Tennessee-Oregon Post Game Awards

Best start, offense. Tauren Poole's 31-yard rush to open the game completely took the Ducks, and most everyone else as well, by surprise.

Best start, defense. UT's defense dominated Oregon's offense right from the beginning, forcing the Ducks into a three-and-out on their first possession.

Best start, special teams. On the first kickoff, Art Evans stripped the ball, and Prentiss Waggner recovered the fumble to give the ball right back, enabling Tennessee to begin the game with two consecutive possessions.

Bad news, good news. The offense stalled before hitting the checkerboards on the first and second drives, but Daniel Lincoln salvaged six points on two field goals, including one from 48 yards.

 

Worst finish. In the last three minutes of the first half, Tennessee's offense went three and out, Chad Cunningham shanked a punt for 27 yards, and the defense let Oregon's offense drive 62 yards in 51 seconds, aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty, for a TD to somehow tie a game that the Vols had been dominating.

Worst fan sign. The student section had a Power T flag hanging upside down on the brick for all the world to see early in the first quarter.

Best catch. A 31-yarder by Justin Hunter to Oregon's one yard line on the team's only TD drive, where he simply out-leaped and out-fought the defender to come down with the ball.

Worst second effort. LaMichael James's 72-yard TD. The defense had him stopped for a loss, but he bounced it outside, several defenders took poor angles, another missed a tackle, and the rest did a poor job of fighting through blockers as James made his way to the end zone. Great play by him, no doubt, but Tennessee blew several opportunities on that one play.

Worst play, offense. Simms's pick six. With the team down only seven midway through the 3rd quarter, the defense still holding, and the offense still driving, some unnamed player on offense messed up a protection (according to Dooley on The Derek Dooley Show), and Simms, under extreme pressure, made a bad decision and a bad throw out to the flat. Oregon intercepted it and returned it 76 yards for a TD and a 14-point lead. The play was the tipping point in the ongoing battle for momentum, and Tennessee never recovered.

Worst play, special teams. Oregon's 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. These things never get new.

Best spin. After acknowledging that he was as disappointed in the second part of the game as he was proud of the first 27 minutes, Dooley characterized the first two games of the season as "pre-season," and said the team needs to shake it off and get ready for the SEC.

That's all I have for this one, folks. What do you have?

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