D ... as in disaster

Tennessee's defense was so inept in the first quarter of Saturday night's game with Louisiana Tech, you would've sworn the ''D'' stood for disaster.

The unheralded Bulldogs shredded the Big Orange stop unit on their third possession, racing 97 yards in just five plays. The big gains were a 29-yard pass from Matt Kubik to Tramissian Davis, a 15-yard toss to Ryan Moats and a 33-yard touchdown pass to Julius Cosby.

Tennessee's stop unit was just as porous on Tech's fourth possession, surrendering a 29-yard completion to Seneca Chambers, a 16-yard pass to Davis and a 37-yard TD run by Moats. By quarter's end, the Bulldogs had 183 yards of total offense and a 14-7 lead.

At this point, defensive coordinator John Chavis made a couple of adjustments that relieved the pressure on Vol cornerbacks and basically saved the day. Tech managed just 147 yards of total offense and three points over the final three quarters as UT rallied to win 42-17.

''We're real happy with the adjustments we made,'' head coach Phillip Fulmer said. ''Defensively, we went to a little more zone so we could relax up some of those young guys. They were losing too many battles. After we changed up the coverage some in terms of how we were surpporting them, they did a good job.''

The Vol head man admitted that Tech fooled the Vols with a little misdirection that enabled the visitors to cash in early.

''They made a couple of really nice plays on counters,'' Fulmer said. ''We missed a couple of tackles -- one linebacker and one safety -- and that was 60-some yards (of Tech's first-quarter total).

''It took us a little bit to get accustomed to it (misdirection). After we went to some zone and got the safeties involved quicker, it halped us.''


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