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Monday, November 15, 2010

UT and Vandy Report week 11

Tennessee and Vandy both  looked like the teams of their past this week. UT came out early and dominated the game versus the Ole Miss rebels, giving them an old-fashioned Vol beat down. Vandy on the other hand is looking more and more like the old SEC laughingstock they have for so much of their history.

Now for the breakdown of both games:

UT 52 Ole Miss 14 - The Tennessee Vols look to have their QB of the future in Tyler Bray. The freshman continues to impress as he put up gaudy numbers and led the Vols to their second straight victory, and first in the SEC this year. Bray got a break on his first pass of the game. On the play, Bray attempted a pass to Gerald Jones which was tipped by Mississippi's Jonathan Cornell right into the hands of Justin Hunter. Hunter had 80 yards of open field and and was able to race to the end zone. From their the route was on for the Vols. Bray would go on to finish 18 for 34 with 323 yards 3 touchdowns and no picks.

This guy has brought some swagger to the offensive side of the ball for Tennessee. The Vols have put up plus 50 points in their two games with Bray as the starter. Wide Receiver Justin Hunter received a lot of praise as well coming into the season and finally has shown what he can do. Hunter finished with 3 receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Taurean Poole led the Vols in rushing with 107 yards on 12 carries.

The defense got involved as well picking off Jeremiah Masoli 3 times and the Rebels a total of 4 times. Eric Gordon and Prentiss Waggner both took their INTs back for touchdowns. The defensive line is finally showing signs of life as well as they pressured Masoli all day long. It was just as through of a victory you can have for the young Vols.

This was the first time all season I watched a Vols game and got a glimpse of what this team could be. The offense finally looked like an SEC caliber unit with playmakers on the field. Bray has certain type of presence in him that can't be taught. They call it the "IT" factor and all the good ones have it. Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter have the potential to become one of the best 1-2 tandem of receivers in college football over the next couple of years. If Dooley can find a way to add depth in the defense and continue to develop his players on the offensive side of the ball, The Vols will be a scary team in the upcoming future.

With the win the Vols still have a shot at a bowl game this year. All they need to do now is beat Vandy and Kentucky. The way they are playing now with Bray at the helm, I don't see why they couldn't run the table.

Kentucky 38 Vandy 20 - It seems every time I turn away from a Vandy game and then turn back, the score has changed dramatically and usually not in favor of the Commodores. As it stands, Vandy has now lost 5th straight and no longer have a chance at a bowl game under first year coach Robbie Caldwell.

Randall Cobb of the Wildcats had a career day rushing for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Derrick Locke ran for 145 yards and two scores in his first game in a month and quarterback Mike Hartline threw for 232 yards and a touchdown. The Commodores had a bright spot in RB Kennard Reeves who rushed for a career high 105 yards.

Vandy got off to a good start, driving down the field 60 yards and picking up a field goal, on their first drive. The Commodores actually showed some offense in the first half as they were able to drop 262 yards on the Wildcats. They would go up 13-10 going into halftime. In the second half however, the wheels would come off as they always seemingly do for the 'Dores. Randall Cobb took over the game, lining up in the apporiately named " Wild Cobb" formation and just feasted on the Dores defense. On the Wildcats initial possession of the half, Cobb was able to run to his left and make a deep cut back to his right and take it 73 yards for a touchdown to give the Wildcats the lead.

The best play that Cobb made of the day in my opinion came on Kentucky's two possessions later. He was able to take the snap and maneuver his way through defenders, going backwards and sideways some 10 yards back, then darted through the line and raced for a 52-yard gain. Vanderbilt's defense had no answer for Cobb and the Kentucky offense as they continued to make a mockery of the Commodores defense. Kentucky pretty much rolled after the Cobb pair of spectacular plays and would go on to win the game 38-20. They use to call this one a rivalry but Kentucky has now won six out of the last seven meetings against the "Dores.

Vandy did make some strides from last week. The offense looked in sync in the first half with the revelation that was Keenard Reeves and wide receiver Jonathan Krause made a couple of big plays to keep the Wildcats on honest. But it was more of the same offensive ineptitude that doomed Vandy in the second half. The Dores couldn't get it going as Kentucky started to find their  offense and as the momentum shifted to the Wildcats side, Vandy was never able to recover. With that being said, it was a much better effort than last weekend's debacle that was the Florida game. The Vols come to town next week as the rivalry between the two schools heats up. Both teams have had underwhelming season's and would both would love to beat the other one. It makes for a fun week in Nashville (Not to mention making my job a lot easier covering both teams) and in the entire state of Tennessee. To bad one team has to lose.

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