Each week InsideTennessee.com's James Bryant will grade the Tennessee Volunteer's game day performance.
While many may wonder how Tennessee could play any better against Western Kentucky in the Vols 63-7 win, you only have to look back to the first quarter where the score was 0-0 after the first 15 minutes.
Tennessee bounced back and led 28-0 at the half and never looked back enroute to a very impressive performance.
Grading the Positions
QUARTERBACKS- Senior Jonathan Crompton finished the game 21 for 28 for 233 yards. He threw a career high five touchdowns and threw two interceptions (both were tipped).
Crompton showed a good command of the offense, he made good decisions for the most part and threw sharp crisp passes with a couple of exceptions.
Nick Stephens came in for mop up duty. He was 4-4 for 44 yards and no touchdowns.
GRADE: B+ While the performance was impressive; the grading scale is affected by the quality of the opponent.
RUNNING BACKS- Senior Montario Hardesty 18 carries for 160 yards and one touchdown, one fumble. He had an 8.9 yard per carry average. Freshman-Bryce Brown 11 carries 104 yards one touchdown. He had a 9.5 yard per carry average. Freshman-David Oku eight carries for 45 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 5.2 yards per carry average. Sophomore-Tauren Poole five carries for 63 yards and no touchdowns.
Take away the one fumble and this group would have the highest grade possible. Also the grade scale is based on the quality of the opponent.
GRADE: A- This group has a lot of potential and will be fun to watch all season.
WIDE RECEIVERS- 10 different players caught balls Saturday. Due partly to all the injuries that have took its toll on the position. True freshman Marsalis Teague finished the game with six receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. He didn't look like a true freshman, that's for sure. Quinton Hancock had five catches for 65 yards and a score. Tight end Luke Stocker was impressive with two catches, both for touchdowns for 23 yards. Brandon Warren also added a touchdown on three catches for 23 yards. True freshman Nu'Keese Richardson had three receptions for 30 yards.
No dropped balls that I can think of, a very steady performance by this group.
GRADE A Again grading scale is based off quality of opponent, no play bigger than 28 yards. This group needs to establish a deep ball threat.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Anytime an offense can roll up over 650 yards of total offense and over 380 yards rushing the offensive line has done a pretty good job. This group gave up no sacks, yes I know quality of opponent, but this group still did a great job. Probably the most improved group overall.
DEFENSIVE LINE: This group had five sacks; they pressured the quarterback all day long. They stuffed the ball carrier in the back field multiple times. The defense as a group gave up only 9 yards in the first half.
LINEBACKERS: Nick Reveiz, Rico McCoy and LaMarcus Thompson were all over the field making plays for Monte Kiffin's defense. This group was an unknown going into the game; linebacker coach Lance Thompson has done a tremendous job with these guys.
This group had one interception, two pass break ups. Eric Berry almost had an interception that surely would have been an easy six points. This group played the ball aggressively, and didn't have big numbers due to WKU's lack of a passing attack.
Lane Kiffin did a tremendous job calling the plays. This offensive attack was well balanced and unpredictable. Monte Kiffin called a heck of a defensive game, allowing less than 100 yards offense. This team well prepared at every position, the team was motivated to play and even when adversity occurred in the first quarter the team still responded in a positive manner. This is an aggressive coaching staff and it shows. GRADE A++