Can UT hang with Oregon?

Game 2 foes Oregon and Tennessee displayed explosive offenses on college football's opening weekend. The catch: Oregon displayed one for four quarters, the Vols for only one quarter.

The Ducks were unstoppable from start to finish in last Saturday's 72-0 Game 1 beat-down of New Mexico. But the Vols were equally unstoppable in the third quarter of their season-opening 50-0 defeat of UT Martin.

The Big Orange got the ball three times in that period and scored three touchdowns. Even high-powered Oregon can do no better than scoring a touchdown on each possession.

Ironically, it was a second-quarter lull that may have prompted Tennessee's third-quarter explosion.

"The biggest thing that happened for us was our little drop-off in the second quarter where we had a few penalties," said quarterback Matt Simms, who completed 4 of 5 passes for 95 yards during that third-quarter eruption. "I had a delay-of-game, which was entirely my fault. I can't let things like that happen.

"We came in at halftime and regained our focus a little bit. When we came back out, we just played fast, played smart and didn't make as many mental mistakes. Those two lessons we learned really helped us a lot. Hopefully, we can carry that over (to Game 2)."

Tailback Tauren Poole, who had a 14-yard touchdown during the third period, also touched on some adjustments by offensive coordinator Jim Chaney as a key to the climactic quarter.

"We kind of readjusted things coming out of halftime," Poole said. "We figured out what we were doing wrong. We had to be more focused on the details.... We got it together. Coach Chaney fixed things. We readjusted, went back out and it showed."

Tennessee may need to play four quarters this weekend the way it played the third quarter last weekend in order to hang with high-scoring Oregon. Still, seeing everything come together on offense in that one fateful period should provide a mental lift this Saturday night.

"I don't know if it helps THAT much," Poole said, "but it helps a pretty good bit - just to know we're capable of doing great things on offense."


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