Posts Tagged ‘Rico McCoy’

Giving Your All, the Rough and Tumble Way

No Pass Out Checks | Gate 21

It’s been a bumpy couple of weeks for the Tennessee Volunteers and their fans, on that there is little room for debate.

First, the Vols lost to Florida in a “moral victory” which amounts to losing gallantly.  The Vols then went on to beat a scrappy Ohio Bobcats team in less than runaway style, but as I said at the time: “a win is a win.”  Then, this past weekend, the men in orange were bested by the Auburn Tigers and Gus Malzahn’s semi-deranged (but highly effective) form of offense.  Finally, Lane Kiffin gave Brandon Warren his walking papers as a result of what Kiffin described as “conduct detrimental to our team.”

For my part, I have had little to offer on these issues due to my ridiculously overloaded schedule.  Trust me when I say that it was not for lack of desire or lack of observations that I have been so quiet.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) I now have a little time to pontificate, so here we go…

Auburn and “Johnnie Cochran” Offense

Gus Malzahn is either a genius or a madman depending on whether you are a fan of the Tigers or are their opponent.  His offensive sets are as entropy-filled and outlandish as they are effective.  One of the keys to its function is to make an opposing defense deal with the constant distraction of the seemingly endless arsenal of quasi-trick plays that it includes.  This bevy of distractions vying for the attention of opposing defenses, reminds me of pretty much every argument ever made to a jury by Johnnie Cochranfocusing on the distraction rather than the fact.

Still, there is a lot of fact to Malzahn’s ability to mask his plays and to run unconventional sets regularly and successfully.  I personally cannot remember seeing a game which featured as many reverses and double-reverses as the Tennessee — Auburn contest.  I know that I have never seen a true pooch punt (seemingly taken right out of General Neyland’s own playbook from the 1930s) in person.  To Malzahn’s credit, he has taken a lackluster unit that barely produced anything other than narcolepsy in 2008 and transformed them into a machine which scores tons of points and gives defenses fits.

Read the rest of this entry

2009 Vols Football Roster

The 2009 Vols Football Squad

All data and information courtesy of UT Sports.com
Navigation: Coaching StaffAssistant Coaches2009 Alphabetical RosterThe TennesseeumReturn to Top

football bullet Coaching Staff

Name Title
Lane Kiffin Head Coach
Ed Orgeron Assistant. Head Coach • Recruiting Coordinator • Defensive Line Coach
Monte Kiffin Defensive Coordinator
Jim Chaney Offensive Coordinator • Tight Ends

football bullet Assistant Coaches

Name Title Name Title
James Cregg Offensive Line Willie Mack Garza Defensive Backs
Eddie Gran Running Backs • Special Teams David Reaves Quarterbacks
Lance Thompson Linebackers Frank Wilson Wide Receivers

football bullet 2009 Alphabetical Roster

No.
Name
Pos.
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
Exp.
Hometown (Prev School)
36
Anthony Anderson
DB
6-1
179
So.
Sq.
Knoxville (Austin-East)
60
Carson Anderson
C
6-2
267
Fr.
RS
Florence, Ala. (Florence)
47
Jerod Askew
LB
6-1
230
Fr.
HS
Chesapeake, Va. (Oscar Smith HS)
39
Ben Bartholomew
TE
6-2
250
So.
1L
Nashville (Montgomery Bell Academy)
14
Eric Berry
DB
5-11
203
Jr.
2L
Fairburn, Ga. (Creekside)
86
Willie Bohannon
DE
6-2
230
Fr.
RS
Mobile, Ala. (Blount)
63
Minor Bowens
OL
6-3
293
Jr.
Tr.
Memphis (Tennessee State Univ.)
54
William Brimfield
OT
6-5
346
So.
Sq.
Norway, S.C. (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler)
11
Bryce Brown
RB
6-0
215
Fr.
HS
Wichita, Kan. (Wichita East HS)
94
Wes Brown
DT
6-4
257
Sr.
3L
Athens, Ala. (Athens)
11
Todd Campbell
WR
6-0
186
So.
Sq.
Nashville (Franklin)
9
Bram Cannon
QB/H
6-2
195
Sr.
1L
Memphis (Briarcrest)
45
Kevin Cooper
FB
6-0
247
Jr.
1L
Chattanooga (Baylor)
80
Jeff Cottam
TE
6-8
260
Sr.
3L
Germantown (Germantown)
Geoff Courtney
WR/H
6-1
180
Jr.
Sq.
Knoxville (Farragut)
53
Morgan Cox
DS
6-4
226
Sr.
2L
Collierville (Evangelical Christian
8
Jonathan Crompton
QB
6-4
228
Sr.
3L
Waynesville, N.C. (Tuscola)
96
Chad Cunningham
P/PK
6-3
198
Jr.
2L
Dawsonville, Ga. (Dawson County)
Albert Davies
DB
5-10
200
Jr.
Tr.
Charlotte, N.C., (Middle Tennessee State)
19
Chris Donald
LB
6-1
224
So.
Sq.
Huntingdon (Huntingdon)
78
Aaron Douglas
OT
6-6
282
Fr.
RS
Maryville (Maryville)
23
Sam Edgmon
FB
6-1
220
So.
Sq.
Pulaski (Giles County)
20
Mike Edwards
DB
5-10
170
Fr.
HS
Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville Academic Campus)
15
Cory Eichholtz
DB
5-8
180
Fr.
Sq.
Knoxville (Bearden)
25
Art Evans
DB
6-1
173
So.
1L
Lakeland, Fla. (Evangel Christian)
38
C.J. Fleming
DB
5-10
173
So.
Sq.
Richmond, Va. (Highland Springs)
90
Steven Fowlkes
DE
6-4
229
Fr.
RS
College Park, Ga. (Banneker)
43
Savion Frazier
LB
6-2
221
Jr.
2L
Woodbridge, Va. (Gar-Field)
6
Derrick Furlow
DB
6-1
190
Sr.
Sq.
Atlanta, Ga. (Crossett [Ark.])
24
Eric Gordon
DB
5-10
187
Fr.
HS
Nashville (Hillsboro HS)
81
James Green
WR
6-3
195
Fr.
HS
Tallahassee, Fla. (Leon HS)
59
Nick Guess
DS
6-3
208
So.
Sq.
Knoxville (Farragut)
87
Quintin Hancock
WR
6-3
207
Sr.
2L
St. Augustine, Fla. (St. Augustine)
2
Montario Hardesty
RB
6-0
215
Sr.
3L
New Bern, N.C. (New Bern)
64
Jonny Harrison
OL
6-2
235
Sr.
Sq.
Vienna, Va. (Catholic Univ.)
44
Josh Hawkins
LB
6-1
223
So.
Sq.
Loudon (Loudon)
25
Steven Hensley
WR
5-10
185
Sr.
Sq.
Coalfield (Univ. of the Cumberlands)
89
Daniel Hood
OL
6-5
255
Fr.
HS
Knoxville (Catholic HS)
93
Montori Hughes
DT
6-4
312
Fr.
HS
Murfreesboro (Siegel HS)
10
Ethan Ingham
PK
6-0
195
Fr.
Sq.
Portland (Gallatin)
15
Janzen Jackson
DB
6-0
180
Fr.
HS
Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
95
Arthur Jeffery
DL
6-4
285
Fr.
HS
Sarasota, Fla. (Booker HS)
Grant Jessen
LB
6-0
210
Fr.
Sq.
Cordova (St. George’s)
Jeremy Jester
TE
6-3
235
Fr.
Sq.
Sevierville (Hargrave Military Acad.)
40
Austin Johnson
FB
6-2
234
So.
1L
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory)
31
Marsalous Johnson
DB
5-9
184
Sr.
3L
Smyrna (Smyrna)
4
Gerald Jones
WR
6-0
199
Jr.
2L
Oklahoma City, Okla. (Millwood)
83
Charles Karlosky
DL
6-3
220
Jr.
Tr.
Cookeville (Tennessee Tech)
47
Greg King
LB
6-3
205
Fr.
HS
Memphis (Melrose HS)
Nick Lamaison
QB
6-1
210
Jr.
JC
Walnut, Calif. (Mt. San Antonio [CA] College)
34
Herman Lathers
LB
6-1
213
Fr.
RS
Baton Rouge, La. (Scotlandville)
Ben Lehning
TE
6-0
230
So.
Sq.
Nashville (David Lipscomb)
26
Daniel Lincoln
PK
6-0
203
Jr.
2L
Ocala, Fla. (Forest)
99
Ben Martin
DE
6-3
239
Jr.
2L
Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle)
46
Andre Mathis
DT
6-2
280
Sr.
2L
Erie, Pa. (Cathedral Prep)
3
Darren Myles, Jr.
S
6-2
190
Fr.
HS
Atlanta, Ga. (Carver HS)
65
Jacques McClendon
OG
6-3
324
Sr.
3L
Cleveland (The Baylor School)
5
Rico McCoy
LB
6-1
220
Sr.
3L
Washington, D.C. (St. John’s College HS)
50
Josh McNeil
C
6-4
280
Sr.
3L
Collins, Miss. (Collins)
37
Nigel Mitchell-Thornton
LB
6-0
229
Fr.
HS
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson HS)
6
Denarius Moore
WR
6-1
190
Jr.
2L
Tatum, Texas (Tatum)
Jon Morrison
DE
6-2
255
So.
Sq.
Knoxville (Farragut)
97
Chase Nelson
DT
6-4
292
Jr.
Sq.
Tulsa, Okla. (Union)
97
Robert Nelson
LB
6-0
205
Fr.
HS
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stone Mountain HS)
Michael Odell
WR
6-0
211
So.
Sq.
Kodiak, Alaska (Kodiak)
27
David Oku
RB
5-10
186
Fr.
HS
Midwest City, Okla. (Carl Albert HS)
30
Nyshier Oliver
ATH
5-10
180
Fr.
HS
Jersey City, NJ (Saint Peter’s Prep)
28
Tauren Poole
RB
5-10
203
So.
1L
Toccoa, Ga. (Stephens County)
77
Cody Pope
OG
6-6
288
So.
Sq.
Julian, Calif. (Cathedral Catholic)
29
Stephaun Raines
DB
5-10
179
So.
Sq.
Dalton, Ga. (Coffeyville [Kan.] CC)
56
Nick Reveiz
LB
5-10
220
Jr.
2L
Farragut (Farragut)
45
Shane Reveiz
LB
5-11
210
So.
Sq.
Farragut (Farragut)
83
Kevin Revis
OL
6-4
265
Fr.
HS
Evansville (Rhea County HS)
47
Chip Rhome
P
6-3
200
So.
Tr.
Christiana (Austin Peay State Univ.)
51
Vladimir Richard
OL
6-4
300
Sr.
2L
Sunrise, Fla. (Piper)
7
Nu’Keese Richardson
WR
5-10
165
Fr.
HS
Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee HS)
41
Dennis Rogan
DB
5-10
178
Jr.
2L
Knoxville (Fulton)
21
Austin Rogers
WR
6-2
190
Sr.
3L
Nashville (David Lipscomb)
83
Zach Rogers
WR
6-2
170
Fr.
HS
Nashville (David Lipscomb HS)
79
Chris Scott
OT
6-5
346
Sr.
3L
Riverdale, Ga. (Lovejoy)
74
Jarrod Shaw
OG
6-4
332
Jr.
1L
Lafayette, La. (Northside)
75
JerQuari Schofield
OL
6-6
315
Fr.
HS
Aiken, S.C. (South Aiken HS)
17
Nick Stephens
QB
6-4
227
Jr.
1L
Flower Mound, Texas (Flower Mound)
88
Luke Stocker
TE
6-6
240
Jr.
2L
Berea, Ky. (Madison Southern)
40
Jake Storey
LB
5-11
218
So.
Sq.
Titusville, Fla. (Astronaut)
66
Cody Sullins
C
6-1
260
Sr.
2L
Cottontown (White House)
69
Cory Sullins
OL
6-1
270
Sr.
1L
Cottontown (White House)
98
Rae Sykes
DE
6-2
255
So.
JC
Alcoa (Alcoa HS/Coffeyville CC)
10
Marsalis Teague
ATH
5-10
180
Fr.
HS
Paris (Henry County HS)
71
Dallas Thomas
OT
6-5
268
Fr.
RS
Baton Rouge, La. (Scotlandville)
52
Victor Thomas
DT
6-4
286
Jr.
1L
Olive Branch, Miss. (Olive Branch)
42
LaMarcus Thompson
LB
6-1
221
Jr.
2L
Lithonia, Ga. (Redan HS)
9
Daryl Vereen
LB
6-0
213
So.
1L
Charlotte, N.C. (North Mecklenburg)
13
Brent Vinson
DB
6-0
201
Jr.
2L
Hampton, Va. (Hargrave Military)
23
Prentiss Waggner
DB
6-2
177
Fr.
RS
Clinton, La. (Clinton)
84
Chris Walker
DE
6-3
232
Jr.
2L
Memphis (Christian Brothers)
58
Marlon Walls
DL
6-2
225
Fr.
HS
Olive Branch, Miss. (/Hargrave Military Academy)
1
Brandon Warren
WR
6-2
216
Jr.
1L
Alcoa (Florida State Univ.)
Matt Wegzyn
TE
6-3
230
Fr.
Sq.
Northville, Mich. (Northville)
22
Rod Wilks
DB
6-0
220
Fr.
RS
Smyrna (Smyrna)
55
Dan Williams
DT
6-3
327
Sr.
2L
Memphis (Memphis East)
57
Gerald Williams
DE
6-4
248
Jr.
1L
Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. (City Col. of San Fran.)
33
Toney Williams
TB
6-0
218
Fr.
HS
Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton HS)
Tyler Wolf
DB
6-0
200
Jr.
Sq.
Cookeville (Cookeville)

Navigation: Coaching StaffAssistant Coaches2009 Alphabetical RosterThe TennesseeumReturn to Top

Postgame Thoughts: Northern Illinois 9 — Tennessee 13

You know, improvement is a funny thing…

Sometimes you have to take a step or two backwards before you can begin moving forwards.  This weekend we saw a little of both—improvement and stepping backwards.  Either way, it was a win—a really, really, ugly win, but a win nonetheless.

Now that I am finally feeling a bit better physically—having shucked the plague I had for the better part of last week—here are a few random thoughts on the Vols’ play against Northern Illinois.

Nick Stephens:

Stephens looked capable in his first start.

Well, Nick Stephens isn’t going to win All-America or All-SEC honors this year, but what he showed as the starting quarterback this weekend was heartening.  First, he showed focus at all times.  While he did make a few first-start gaffs, on the whole his head was in the game the entire time.  Second, he showed heart and determination.  There was never a moment when he seemed to simply be going through the motions.  In short, this game really mattered to him.

Stephens will only improve as he starts getting all of snaps in practice with the first team.  So long as he does not become complacent, he can really help improve the offense.  Fundamentals are the key to success and it seemed Stephens was focusing on the basics in his play versus the Huskies—nothing flashy, nothing unusual, just clean snaps, clean handoffs, clean passes.  He also showed something that has not been seen since Erik Ainge played his last down in January—a long-ball threat with reliable accuracy.  That could really come in handy down the road.

In summary, Stephens did not wow me with his playmaking abilities—which is good.  He did his job, played his role, played within his abilities, and apparently impressed some of his teammates with his focus and determination.  He smartly decided to save the swagger until he has earned the right to strut.  More importantly, he showed that he deserves to be the one and only quarterback for the foreseeable future.  Nice game, Nick, keep up the good work.

Now why is it again he didn’t come in against Auburn?  Never mind, don’t answer that question…

The Defense:

Well, from a “style” perspective, it was hardly their best game of the season, but it was by no means a poor showing by the Tennessee defensive unit.  In fact, as has been the case in every game this season—the defense did enough to win the game.  While the Northern Illinois receivers did seem to find more room for catches than they should have, and the defensive line was not dominated by the Vols, in the end they did what they had to do.  They did not allow a touchdown—and have only allowed a single touchdown in two games.  They held Northern Illinois to 190 total yards (72 rushing / 118 passing) and they did their job.

Again, Nevin McKenzie, Rico McCoy, and Eric Berry seemed to be everywhere on the field on defense combining for 23 tackles (McKenzie-9, McCoy-8, Berry-6), and Berry made another gamebreaking play with a 48 yard interception return which put the Vols in position to score a field goal in the second quarter.

The defense has proven that it can be depended upon…

The Offense:

The offensive line continues to leave me scratching my head…

The offensive line continues to allow penetration far more often than they should.  I realize that Erik Ainge—who was more than willing to dump the ball into the seats if he felt pressure—is no longer calling the signals, but this offensive line should not be allowing defenders to harass the quarterback the way they do.  This line is too strong, too fast, too talented, and too experienced for this sort play.  I understand that this is not the same team as last year, but the level of play from this squad has been severely lacking this year.  Their poor play allowed the sack and fumble at just under 4:00 mark in the third quarter.

If Nick Stephens is going to have a chance to get the offense going, then the offensive line is going to have to do their jobs and protect the quarterback…

The running game—which looked so promising earlier in the season—apparently did not dress out for this weekend’s game.  Tennessee racked up a net of 69 yards on 32 rushing attempts (2.15 avg per carry).  While Arian Foster managed 76 total yards, neither he nor Montario Hardesty really managed to run the ball effectively.  It was disappointing that Lennon Creer did not get any carries.

The receiving corps did enough to win, but not much more.  Denarius Moore, however, had a nice showing with 3 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.  As with the running backs, this unit needs to work a little harder to give their new quarterback some bigger more effective targets throughout the game.

More importantly, when the ball gets thrown to them, it would be most helpful if they would catch it…

Coaching:

I’ll give the coaching staff—most notably the Great Punkin and Dave Clawson—a little credit for making the call to give Stephens the start.  I just wish they had reached this decision a little sooner.  To the extent that Mike Hamilton had anything to do with this, I’ll give him credit too.  Still, the offense continues to look ragged, even with the quarterback change.  This unit simply has to improve or the upcoming contests against the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide are going to be long, hateful, and humiliating experiences.

Furthermore, it is high time for every position to be up for grabs…

On the defensive side of the ball, while—like many—I do not always agree with some of the defensive play calling, it is hard to criticize a unit which seems to play together as well as the defensive squad does, especially in the face of such poor performances by the offense.

Final Thoughts:

This game was not pretty.  It was ugly.  It was much closer than it should have been.  It was a nail-biter that never should have been.  That said, it is a win.  It is a step forward toward improvement.  I personally think that the decision to give Stephens the start was what made that happen.  Hopefully, that is not the only change the we on-lookers will see going forward.  While this game is hardly one for the ages, it is a building block which can serve as a step toward salvaging the remainder of the season.

Oh yeah, and in case you didn’t notice, none of the remaining games look the slightest bit easy…

If this team and this coaching staff are going to try and make something of this season, then they are going to have to earn it.  With an undefeated Vanderbilt, a Kentucky team that lost to Alabama by three points, and a South Carolina team which won a tough game versus Ole Miss, there are no sure-thing wins left in this season.  Of course, I am ignoring Georgia and Alabama because … well … I think those sort of speak for themselves.  Unlike some, I am not ready to say this team is doomed, but I will say it will be an uphill battle.  I have no doubt that this team has the skills and the players to win, I simply do not know if they will manage to do it.  I hope so.

All I can say is that, after this weekend and the performance of the new starting quarterback, at least I believe it is possible—probably not likely, but possible—which is an improvement over last week.  It’s not much, but at least it’s something…


» Updated: 6 October 2008 –9:53am

There’s a great piece on the Vols continuing woes by Joel, which is worth looking at, along with a similar piece by Holly at Snarktastic.

Check them out…

– Go Figure …Email lawvol


Images Courtesy of: Go Vols Xtra / Saul Young
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