IT's Take

Every week the InsideTennessee.com staff will bring you its reactions to each week's game. Read to see what Danny, Chris, Josh and Randy all have to say about Tennessee's 20-12 loss to Georgia.

The InsideTennessee.com staff will bring you its point of view each week.

Be sure to check back to see what the IT staff has to say about the Tennessee game every Saturday this fall.

Randy Moore's thoughts

Georgia broke open a tight game by scoring touchdowns on each of its first two second-half possessions, and Tennessee never really got back in the game thereafter. Tennessee's ground game again stalled (finishing with minus-20 yards) and this time Tyler Bray couldn't carry the offense by himself.

The sophomore QB was 18 of 33 for 251 yards and saw his string of 10 consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes snapped. He limped to the sidelines with around 4:00 left, and Matt Simms finished off a 76-yard TD drive against an ultra-soft Georgia defense that was protecting against the big play. The game was not as close as the final score - Georgia 20, Tennessee 12 - might suggest, as the Bulldogs dominated the second half.

Devrin Young had a 50-yard kickoff return and Matt Darr got off a couple of outstanding punts. Michael Palardy hit field goals of 28 and 43 yards but missed a 51-yarder, had a PAT blocked and booted the ball out of bounds on an onsides-kick attempt with 2:45 left and Tennessee down to its last gasp.

Grades:

Offense: C-

Defense: C-

Special Teams: C-

Danny Parker's thoughts

As I've been saying since the summer, the Tennessee Volunteers will never take a step beyond mediocrity as long as they are unable to run the football.

The team has played two Southeastern Conference Eastern Division opponents who are hardly at their program's peak and held the Vols to minus-29 yards on 43 carries.

Center James Stone's sporadically awful snapping plays a role in those numbers but statistics still sometimes help tell the tale.

Quarterback Tyler Bray's thumb is jacked up and his consecutive game streak with two or more touchdown passes ends at 10.

Defensively, to hold an athletic Georgia offense to just six points for 40 minutes, 28 seconds wasn't too shabby. The Bulldogs averaged just 3.66 yards per carry.

Cornerback Marsalis Teague's performance was well below average. The junior was completely torched on at least three occasions.

Matt Darr averaged 42.2 yards per punt. Devrin Young averaged 22 yards per punt return. Both freshmen look promising. Kicker Michael Palardy, uh, not sure what's going on there.

A 51-yard field goal for a college kicker is by no means a gimme. For a kid who was Scout.com's top-ranked kicker his senior year of high school, it should be. He also low-balled an extra point that I wound up catching (from the field level) and booted a last-ditch on-sides kick straight out of bounds.

As important as it is for this team to start running the football, it must also sure up its placekicking game. A team struggling to get momentum must make good on the points its opponent gives it.

Grades

Offense: D+

Defense: C+

Special teams: C-

Chris Price's thoughts

Tennessee continues to get beaten on defense with big plays. The Tennessee secondary is in some serious trouble. Aaron Murray worked Marsalis Teague, the team's most experienced corner, twice in the passing game. The big plays have to stop or Tennessee won't win games in the SEC, period.

Everyone wants to praise quarterback Tyler Bray, but the simple fact is he has greatly underachieved against Tennessee's two SEC opponents. And now to compound the situation speculation is circulating the Bray may have broken his thumb on his throwing hand in the fourth quarter.

Derek Dooley might need to take a hard look at his special teams unit. The Vols have now gone three straight games with a terrible error on special teams. This week it was a missed extra point, which is inexcusable.

The Volunteers running game is nothing short of embarrassing. They look like a high school team trying to run the ball in the NFL. It was another terrible performance against an SEC defense.

Simply said, Tennessee is not going to win very many football games if they continue to play at the level they played at tonight.

Grades:

Offense: C-

Defense: D

Special Teams: C-

Josh Woodwards thoughts

Offensively Tennessee wasn't up to par against Georgia; the Vols continue to struggle against SEC defenses. The run game is still nonexistent only netting 20 yards for the game. The receivers did play well including freshman DeAnthony Arnett 3 catches for 11 yards, but not able to stretch the field. Tight End Mychal Rivera played better than Orson Charles, with a couple clutch catches. The offensive line protected Bray for most of the game, but late Georgia was able to pin its ears back and come hard after Bray.

The defense play great in the first half stopping Georgia's outstanding running back Isaiah Crowell, but the second half Tennessee got burnt deep on a couple of occasions. The defense wasn't able to get much pressure on the quarterback and when they did he was able to scramble and avoid any type of rush Tennessee sent his way. The Vols need to get faster and bigger on defense to keep up in the SEC race. It only gets harder for Tennessee as the LSU Tigers come calling next Saturday night.

Special Teams is probably the biggest improvement for the Big Orange. Michael Palardy finally hit a field goal over 40 yards for the first time and Devrin Young has definitely brought a spark to the return game.

Matt Darr also punted better pinning Georgia inside the 5 yard line, so that an improvement. Other than the Palardy missed extra point special teams played well.

Grades:

Offense: D

Defense: C

Special Teams: B+


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