Monday, August 15, 2011

Vols' defense starting to show development

Tennessee's defensive players gathered in the film room before Saturday's scrimmage to watch a highlight reel of all the unit's big plays of previous years.

When they walked off the field at Neyland Stadium, they left with the assurance that they at least weren't on the wrong end of any plays that would motivate the offense in the future.

Outside of a deep catch by freshman DeAnthony Arnett that was called back for offensive pass interference, the Vols' secondary largely prevented Tyler Bray and the rest of UT's passing game from finding much success with the deep ball Saturday. Freshman Tom Smith had the game's longest run, a 22-yarder, but he didn't find the end zone.

It was a performance that fell short of matching Tuesday's lock-down effort, but was one that coach Derek Dooley said would allow him to enter the film room today with an optimistic vibe.

"The offense made a few plays and we missed a few fits here and there," junior Prentiss Waggner said. "When it comes down to it, coaches always talk about bend but don't break when we get in the end zone and just force field goals. I think we did that today."

The defense surrendered just two touchdowns — a 4-yard catch by Da'Rick Rogers and an 18-yard grab by Matt Milton — while allowing five field goals. The unit, though, was on the field for long periods of time, allowing drives of nine plays, two of eight plays and one of seven plays.

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Getting to the Game

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