The pants have been heaved over the shoulder, and Vol fans are eyeing the rest of the gifts under the tree. The next package is smaller, but holds some consolation, as Tennessee is a 30-point favorite over the UAB Blazers, who apparently don't field a defense. The Blazers have given up 1,155 yards in two games against Tulsa and Florida Atlantic. They are "equally inept" against the run and the pass, so woo for an opportunity to get the offense rolling.
Daniel Lincoln doesn't need no shrink. Yeah, so he missed three field goals against UCLA, including a makeable game-loser in OT, but Lincoln's "not that guy" who needs to spend some time on the psychiatrist's couch. A couple of troubling things here, though, I think. First, the reason cited for shunning the psychology is that Lincoln's got perspective, that he understands football is a game. Great, fantastic. As it should be, really. But I thought part of the reason you sent kickers to shrinks wasn't so they wouldn't lapse into an all-consuming depression, but because you wanted them to learn to forget the last thing and focus on the next. Shoot, we could all use that. Kickers even more so, and Lincoln this week even more so than most kickers. Second is this statement from Lincoln: "I kicked the ball right where I was aiming. It wasn't a kicking mistake. It was an aiming mistake." Huh? If there's ever a justification for firing a coach, this is it. An aiming mistake? Whose job is it to tell the kicker that he's supposed to aim the ball in between the uprights, not to either side? It has never been more apparent that we have no special teams coach. An aiming mistake. Bah! (Yes, I'm kidding. I understand because I once bowled a spectacularly entertaining 63, but hey, that's one funny statement.)
As I said in the I Know What You Did Last Week post, I think the Florida-Miami game was the worst of all worlds for Tennessee. Florida won easily yet struggled enough for three quarters to give Meyer something with which to motivate his players. Miami essentially showed the world the game plan against the Gators. As John Adams says, "You control the ball with a running game and short passes, eliminate special-teams blunders, shut down Florida's running backs and pressure quarterback Tim Tebow." Unfortunately, I don't know that we can do any of that. And anyway, the problem is that the Hurricanes also showed the Gators how to beat the Gators, and the Gators have the weekend off to fix the Gators before playing the Vols the following week. I am not optimistic about the Vols and Gators. The game will be on CBS at 3:30 EST so at least we'll get to listen to Verne.
The Papa says that they'll be moving the pocket for Crompton more in the future. No word on the location to which they'll be moving it. To the sideline or the press box for max protection, I'm hoping. Speaking of Crompton, he's saying that he'll get a better feel for how quickly he needs to get rid of the ball as he plays more games. It's like asking somebody on the bus where your stop is and them telling you it's the one right before theirs. You sort of need to have done it once. Blame the green practice jersey. In hindsight, didn't we hear in preseason that Crompton was almost too comfortable in the pocket? Huh. Yeah. Maybe instead of a green jersey, we could make the QBs wear one of those dog training collars and send him a shock if he waits too long to do something.
- The d-line? Weakness? No. Strength? Maybe. Although I look at the article's cited stats in support of its theory the same way I view Tennessee's No. 1-ranked rush defense. "Holding" UCLA to 29 yards rushing is a bit misleading. UCLA didn't really try to rush the ball much. They only needed one move, and that wasn't it.
- Three years later, and Gerald Williams will finally, finally be running through the T this Saturday. Welcome, young man. We've been waiting for you.