IT's take

Every week the 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 10-7 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.

The 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 each Saturday this fall.

Randy Moore's thoughts

After the 49-7 debacle at Arkansas two weeks ago, I figured Tennessee's football team couldn't look any worse. I was wrong. The Vols sank to a new low Saturday in Lexington, losing 10-7 to a Kentucky team using a wide receiver at quarterback because the top two QBs were injured.

Kentucky essentially had two plays -- quarterback keepers by Matt Roark (24 rushes for 124 yards) and handoffs to CoShik Williams (21 for 68). Even with no threat of a passing attack (4 of 6 for 15 yards), the Cats managed to pile up 202 rushing yards and to keep the ball for 36 minutes to Tennessee's 24.

As for the Vol offense, it was beyond bad. It was horrendous. Whether his injured thumb or sick stomach was to blame, Tyler Bray was off target more than on target versus the Cats. And the ground game, as usual, was a no-show, even against one of the SEC's worst defenses.

As always, special teams was an adventure. Michael Palardy had a 46-yard field-goal try blocked. Matt Darr finished with a 38.3-yard punting average but several of those were aided by bounces and rolls. On a positive note, the Vols surrendered just one yard on two punt returns and 19 yards on one kickoff return.


Offense: F

Defense: C-

Special Teams: C

Danny Parker's thoughts

Lorie Bray shed some tears as her son Tyler jumped into the front row behind the north end zone after Tennessee downed Vanderbilt in overtime at Neyland Stadium a week ago.

Mrs. Bray will have the opportunity to embrace her son for the holidays all she wants now as the Volunteers fell 10-7 to previously-insignificant Kentucky on Saturday afternoon.

Close your eyes and point and it's easy to find an ugly game note.

InsideTennessee staff writer Chris Price didn't exist the last time Kentucky beat Tennessee. Four road games, four losses. First season finale loss since 1982. No bowl game. The Vols are now 11-14 under coach Derek Dooley.

A program that once prided itself on pushing people around, netted just 61 rushing yards on 24 attempts against a Wildcat team that improved to 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the Southeastern Conference, which pushed Tennessee to dead last in the Eastern Division.

Anyone that didn't take heed to Dooley's remarks that Bray is far from being 100 percent now has their proof. The sophomore had ample time to find wide receivers much of the afternoon but completed just 15 of 38 passes for 215 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

With Kentucky totaling just 217 yards, it's hard to point many fingers at the Vol defense. However, the "D" still couldn't avoid giving up the big play with the Wildcats posting two plays of 50-plus yards. Plus, no sacks, no interceptions, no fumble recoveries and no sacks.

Even with the wind at his back for half the afternoon, punter Matt Darr still averaged just 38.2 yards per attempt and never came up with the Colquitt-like boom to flip the field and change momentum.

Tennessee kicker Michael Palardy's gutsy performance against then-No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa now seems like a distant memory and looks to have resembled a Bill Clinton speech to the student body of Johnson County High School — a one time thing.


Offense: F

Defense: C-

Special teams: D-

Chris Price's thoughts

Tennessee came in looking to get bowl eligible and played like a team who didn't have a prayer of reaching the post-season.

Let me injure my historical creditability and say that I wasn't even a thought in my parents mind the last time that this happen.

This loss is so completely embarrasing for Derek Dooley and the Tennessee football program that it can't be put into words.

I really feel for this group of seniors. Just catch a glimpse of Austin Johnson's post-game video interview and it will really put things into perspective.

I can make excuses for this team losing to big-time SEC opponents who are making bids for the National Championship, but to lose to the Kentucky is an complete and total embarrassment to Tennessee football. A wide receiver playing quarterback just beat Tennessee.

I am not going to harp on the defense because they only gave up 10 points. Are you serious boys? You can't put up more than seven points on one of the worst defenses in the league. Enough said. I can't write about this anymore.


Offense: F

Defense: B-

Special Teams: F

Josh Woodward's thoughts

Tennessee had a chance to get bowl eligible, but came out flat at could get out of its own way. The Big Orange looked like a mediocre high school team at times. Dooley needs to have a vast improvement next year as the Volunteer faithful will be running him out of town very soon.

Offensively the play calling was suspect, the middle of the field was open for most of the game and they continued to throw on the outside. The offensive line was blown off the ball most of the day. When you can't run the ball in the SEC you are not going to win, that's fact. Tennessee run game is nonexistent.

Defensively any time you hold someone to 10 points you expect to win. I liked the adjustments that were made to stop the wildcat formation, but they early field goal was the difference in the game. The Big Orange will have to work on team speed in the off season as the look a step slow on the edges.

This is the worst special teams I have seen at Tennessee in a long time, both kickers are talented and young so they need to grow and learn from the mistakes they made this season. Devrin Young is not hitting the seam like he was early in the season. Young dances around like the running backs do on offense.


Offense: F

Defense: C

Special Teams: F

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