Professor Hooker's grades are in

WNOX's and Inside Tennessee'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. How bad was Saturday's performance against Georgia? Go "Inside" and find out.

Well, don't expect anything uplifting in this report card.

There weren't many shining bright spots in Tennessee's 41-14 loss to Georgia on Saturday.

Here are the marks:

C Quarterbacks

Matt Simms made a great play to avoid pressure and throw a touchdown pass downfield, yet his interception was costly. Simms completed 9-of-13 passes for 179 yards and (again) wasn't the reason the Vols lost. Still, Simms occasionally holds the ball too long, which has led to multiple sacks this season.

Tyler Bray was efficient and accurate (8-of-12 for 81 yards) after Georgia called off the Dawgs. Head Coach Derek Dooley supported Simms after the game, but hinted that there might be a brewing competition at quarterback. How that plays out could determine UT's fate this season.

C Running Backs

Backup Rajion Neal turned in 70 receiving yards on three catches, including a 58-yarder. Starter Tauren Poole ran for 51 yards on 15 carries despite obviously being Georgia's main focus on defense. UT's tailbacks were fine, but fine won't win a lot of SEC games.

C Receivers

Is it good news or bad that Justin Hunter had the most significant impact on Saturday? Sure, he's a great talent and showed up against Georgia with four catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.

But UT's remaining wide receivers caught only five passes for 26 yards. Gerald Jones (one catch for three yards) and Denarius Moore (two catches for 18 yards) were noticeably absent. Luke Stocker caught two passes for 36 yards.

D Offensive Line

Not to add insult to injury, but UT's gimpy, rebuilt offensive line just can't compete with upper-level competition. UT gave up eight tackles for a loss, including four sacks. Poole only averaged 3.4 yards per carry.

D Defensive Line

UT's defensive front depends largely on the ascension of tackle Montori Hughes. The problem is there has been no ascension. Instead, the talented sophomore has regressed, causing coaches to cut his playing time significantly.

UT's defensive linemen registered three tackles for a loss – and just one sack – on Saturday. The Vols did a decent job of limiting Georgia's tailbacks but didn't contain quarterback Aaron Murray when he decided to run, which leads us to...

D Linebackers

...UT's linebackers also share some of the blame by losing containment on Murray, who ran for 59 often timely yards. His 35-yard touchdown run was a back breaker. UT's starting three linebackers combined for 14 tackles.

D Defensive Backs

Safety Janzen Jackson turned in some big plays for the second week in a row, with six tackles, a sack and a jarring hit on Georgia receiver A.J. Green.

Yet, for the most part, Georgia's receivers ran wide open on Saturday. The plan was simple: When UT played zone, Georgia knew Murray had time to find the soft spots. When UT played man and blitzed, throw it up to Green.

F Special Teams

Except for Memphis, the Vols can't have two turnovers on special teams and beat any of the remaining teams on their schedule. And Memphis might have enough gumption to beat the Vols with two gifts from Eric Gordon, who muffed a punt and fumbled a kickoff.

The Vols didn't get anything done in the kicking game. Art Evans was called for off-sides on a kickoff. Really?

F Coaching

UT couldn't find an answer when the wheels came off in Athens. Moreover, Head Coach Derek Dooley and his staff evidently didn't do enough to put the emotional LSU loss behind their players. How long will the Tiger hangover last?

Oh, and UT only had 10 players on the field for a field goal attempt. Well, at least 10 is better than 13.

F Overall

The Vols may not have the horses yet to run with the SEC's best, but it was UT's own mistakes that turned Saturday's contest into a blowout.


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