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Monday, November 22, 2010

UT vs. Vandy Game Review

This was a game of two teams going in opposite directions. UT has strung together a three-game win streak now and still has a chance at a bowl game. Vandy has lost its last 6 games and likely just wish the season would be over at this point. The Vols continued their streak of 28 consecutive defeats of Vandy in Nashville. UT is coming together at the right time and has Kentucky left as their only obstacle in the way of their second straight bowl appearance. That is a long way from where they begin the year under first year coach Derek Dooley.

Now for the break down of the game:

Tyler Bray got started early for the Vols as he connected on nine of his first ten passes. On the Tennessee’s second possession Bray was firing on all cylinders. First he hit wide-out Da’Rick Rogers for a 5-yard gain. After a Tauren Poole rush up the middle for 5 yards, Bray found David Oku sneaking out the back field for a 34 yard gain. That would set up a Justin Hunter 15-yard touchdown pass. Bray floated a soft pass in the corner of ther end-zone and the athletic Hunter went up and snagged it for his UT record tying sixth receving touchdown of the year. Vandy would go three and out and their next drive. Tennessee connected on a few plays on its next drive but would be forced to punt as well.

Vandy’s first drive in the second quarter ended the same way their first one did, with a punt. The Vols received the ball on their 19-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Bray found Denarius Moore for an 11-yard strike for a first down and then Rogers again for another 27-yard gain. From their UT turned to the run game and Poole. He would get the next three carries for no gain, 9-yards, and a 2-yard gain up the middle. Gerald Jones got in on the action as he took a toss sweep to the left for a 8-yard gain. Another another two rushes from David Oku and Bray, The freshman QB found Denarius Moore on an out pass. Moore was able to shake off a defender and take the pass in for a 20-yard TD pass. That score put Tennessee up 14-0 in the mid second quarter.

On the Commodores very next play on offense QB Larry Smith was intercepted by the Vols Prentiss Waggner. Tennessee now had a chance to really take control of the game but on their third play, Tyler Bray suffered his first interception since becoming the starter as he picked off by Heyward of the Commodores. Vandy would march down the field only to be stalled at the 13 yard line and with only 3 seconds left on the clock before halftime, the Commodores settled for the field goal. Halftime score: 14-3 Tennessee.

After intermission, the Commodores received the ball first and promptly went three and out. Vandy got lucky on UT next possession as Anderson of the Vols fumbled on their first play and Vandy recovered. Vandy moved the ball well and got another gift from the Vols as they committed an 11-yard pentalty. That would put Vandy in field goal range and after two runs for a net gain of 3 yards and an incomplete pass, the Commodores attempted and missed a 25-yard field goal.

The Vols took over from there but Tyler Bray would be intercepted again The Commodores got down the field again and set up for another field goal attempt. This time it was blocked by the Vols and Gerald Jones returned it for 8-yards. The teams would trade punts from there to end the 3rd quarter.

UT had the ball entering the final quarter and would put together a nice drive that would net them a 29-yard field goal by Daniel Lincoln. The Vols and Commodores again would trade punts on the next few possessions. Vandy finally got into the end zone of their next last possession on the game when back-up QB Jared Funk hit wide out J. Matthews for a 16-yard TD pass, making the score 17-10. It seemed for a minute there we might see some magic at Commodores stadium but it was short lived. The Vols marched right down the field and Tauren Poole put the dagger in Vandy, with a 28-yard burst for a game-clinching touchdown.

The Vols could have really blown the doors off of Vandy if they didn’t commit some timely turnovers. As it stands the Commodores once again just couldn’t find any offense when they needed it most. It has to be frustrating for Vandy as this whole year their defense has played admirable but isn’t getting any help from its offense. UT played OK considering it was coming off a blow out victory over Ole Miss.

Both teams now have one game remaining with the Vols welcoming Kentucky to Neyland stadium and Vandy going on the road to finish its season against the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons. Great game for the locals here in Nashville, now lets all pull for UT to beat the Wildcats and get in a bowl game.

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