Inky Johnson's Motivational Speech To The Vols Team 117
|TENNESSEE VOLS 2012 SENIOR TRIBUTE
Fortunately, UT's Jones no Gruden or Petrino
By Greg Johnson - KnoxNews.com
|Butch Jones - Photo by AP |
Dec. 8, 2012
One of the best things about Butch Jones, the new head coach of the University of Tennessee football Vols, is that he is not Jon Gruden. An even more outstanding attribute of the former University of Cincinnati coach is that he is not Bobby Petrino.
Tennessee fans lobbied long and loud for Gruden to replace Derek Dooley, the coach fired by Athletic Director Dave Hart after three miserable seasons. Gruden's national exposure on NFL football broadcasts gave him the high profile Vols' fans craved after former AD Mike Hamilton plucked Dooley from relative obscurity at Louisiana Tech in the aftermath of Lane Kiffin's one-and-done fiasco.
Like Kiffin, Gruden likely would have turned Tennessee into a sort of minor league for pro football wannabes. Hardly any of the players Kiffin sold with glimpses of future professional glory are still at UT. They may have been talented recruits, but, like Kiffin, they only saw UT as a stepping stone to stardom and an entry point for big bucks earnings elsewhere. They, like Kiffin, lacked loyalty. The bright lights of television obscured Gruden's faults and blinded fans to his similarities to Kiffin, the pro coach with a losing record also hired by Hamilton. Yes, in 2003 Gruden won a Super Bowl at Tampa Bay - with former Bucs' coach Tony Dungy's players. After the Super Bowl, Gruden went 7-9 in 2003 and 5-11 in 2004. Gruden rallied to 11-4 in 2005 then dropped to 4-11 in 2006 before achieving mediocrity at 9-7 in each of his last two years at Tampa Bay. He was fired after missing the playoffs in 2008.
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|Butch Jones - Photo by David Kohl, AP2009 |
Butch Jones to be next Vols coach
By Evan Woodbery
Dec. 7, 2012
UT press conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Tennessee has hired Cincinnati's Butch Jones to be its new head football coach, and will be introduced at a 2:30 p.m. press conference. Jones met with his players this morning in Cincinnati. The school announced his resignation shortly thereafter. Jones waited this week while the Vols' search unsuccessfully targeted Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Louisville's Charlie Strong. Courted by both Purdue and Colorado in the last five days, Jones nearly agreed to a contract with the Buffaloes on Wednesday night, but backed out when Strong turned down the Vols contract offer. A day later, Jones met with Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart to put the new deal in motion.
Jones, who will turn 45 next month, has a career path that has closely followed that of Brian Kelly, his one-time boss at Central Michigan. When Kelly left for Cincinnati after the 2006 season, Jones replaced him, going 27-13 in three seasons. When Kelly left UC for Notre Dame, Jones followed him again. Jones is 23-14 in three seasons with the Bearcats, including a 10-win performance in 2011. Cincinnati (9-3) is scheduled to meet Duke in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27. It’s unlikely that Jones will coach in that game, although that has yet to be confirmed. Jones grew up in Saugatuck, Mich., and graduated from Ferris State in 1990. Jones made $1.77 million this year. It will cost $1.4 million to buy out his contract. Jones replaces Derek Dooley, who was fired on Nov. 18 after three losing seasons. He becomes Tennessee’s third permanent head coach since Phillip Fulmer was forced out after the 2008 season.
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|Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers scores the Vols' first touchdown against Kentucky Saturday at Neyland Stadium. Photo by MICHAEL PATRICK|
Tennessee beats Kentucky 37-17
By Mike Strange
Nov. 24, 2012
Tennessee avoided dubious history Saturday with a 37-17 win over Kentucky at Neyland Stadium. The Vols finished the season 5-7 to remain one of two major programs (along with Ohio State) that have never had an eight-loss season. Tennessee also got its first SEC win of the season to finish 1-7. Tyler Bray threw four TD passes against Kentucky (2-10, 0-8 SEC) to snap the Wildcats' one-game winning streak in a series that now has seen 108 meetings. Bray threw two TD passes in the third quarter to send Tennessee to a 34-17 lead. He hit Mychal Rivera for 29 yards and Cordarrelle Patterson for 21 for the scores. The only score of the fourth quarter was Michael Palardy's 33-yard field goal.
Kentucky got a 29-yard field goal from Craig McIntosh after a 15-play drive that consumed the first 7:23 of the second half. The Wildcats would not score again in Joker Phillips' final game as head coach.Tennessee led 14-7 after one quarter.Bray passed 21 yards to Zach Rogers on the game's first possession, but Kentucky answered with a sustained drive. Alcoa's D.J. Warren scored on a 1-yard pass from Jalen Whitlow. The Vols went ahead 14-7 on A.J. Johnson's 2-yard run, then later had a TD pass wiped off by a holding penalty on Tiny Richardson. The Vols stretched their lead to 20-7 early in the second quarter on a 42-yard TD pass from Bray to Justin Hunter. The PAT was blocked. Kentucky responded, though, when Jonathan George broke a 45-yard touchdown run that looked all too familiar to Tennessee fans.
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|UT vs Vanderbilt Vanderbilt defensive back Trey Wilson (8) is carried off in celebration after as the University of Tennessee was defeated by Vanderbilt 41-18. Photo by Larry McCormack|
Vanderbilt wallops Tennessee to clinch winning regular season
By Jeff Lockridge
Nov. 17, 2012
If nothing else, Vanderbilt fans learned patience through watching Tennessee beat their Commodores in 14 consecutive trips to Nashville. Thirty years of waiting for that home victory over the Vols ended in elation over a monumental blowout on Saturday night. The Commodores' defense had three interceptions and frustrated the Vols' vaunted passing game with nonstop pressure in a 41-18 win, giving about 75 percent of a sellout crowd of 40,350 donning black and gold the chance to celebrate while the sections of orange emptied out of Vanderbilt Stadium.
That last happened after a 28-24 Vanderbilt win in 1982. This one wasn't nearly that close, marking the Commodores' largest margin of victory in the series since a 26-0 shutout in 1954. Vanderbilt players enjoyed every minute of it - as well as the minutes that followed when they re-emerged from the stadium tunnel and celebrated with the fans while skipping from sideline to sideline. The Vols (4-7, 0-7 SEC) were eliminated from bowl contention for the second year in a row under third-year coach Derek Dooley. His lone SEC win in the last two seasons came against Vanderbilt last year in overtime at Neyland Stadium. Vanderbilt (7-4, 5-3), which led 13-10 at halftime, boosted its resume with bowl committees while getting its fifth SEC win in a season for only the second time in history. The first time came in 1935 when Georgia Tech and Sewanee were league members.
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|Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham goes up for a pass during the third overtime of the football game against Tennessee. Photo by Jaime Henry-White|
Young players make impact in Missouri football's win over Tennessee
By Mike Vorel - Missourian Sports
Nov. 10, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Ian Simon cried. Andrew Baggett was overwhelmed by the moment. Dorial Green-Beckham jumped. Jimmie Hunt lost track of time. One by one, Missouri's young playmakers made an impact in the team's 51-48 victory over Tennessee on Saturday. And each one handled the weight of four overtimes in a different way. Simon, for one, wasn't even supposed to be there. When the game went to overtime, starting cornerback E.J. Gaines was knocked out of the game with an injury. Simon, a redshirt freshman safety, was thrown into the mix, forced to stand tall in front of 89,272 screaming fans. On fourth and 3 in the fourth round of overtime, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray stood at Missouri's 18-yard line with the game tied at 48. Bray took the snap and immediately looked to his right, where wide receiver Zach Rogers was running to the sideline.
He threw to Rogers, but before the ball arrived Simon tipped the ball with his fingers, diverting its course and forcing it to bounce off Rogers' hands and to the turf. Teammates mobbed Simon, batting him on the helmet and lifting him into the air. Tigers players cleared the north sideline, and suddenly he was lost in a sea of white and gray jerseys. Simon stood there, with the game yet to be decided, and started to cry. "I was definitely caught up in the moment. I just kind of broke down crying, didn't know how to react," Simon said after the game. "Our team fought so hard." On Missouri's next possession, the offense ran the ball three times before setting up a 35-yard field goal. Redshirt freshman Baggett, who had made six extra points in the game, trotted onto the field, ready to attempt the first winning field goal of his career. Not his first game-winner in college. His first one ever. His approach to the kick, he said, is hard to put into words. "Don't worry about what's going on, and just … go," Baggett said, smiling and shaking his head after the game.
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|Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) catches a touchdown pass during the first half of their game against Troy. Photo by MICHAEL PATRICK|
Final score: Tennessee survives with a 55-48 win over Troy
By Mike Strange
Nov. 3, 2012
Marlin Lane's 9-yard touchdown run with 1:25 to play salvaged a 55-48 homecoming victory over Troy on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. It was a shootout from start to finish. The Vols (4-5) broke a school record for offense. Troy (4-5) broke a record for offense against Tennessee's defense. Tennessee regained the lead 41-40 on Tyler Bray's 23-yard pass to Rajion Neal in the fourth quarter -- followed b y Michael Palardy's all-important extra point kick. Troy struck back for a 48-41 lead on Corey Robinson's 67-yard pass to Eric Thomas and a two-point conversion. Tennessee answered with Justin Hunter's 46 yard TD pass from Tyler Bray. It was tied 48-48 with 2:54 left. The Vols forced a punt and then marched 66 yards for the winning score.
In the third quarter, both teams kicked a field goal but Troy added a touchdown on Deon Anthony's 3-yard pass to Thomas. The Vols blew a scoring chance when Alton Howard fumbled at the Troy 4. The Trojans dominated the second quarter, scoring touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to overturn a 28-10 UT lead. Shawn Southward scored on a 1-yard run, then Anthony hit Chip Reeves for 51 yards to cut UT's lead to 28-23. After a missed field goal from Palardy, Troy drove for the go-ahead score on quarterback Anthony's 28-yard run. Troy led 30-28. Tennessee drove for a first-and-goal but settled for a 21-yard Palardy field goal as the half ended. In the first quarter, the Vols got touchdowns on all three possessions. Tyler Bray threw TD passes of 14 yards to Cordarrelle Patterson and 21 to Justin Hunter.
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|South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham (87) gets a big first down in the fourth quarter as Tennessee defensive back LaDarrell McNeil (33) defends. Photo by ADAM BRIMER|
Final: South Carolina 38, Tennessee 35
By Mike Strange
Oct. 27, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 17 South Carolina fought off a Tennessee comeback Saturday to win 38-35. The Vols (3-5, 0-5 SEC) threatened to break a losing streak with a fourth-quarter rally but it was nipped in the bud by the Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2). Alton Howard's first career TD pass, 13 yards to Mychal Rivera, cut the Gamecocks' lead to 35-28. A South Carolina field goal pushed it back to 38-28. Then Tyler Bray's third TD pass to Zach Rogers drew the Vols to within 38-35.
Herman Lathers' interception gave UT a chance to drive for a go-ahead score.
It didn't happen. The Gamecocks sacked Bray and recovered his fumble at the South Carolina 19 with 1:08 to play. South Carolina leads 35-21 after three quarters. The Vols closed to 28-21 in the third quarter on Bray's 61-yard TD pass to Vincent Dallas. The Gamecocks, however, got it back on Connor Shaw's 24-yard pass to Ace Sanders to go up 35-21. South Carolina led 28-14 at the half. The Gamecocks scored three times in the second period, including Shaw's 1-yard run with 14 seconds left in the half. Shaw's 26-yard TD pass to Rory Anderson made it 14-7, Gamecocks.
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