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Taking a look at the superlatives -- and not-so-superlative -- from Tennessee's 41-31 loss to Mississippi State.
LOOKED THE PART
CORDARRELLE PATTERSON. It's really difficult to see why the Tennessee Volunteers don't do more things to get the ball in the hands of their most dynamic playmaker. How does he only get two catches for 25 yards? It wasn't like he was blanketed the entire game. Tyler Bray has got to do a better job of getting CP the ball, and Jim Chaney has to do a better job of getting plays in there designed to do so as well. One of Patterson's catches went for a touchdown. He also had three carries for 57 yards and is so elusive in space, many UT fans want CP to get a bunch of carries this weekend against Alabama [I'm among those...] with Rajion Neal likely out. To top it off, there was the 98-yard kickoff return for the Vols' first KOR touchdown since 2004. He HAS to get his hands on the ball more.
BLESS HIS HEART
SAL SUNSERI. You simply cannot pick one defensive player who stunk it up Saturday. Pretty much everybody but A.J. Johnson, Daniel McCullers and Justin Coleman. So, this week's distinction goes to defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri. This is looking like the hire that will equate to Phillip Fulmer's Dave Clawson. While Sunseri knows his stuff, there is no discipline on this unit. Since coaches and players say adamantly that it doesn't have anything to do with adjustments to the 3-4 scheme, you've got to put the blame on discipline and execution. I think this defense is totally broken. We knew there would be a transition, but Alabama and Georgia didn't go through this. We have players back there. There's no excuse for being epically horrible. I blame Sunseri. I'm not saying he's a poor coach, but this is a poor start. How do you have two weeks to prepare for Mississippi State and make them look like the Patriots? Inexcusable.
EARNED A START
ALTON "PIG" HOWARD. Ladies and gentlemen, we've got a player on our hands. The little piglet had four carries for 30 yards and one catch for 5 yards but looked really good in space. The Vols need to find ways to get him and Quenshaun Watson the football. While I was also really impressed with the way Devrin Young played, his crucial fumble went a long way in assisting that loss, so I'm going to roll with Pig here. He's got a really nice future if the Vols find ways to utilize him, no matter who the coach is.