Wednesday, June 4, 2008

SEC Rundown: University of Tennessee

In 2007 the Vols were 10-4 overall and 6-2 in the conference. They were the Eastern Division Champions. For 2008, they return one of the best tailbacks in the SEC in Adrian Foster who rushed for 1,193 yards in 2007, and one of the top receivers in the conference in Lucas Taylor. First year starting quarterback Jonathan Crompton will be the key to the offense. If he can avoid too many first year mistakes, he has a good enough supporting cast around him to be proficient. Tennessee should be improved on defense over last year, when they averaged giving up over 400 yards per game. They will have six players coming back in the secondary with starting experience. The line also returns experience. Their biggest task will be to replace departed linebacker Jerod Mayo, who led the SEC in tackles in 2007. Tennessee has not won the Southeastern Conference Championship in 10 years, and if they expect to this year the will have to run the football better, as well as stop the run better. These two categories are what UT football is known for anyway. They will need to be good early, because they play UCLA, Florida, and Auburn after opening with UAB. The early open date between UCLA and Florida will probably be bigger than it sounds now. The Volunteers may very well be better than last year's division champs, but they will not repeat that feat again in 2008. If a key win saved the job of the most over-rated head coach in the conference in 2007, then another year without that trophy might just be another nail in Phillip Fulmer's big orange coffin.

No comments: