D dominates UT scrimmage

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer says his team has installed roughly half of its offense this spring. He's got to be hoping the other half will look better than the half that was displayed in Saturday's first spring scrimmage.

Given that the Vols are adjusting to a new West-Coast system, new terminology and four new offensive assistants, Saturday's performance is hardly cause for alarm. Still, this day clearly was dominated by the defense. Safeties Demetrice Morley and Eric Berry were especially impressive. Defensive tackle Dan Williams had a big day, too.

Jonathan Crompton completed 7 of 15 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Nick Stephens was 5 of 8 for 54 yards with 0 TDs and 0 interceptions. B.J. Coleman was 9 of 16 for 95 yards with 0 TDs and 0 interceptions.

Daryl Vereen paced the rushers with 20 yards on nine carries. Montario Hardesty added 17 yards on five attempts and Lennon Creer 14 yards on eight rushes.

Josh Briscoe had a big day with five catches for 83 yards. Quintin Hancock added three grabs for 26 yards, Gerald Jones 5 catches for 25 yards and Denarius Moore 2 for 19.

Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Donald Langley led all tacklers with 5, including a tackle for loss. Redshirt freshman defensive back Anthony Anderson also had 5 stops.

Tackle Dan Williams chipped in 4 stops, a tackle for loss and three pass deflections. Linebacker Nick Reveiz had 4 stops. Demetrice Morley chipped in 3 tackles, a sack and an interception. Berry contributed a tackle, a pass breakup and a blocked field goal.

Daniel Lincoln hit 6 of 7 field-goal tries, with a long of 44 yards. Walk-on Devin Mathis was 9 of 15 with a long of 43 yards.

Chad Cunningham punted four times for a 43-yard average with a long kick of 45 yards.

Here's a recap of the scrimmage'snoteworthy plays:

A crunching, well-timed hit by sophomore safety Eric Berry broke up a well-thrown pass from No. 1 quarterback Jonathan Crompton.

Backup quarterback Nick Stephens completed his first three pass attempts – all to senior Josh Briscoe. The connections covered 9, 10 and 16 yards.

No. 3 tailback Lennon Creer rambled 8 yards on a misdirection play and fullback Kevin Cooper plunged over from two yards out for the scrimmage's first touchdown one play later. Walk-on Devin Mathis added the PAT.

Dennis Rogan made a spectacular 30-yard return of a 45-yard punt by Chad Cunningham.

Defensive end Wes Brown tipped a Crompton pass. Fullback David Holbert suffered an apparently serious knee injury attempting a diving catch (see other story on this site).

Crompton hooked up with Denarius Moore for a 10-yard gain.

Defensive tackle Dan Williams batted a Crompton pass. It was the first of three pass deflections by the 6-3, 310-pounder.

Safety Demetrice Morley, back from a season in academic exile, sacked Crompton for a six-yard loss.

No. 2 tailback Montario Hardesty showed some power and a nice burst on a six-yard run.

Defensive tackle Demonte Bolden sacked Crompton for a 10-yard loss.

Daniel Lincoln hit a 44-yard field goal from straight on, then nailed a 37-yarder from the left hash and a 37-yarder from the right hash.

Wide receiver Gerald Jones dropped a potential big-gainer from No. 3 quarterback B. J. Coleman. The ball was thrown down around Jones' knees but appeared catchable.

Defensive tackle Donald Langley dropped Lennon Creer for a three-yard loss.

Defensive end Ben Martin tipped a Crompton pass.

Crompton hooked up with Josh Briscoe, who faked out cornerback Anthony Anderson with a nifty move and rambled 40 yards to complete a 48-yard gain.

Redshirt freshman defensive back Art Evans let a potential drive-stopping interception slip through his hands when Crompton and a receiver were not on the same page.

Redshirt freshman tailback Daryl Vereen showed nice second effort on a six-yard run.

Hardesty broke a couple of tackles on an 11-yard burst.

Dan Williams threw Hardesty for a two-yard loss.

Crompton and another receiver got their signals crossed, resulting in a Demetrice Morley interception that was returned 23 yards.

Guard Vladimir Richard got a butt-chewing from Fulmer after instigating a shoving match.

Lincoln sandwiched field goals of 44 and 42 yards around a blocked kick by Eric Berry.

Denarius Moore made a dandy cutback, turning a short pass from B.J. Coleman into a seven-yard gain.

Coleman hooked up with Quintin Hancock for an 11-yard completion.

In Orange-Zone drills starting from the 20-yard line:

Crompton found Austin Rogers with a 17-yard pass.

Crompton lobbed a nice touch pass to tight end Luke Stocker, who made a leaping seven-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.

Linebacker Nick Reveiz dropped tailback Daryl Vereen for a five-yard loss.


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