacks coach Eddie Gran will have a very deep pool of talent with which to work, which is nice for a change. At this point, it seems likely that Tennessee’s primary offensive attack will come on the ground. After the 2008 campaign, I’m just glad that there is a primary offensive attack.
Second, the secondary—led by All-world Eric Berry at safety—appeared ready to be Tennessee’s lead squad of playmakers. While I realize that this was little more than a spring scrimmage, it seems possible that the Vols secondary this fall could be one of the best ever to wear the orange. That said, it seemed that the backs were playing a little soft either due to the scrimmage environment or due to their being in the process of learning the Full Monte’s new system.
Third, the offensive line looked good at run blocking, but less so when it came time for the pass. It would be nice to see improvement on pass blocking since our quarterback play is “average” at best at the moment. The offensive line must find ways to give the quarterbacks a little time to throw, lest the Vols become a one-directional run-only offense. Still, on the whole, it appears that there is the making of a strong unit.
Fourth, the defensive line—especially when paired with the strength of the secondary—looks tough. This line has clearly bought-in to a more aggressive style of play. This is refreshing, and could be extremely impressive if the linemen continue to work on making smart decisions when it comes to attacking. Still, at this point the d-line—especially Chris Walker and Montori Hughes—looks solid.
Fifth, the receiving corps, seemed more than capable to get open, make the catch, and add yards after the fact. Gerald Jones and Quintin Hancock looked particularly solid. The addition of Denarius Moore and Brandon Warren as third and fourth options further bolster this group. At this early point, Jones appears to be the top receiver, but fortunately there is more than one target.
Sixth, the quarterbacks continue to look fairly erratic. This does not really surprise me (or anyone else for that matter, I imagine) after the disastrous quarterback play seen in 2008. It appears that Jonathan Crompton is the likely starter, but that might change considering that Nick Stephens was plagued by wrist problems throughout the spring. The addition of 23 year-old quarterback Mike Rozier, who has been playing pitcher in the Boston Red Sox for the past several years, might change that dynamic a bit, but considering he will be coming in green (with four years of eligibility), it seems unlikely that he will immediately rocket to the top. Stranger things, however, have happened. One way or the other, it seems apparent that the pass game will be as simple and as error-free as possible. “Keep it simple, keep it clean” seems to be the mantra. If the quarterbacks can accomplish this, then they might just do okay.
Finally, the special teams, are a bit of a question in my mind. Punter Chad Cunningham was more than capable, but kicker Daniel Lincoln continued his slide by missing a makeable field goal. This team is likely to need field goals a fair amount this fall, thus this is quite concerning. Hopefully, Lincoln will find his range from 2007 again and return to form. If not, his inconsistency could spell trouble for the Vols in tight games.
In the end, this team is a work in progress. They are unlikely to be world-beaters this fall, but do appear to be in position to lay a solid foundation on which to build for the future. Furthermore, as they become more and more familiar with Lane Kiffin’s new system things should become more automatic and more graceful. More importantly, both the players and the coaches looked as if they were actually enjoying themselves. As an outsider, it seemed that the team as a whole likes the course that the “Kiffin Chimera” has set.
On the whole, I am encouraged by what I saw and how the Vols performed. Will this team win the SEC East in 2009? Not likely, but possible. Will they finish at the bottom? Doubtful. The real question is how they will do in tight games. If they fold, then the Vols can expect at least three or four losses. If they rise to the occasion … well … they might just surprise a few people.
Either way, I am already looking forward to the 5 September kickoff…
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Well, that is why they play them...
A heavily favored Tennessee squad walked into the Rose Bowl, and will be limping home trying to figure out what went wrong -- and make no mistake, something went terribly wrong.
On the whole, it was a tale of two halves -- the Vols owned the first-half, the Bruins the second. Well, at least the Vols should have owned the first-half. After grabbing 4 first-half interceptions, the Vols had a paltry 14 points at the end of the first half.
In the end, however, UCLA rallied the troops and fought down the stretch and managed to take the lead with only seconds left in the game. The anemic Tennessee offense seemed down for the count, but Jonathan Crompton managed the team as well as he had all night, leading the Orange down the field for a Daniel Lincoln field goal to tie the game at 24 with 5 seconds on the clock.
Many in Big Orange Country felt they had just dodged a bullet -- given Tennessee's record in overtime games. They were even more buoyed up with hope after the Tennessee defense -- which had flailed about unsuccessfully in the fourth-quarter -- allowed no yards in overtime.
But that is why they play them...
After gaining a net of 8 yards, Daniel Lincoln came on to attempt a 34-yard field goal attempt to send the game into a second overtime. The kick sailed wide left, and with it went the Vols hopes of coming out strong to start the season.
Final Score: UCLA 27 Tennessee 24
Obviously, once I've had a little time to think about the game, I am sure I'll have more thoughts for everyone out there to ignore. That said, here are my initial thoughts.
Until the fourth-quarter, I would have given the defense excellent marks. They played with more aggressive tenacity than I have seen any Tennessee team play with in the first game of the season in at least a decade. They looked well prepared and well coached -- until late in the game I'd have given them an "A" for the game.
Four interceptions is always a nice statistic, but so was the 2 first downs that UCLA managed in the first-half. The Vols were hard-hitting and focused.
Once UCLA managed to find its legs in the fourth-quarter, however, they started running roughshod over the Tennessee defense, with a workmanlike drive using short screen passes and a quick tempo. At many times, the Vol defense seemed poorly schemed late in the game, rushing 4 and 5 on each play rather than trying to stop the screens. That said, the biggest problem it appeared they were dealing with was fatigue due to the fact they had been on the field far longer than they should have been in the fourth.
Thus, I am not going to mark the squad down too much (since it was the first game and due to the offensive woes) -- the fact is that they gave a great effort. The defense showed that they have what it takes to be a really excellent squad this year -- potentially one of the best in the SEC -- once they get a chance to gel and play together a little more.
In the end, I'm giving them a C+ / B-.
OffenseI'm not even going to try to breakdown all of the problems that the Vols had on offense...
I realize that Tennessee has a new quarterback and a new offensive scheme. I expected there to be some growing pains. I did not expect the Vols to rely upon their defense to win games -- by scoring all the points.
It was bad, it was very bad...
I am not ready to decide where I think the problem lies, but the Vols showed a real lack of ability to move the ball consistently. Crompton had a horrible time throwing the ball when under pressure -- to the point of being completely ineffective. Both Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty showed flashes of brilliance at times in the running game, but at other times were unable to make real gains.
At this early point after the game, all I can say is that there is much work to be done on offense.
At this point, I'm giving the offense a D.
Daniel Lincoln missed three field goal attempts, but only one of which he really should have hit -- unfortunately, that one was the one which really mattered. The punt unit also gave up a block, which led to an immediate touchdown. The kick return unit, however, showed some real fire and the potential for some big plays down the stretch.
This unit needs to work on some things, but they appear to, at least, be on the right track.
For now, I'm giving them a C-.
There is so much more to discuss and think about after this game -- which is always the case with a loss. I am not going to try to do it tonight.
I will however, say one thing:
This is only the first game of the season -- don't give up on the Vols yet. Despite the problems they had tonight, they never gave up. They have earned the chance to redeem themselves...
I, along with Home Sweet Home, will have more on this game in the coming days, but in the meantime -- though I am disappointed -- all I can say is Go Vols!