Hey, y’all. This weekend, I officially joined up with SportsBlog Nation, and I’ll be blogging from now on at Rocky Top Talk. The new site will be very similar to View from Rocky Top except with more reader participation. Head on over and join the fun!
- Coaches are still waiting for a star to emerge at defensive end. Candidates include juniors Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Wardlow, sophomore Robert Ayers, junior-college transfer Walter Fisher, and redshirt freshman Wes Brown. Among them they have a total of zero starts for UT. It’s looking like Ayers and defensive tackle Turk McBride will start at the ends against California.
- More stuff you never knew, this time about the Florida Gators, courtesy of Fulmer’s Belly.
- If you haven’t visited in awhile, go check out the SportsAnimal’s interview page. Lots of good stuff there, including an interview with Arian Foster. One excerpt:
Q: You averaged almost 150 yards in your five starts, would that be pretty unrealistic to try to do that for an entire season?
A: [Pregnant pause.] Shhhh . . . um . . . I don’t . . . I don’t . . . I really don’t think so. Well, depending on the amount of carries that coach Cutcliffe and the staff allow me to get, I believe I can go out and play this game the way it’s supposed to be played.
Excellent answer with just the right mixture of confidence and humility.
- GoVolsXtra.com’s John Adams analyzes the impact of various scenarios of the 2006 season on coach Fulmer’s job security.
- The Vols are apparently going with game captains this season instead of naming them now for an entire season. I like the let’s-change-all-the-little-things attitude the coaches are using to distinguish this season from last season, but I don’t know about this one. Any thoughts?
From the UT Sports Information department:
The Vol Network officially kicks off “Football Time in Tennessee” this weekend with its annual “Inside the Orange” preseason football special across the state of Tennessee and the Southeast. This one-hour show, hosted by Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer and the Vol Network’s Bob Kesling, Tim Priest and Jeff Francis, takes an in-depth and inside look at the 2006 Tennessee Volunteers. In addition to entertaining interviews and features with UT assistant coaches and members of the team, fans get a sneak peak at some of the renovations taking place at Neyland Stadium. “Inside the Orange: Tennessee Football 2006″ is presented by the University of Tennessee Medical Center. “Inside the Orange: Tennessee Football 2006″ airs in the following markets across the state of Tennessee: Knoxville — Saturday on WBIR-TV at 7 p.m.; Chattanooga — Sunday on WTVC-TV at 1 p.m.; Nashville — Sunday on WUXP-TV at 8 p.m.; Tri-Cities — Sunday on WKPT-TV at 11:30 a.m. and WAPK-TV at 7 p.m. All times are local. The show also airs regionally on CSS (Monday at 7 p.m. Eastern) and FOX Sports Net-South (Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. Eastern).
The House Rock Built has done a yeoman’s job of rounding up the pre-season BlogPoll roundtable responses. That’s a lot of Rs.
Close your door and shut your blinds. Have an extra pair of shorts handy.
It’s the Tennessee fainting goats!
Does anyone else find this eerily reminiscent of last year’s offense?
Go ahead, make your own joke in the comment section below.
Kyle at SBNation’s Dawg Sports has an excellent breakdown of another milestone for the college sports blogosphere. Head on over to read the whole thing, but here’s the nutshell:
CBS Sportsline’s Dennis Dodd says the “canniabalistic” SEC is the best conference in college football and that it has “absolutely no shot at winning the national championship.
Here’s the Rocky Top hurry up for this morning:
The bad news from last night’s scrimmage? Four more interceptions.
The good news? Bo Hardegree threw all of them.
According to UTSports.com, the offense looked “much sharper” that it did in the first two scrimmages. Erik Ainge, who played about 25 snaps, went 3 for 7 for 41 yards and a TD (to Robert Meachem) in limited action, and Jonathan Crompton went 11 of 17 for 129 yards and two scores. It should be noted that all three QBs were in green, no-contact jerseys.
Crompton played with the first-teamers a bit before playing with the second-stringers. Freshman receiver Quintin Hancock caught both touchdowns from Crompton, and Hancock led all receivers in fall practice with four scores. He’s apparently a natural, as he was covered by multiple defenders in the end zone when he caught his first touchdown.
Okay, so that’s what the official site’s take. The Tennessean’s headline is Scrimmage Lacks Energy. “I thought our general demeanor, our presence and our tempo — and that starts with me — wasn’t where it needed to be,” said Ainge. “You could make excuses all day, saying guys are tired and hurt. But everybody in the country is tired and hurting right now. We’ve got to push through it, and we’ve got a big week of practice ahead of us. We’re gearing up for Cal. That’s the number-one thing on our minds right now.” Ainge was apparently limited due to sore ribs resulting from a hit in an earlier scrimmage.
The scrimmage got off to a rocky start, as freshman center Josh McNeil snapped a ball high and Ainge bobbled it. Meachem, who was in motion on the play, recovered it, but the play resulted in a 17-yard loss. “That really kind of ruined my day,” Fulmer said. “Those things will get you beat. We hadn’t had one. We’d done a good job with a bunch of snaps in the spring and everything.”
The Vols plan to use its top three running backs — Arian Foster, Montario Hardesty, and LaMarcus Coker — this season.
The current starters appear to be as follows:
Offense — Eric Young; Anthony Parker; Josh McNeil; David Ligon; Arron Sears; Jayson Swain; Erik Ainge; Arian Foster; Cory Anderson; Chris Brown; Robert Meachem.
Defense — Turk McBride; Justin Harrell; Matt McGlothlin; Antonio Reynolds; Rico McCoy; Ryan Karl; Marvin Mitchell; Jonathan Wade; Inquoris Johnson; Antwan Stewart; Jonathan Hefney.
I’ve done two other posts already this morning, so this will have to be a true hurry up:
- Message to the two readers that have voted in the current poll by saying that the Vols will go 12-0 over the regular season this year: I want some of what you’re having.
- Scout.com has a nice article on Bo Hardegree, who’s been tearing it up. He’s gone 15 of 17 over the past two scrimmages with four touchdowns and one interception. More TDs than incompletions is pretty good, even if it is against third-stringers.
- Stanley Asumnu finally got his scholarship. I’d pay a semester’s worth of tuition for a couple of blocked field goals, wouldn’t you?
- Finally, receiver Quintin Hancock is making some noise. Hancock’s posted six receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns over the past two scrimmages. Again, pretty good, even if it is against third-teamers.
All for now. Don’t miss the two posts immediately below, one on College Football Resource’s take on the Tennessee-Cal game and a preview of the Volunteer wide receiver unit.