Professor Hooker's grades are in

A win is a win and no matter how ugly it might have been, Vol fans are glad to go into the month of October 2-2 instead of 1-3. WNOX's Dave Hooker takes a look at Saturday's action and Professor Hooker give us his grades. He doesn't grade on a curve, so beware.

Tennessee dodged a bullet. Here are how the grades shake out after a double-overtime win against Alabama-Birmingham.

A- Quarterbacks

Matt Simms wasn't perfect but he showed tremendous poise considering he was sacked five times. Simms completed 19-of-34 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns. That stat line would have been even better had UT's receivers not dropped a handful of passes. Simms didn't throw an interception. Perhaps Simms held the ball a little too long on a couple of plays that resulted in sacks.

C- Running Backs

The Vols clearly missed starter Tauren Poole, who was limited with a bruised quadriceps. Poole rushed for 25 yards on eight carries. It's more obvious than ever that David Oku (eight carries for 35 yards and three receptions for 23 yards) is best suited as a change-of-pace back.

Rajion Neal ran for 20 yards on four carries. Clearly there wasn't a lot of running room against a UAB defense determined to stop the run. Pass protection wasn't adequate.

C+ Receivers

Dropped passes undermined what could have been a special day for UT's receivers. Still, Zach Rogers reeled in a 72-yard touchdown pass. Tight end Luke Stocker caught four passes for 56 yards. Denarius Moore caught two touchdown passes, including the game winner, ringing up five catches for 68 yards.

F Offensive Line

UT didn't get much done in the running game and couldn't protect Simms, although he said there were some holes up front that UT's backs didn't capitalize on. Injuries, which led to backups playing key roles on Saturday, are a factor. Offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James looked like a freshman at times on Saturday.

C+ Defensive Line

UT's defensive linemen made 3 ½ tackles behind the line of scrimmage and registered six quarterback hurries. That stat line may have been even better had the Blazers not been allowed to hold repeatedly. Still, there were no sacks as UT was often forced to play assignment football.

C- Linebackers

As usual, Nick Reveiz looked like UT's most solid defender with 14 tackles, including two for a loss. Reveiz' backup, Austin Johnson, had nine tackles. LaMarcus Thompson had eight tackles - ½ for loss. Savion Frazier had seven tackles – three for a loss.

However, UT's linebackers looked a bit lost at times in coverage and missed too many tackles.

C- Defensive Backs

Prentiss Waggner registered an interception and four tackles. Marsalis Teague broke up three passes and made four tackles. Eric Gordon broke up a pass and registered four tackles. Janzen Jackson registered just two tackles and broke up one pass.

B Special Teams

Well, at least UT's special teams weren't as bad as they had been – or as bad as UAB's. The Vols weren't perfect, but Daniel Lincoln was – for field goals. However, he had one extra point attempt missed.

C Coaching

UT looked to get out-schemed at times, especially in the first half. Play-action rollouts are becoming predictable.

D Overall

The Vols deserve congratulations for getting the win, but came oh so close to a monumental loss.


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