NASHVILLE, Tenn. — InsideTennessee.com staff give you our thoughts following Tennessee's 41-18 loss Vanderbilt. Check back each week as we give you our post game take.
Randy Moore's Thoughts
You know Tennessee's football program has hit rock bottom when Vanderbilt shows mercy by taking a knee with 30 seconds left rather than risk further humiliating the hapless Vols in a 41-18 romp at Nashville.
Quarterback Tyler Bray played probably his worst game since junior high, and backup Justin Worley wasn't a whole lot better. They combined to throw three interceptions that gave Vandy two short-field touchdowns and a short-field field goal. The offense converted just 2 of 15 third-down tries and mustered just 10 points.
Tennessee's break-but-don't-bend defense gave up a 72-yard screen pass on the Commodores' opening scrimmage play and gave up a 47-yard end-around touchdown run on Vandy's third play of the second half. The stop unit surrendered 442 yards of total offense but managed to make a couple of plays in the red zone that forced the Commodores to settle for field goals.
Cordarrelle Patterson returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown after the outcome already was sealed but that at least allowed the Vols to win one phase of play ... the kicking game.
I've been watching Tennessee play football for nearly 50 years, and this is the most underachieving Vol team I've seen.
Special Teams: B
Chris Price's Thoughts
Well I feel like I just have to change around a few names and a few numbers and my work is done for the evening. Another SEC game and another loss for the Volunteers.
Vanderbilt came in with more motivation and more drive to win the football game and they did just that. Face it — Rich Franklin is a better coach than Derek Dooley.
Dooley pulled his quarterback in the second quarter to try and calm him down. Problem is he was calm. And he was abysmal. By far the worst performance of the season for the Vols offense. Eighteen points against Vanderbilt. Really?
On the bright side, Palardy didn't kick a ball out of bounds on a kick off and Marlin Lane had a great day running the football. And that's about it. Can they beat Kentucky? Who knows.
Special Teams: B-
Josh Woodward's Thoughts
When your head coach is losing his job this is what you get, plain and simple. The coaches might be trying to get the kids to play hard, but they know. It's hard to watch and I'm most fans just cut the television off after the third quarter.
Offensively this is the worst game of the season, my five year old could have hit some of Tennessee receivers they were that open. It's not like Vanderbilt has this outstanding defense, but Tennessee sure made them look that way. Justin Hunter continues to drop passes, he lacks the concentration needed to be a first round pick. Marlin Lane looked good and was the lone bright spot on offense.
Defensively, Tennessee played well in the first half and fell apart in the second half. They lack playmakers on the defensive front, they get no pressure on the quarterback. A.J. Johnson is the best player on the field and he can't do it all. Will be interesting to see what the new defensive coordinator can do with the talent that Tennessee has.
Special Teams wasn't that bad, Patterson was electric as usual. Palardy's attempt of the fake punt was a dud, but other than that Tennessee was ok on teams.
Special Teams: c
Danny Parker's thoughts
Tennessee did not lose a fumble, did not allow Vanderbilt to convert on a fourth down and did not allow a touchdown on special teams. It's pure embarrassment from there for the Volunteers, losing 41-18 to Vanderbilt.
Can anybody remember where they were the last time Tennessee had three straight losing seasons? If you can, Barbara Walters wants a chat cause that'd mean you're about 103 years old.
Sorry folks, I'm a bit delirious on this one. Never heard "VU" chanted at length at a football game before and it's messing with my mind.
Jordan Matthews gave Justin Hunter a valuable lesson in what a productive receiver looks like on the SEC stage. While Hunter continues to drop touchdown catches and climb the mock draft rankings, Matthews is owning SEC defensive backs and hauled in seven balls for 115 yards Saturday.
The Vol defense was put in bad positions throughout the night but missed numerous tackles, allowed the hosts to net 4.8 per carry and Jordan Rodgers threw for 245.
A crumb of good news is heading to Big Orange Country as the Vols' first road game in 2013 likely won't be to play the defending BCS national champion Oregon Ducks after their loss to Kansas State tonight. (Note: Tennessee is at Alabama on Oct. 26, 2013.)
Special Teams: B-