Tennessee Volunteers vs. Cincinnati: Final Player Report


If you're new to this feature and you don't know why we're going with "looks the part" and "bless his heart" rather than the hero and goat of the game, click here to read all about it.

This will normally be the last post in which we discuss the previous week's game every week, so it's kind of a quick-hitter to end all our commentary with our opinion on who was the best player on the field and who needs a lot of work. So, we'll jump right into this week's awards [can you really call the "Bless His Heart" a "reward?"] where you'll see a familiar name. After all, while we don't play favorites here in this space, we also don't mind repeat winners. And we're not very original, either.

 

Looked the Part: TYLER BRAY

Look, I know he was last week's recipient, but the fact of the matter is the 6-foot-6 sophomore quarterback set a school single-game completion percentage record, threw for more than 400 yards and shredded the Cincinnati Bearcats' defense throughout the entire game. He did not make one single questionable throw, and I'm praying that he again owns this recognition after this weekend's tilt with Florida. Bray is up for the Capital One Performance of the Week, and his name is now on the tip of tongues around the nation. Honorable mentions for this award this week go to Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers, Tauren Poole, Maurice Couch, Prentiss Waggner and Malik Jackson. All those guys had stellar games against UC, but Bray had a record-breaking performance, so he gets the nod.

Bless His Heart: JUSTIN COLEMAN

The true freshman cornerback from Brunswick, Ga., could have been the recipient of this dubious distinction last week, but we were so angry at Poole's lackluster performance that the senior got the narrow nod over the youngster. But after Coleman got beat badly for the second week in a row on a deep ball, he inhabits this paragraph post-Cincinnati. Listen, I really, really like Coleman, and it's asking a lot of a true freshman to play anywhere on the field, much less on an island. He's going to be a great one before his career at UT is done, but playtime is over. He's no longer in preschool. Take off the training wheels. Whatever cliche you want to use, it's Florida Week, and Coleman MUST grow up and show up. Every Tennessee fan who watched that UC game is a little concerned about the secondary post-Janzen Jackson dismissal. I honestly think that UT is better with Waggner at cornerback and freshman Brian Randolph at free safety and Coleman on the sideline. But the bottom line is, no matter who starts, Coleman is going to see action. He has to shore things up against UF's skill position players, or the Vols are going to be staring at an opposing touchdown because of Coleman's botched coverage for the third-consecutive week.

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