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Rocky Top Talk Nov 21, 2014

Tennessee vs Missouri Preview: The Weight & The Wait

While Missouri plays to stay in the driver's seat, a young Tennessee team must deal with distractions, injuries, and rising expectations. A month ago Tennessee's deficiencies were so pronounced they impacted not just the present but the future.  The offensive line was a disaster, how could we expect them to get significantly better by next season?  Mike Bajakian's offense was near the bottom of the country in yards per play, could it really work in the SEC?  And two of Tennessee's most important players were senior A.J. Johnson and senior Justin Worley, their backups being nonexistent or...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 20, 2014

Tennessee 70 Texas Southern 58 - First Win, First Steps

Donnie Tyndall gets his first win at Tennessee as the Vols pull away from Texas Southern late. We're trying to learn as much as we can as fast as we can about Donnie Tyndall's Vols, and we're all going to get some things wrong by way of jumping to conclusions too quickly along the way.  Tennessee's press is designed to wear teams down, and tonight the Vols and Tigers played to a 30-30 draw in the first half before Tennessee pulled away 40-28 in the second.  Texas Southern had 13 turnovers while the Vols gave it away just eight times, the better look we were hoping for after 19 against...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 20, 2014

Tennessee Vols vs. Texas Southern Tigers: game thread

The Vols host Texas Southern tonight at 7:00. Here's your game thread. The Tennessee Volunteers host Texas Southern tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports Net. This is the second best place to watch and discuss it with other Vols fans online as it happens. Go Vols! TV: Fox Sports Net RADIO: VOL NETWORK ONLINE: WATCH ESPN, LIVE AUDIO
Rocky Top Talk Nov 20, 2014

RTT Podcast: Missouri

We're joined by our sister site Rock M Nation to discuss the Vols and Tigers. Lots of podcast action this week:  I was a guest on Rock M Radio discussing Saturday's matchup, and Jack Peglow returned the favor joining us on the RockyTopTalk Podcast this week.  Among topics this week: - How much of Missouri's increased offensive production can be attributed to playing Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M the last three weeks? - What's the deal with Maty Mauck, and is any quarterback capable of holding the "best in the SEC East" title for more than two weeks? - How Missouri gets so much...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 20, 2014

3 keys to the Tennessee Vols vs. Missouri Tigers: Shrugs and gnats and ostriches

With so many unknown variables at play in the Vols-Tigers game, it could all come down to mistakes. Or not. Predicting this Saturday's game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Missouri Tigers is something like trying to hit a gnat with a rubber band while riding an ostrich on a moonless night. We think we know the power and explosiveness of Tennessee's offense under Josh Dobbs, but we haven't seen them do it against a really strong defense that knew exactly who Dobbs is and what he can do. Further, the offense will be operating without its starting center, and the defense will operate...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 20, 2014

Rocky Top Locks Week 13: Down The Stretch We Come

The Kid is two games ahead of the pack going into the penultimate full slate of games, but by no means does that mean this game is over. If this stuff were easy or predictable they wouldn't call it gambling. Current Standings KidB:  2-4 Last week, 37-33-2 overall (53%) I_S:   4-2 Last week, 35-35-2 overall (50%) Chris: 2-4 Last week, 34-37-1 overall (49%) Chris's "2013 Was So Last Year" Picks Duke (-6) v. North Carolina - In Cut we trust. Minnesota (+10.5) at Nebraska - I figured out why I'm awful at picking games this year: I've been riding with a lot of ACC games and noon B1G...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 20, 2014

Tennessee vs Texas Southern Preview

The basketball Vols look to bounce back in the home opener. If you're looking for a low-stress night with this basketball team, tonight may be it until December 19.  Between Texas Southern this evening and Tennessee Tech in 30 days, the Vols are in Orlando next week to face Santa Clara and potentially Kansas, Marquette, Georgia Tech, or Michigan State, then home for Kansas State and Butler, then at NC State.  So if things go the way they went for the Vols at VCU last week, you'd better make sure you get this one. Texas Southern actually made the NCAA Tournament last year as a First Four...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 19, 2014

RTT Locks Week 12 Recap

The one in last has a winning week, the one in first has a losing week. That's how it's gone all season for us. Want your picks to win: fade the leader. Week 12 Results KidB: 2-4, 37-33-2 overall I_S: 4-2, 35-35-2 overall Chris: 2-4, 34-37-1 overall Chris' Picks South Carolina +7 over Florida. Now look what you did, you got Muschamp fired. Thanks a lot, Chris. 1-0 TCU -28.5 over Kansas. There was actually a time in the second half where Kansas had a double-digit lead. I don't understand that any more than you do, but Chris' picks against Kansas have had a lot less success post-Weis....
Rocky Top Talk Nov 19, 2014

The Missouri-Tennessee Content Generation Expo and/or Preview

As it was written, so shall it be done. With the cloud of lots of people doing really stupid things-Brian Randolph, come on down; AJ Johnson and Michael Williams, y'all stay on the sidelines-there's still a game this weekend. It's a big one, although arguably more important to a Missouri squad that has all the pressure on it this time around. If the Tigers (no, not those Tigers) can win on Saturday and against Arkansas (they're 3-2 against them, although based on the average score, don't watch this game), then the Tigers give a transitive SEC East victory to Indiana advance to play...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 18, 2014

Tennessee Vols Trending Report: Week Ten (Kentucky)

Tennessee kept doing most of the things they did well against South Carolina and got back to their early season form defending the third down. The Vols looked good this Saturday, as Tennessee beat Kentucky 50-16 in Knoxville, bringing their overall record back to .500 and putting themselves within one game of bowl eligibility. What areas of their play took a step forward, and which still need to improve? We take a look in this week's Trending Report. TRENDING UP: Playing with expectations. Before this week, Tennessee had been an underdog in four SEC games (covering the spread in three...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 18, 2014

Tennessee Vols football stat rankings continuing to improve

Your eyeballs are not lying when they're telling you to be excited about the immediate future of Tennessee Football. With two regular season games remaining, the Top 30 table continues to grow and the Bottom 30 table continues to shrink. Let's take a look at how it's all coming together. What Tennessee is doing well Welcome (back) to the Top 30, 3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense, First Downs Defense, and Passing Yards Allowed. And allow me to introduce a new student this morning. Everybody say hi to Team Sacks. You may remember his older brother who sat in this very desk way back in . . ....
Rocky Top Talk Nov 17, 2014

Vols Suspend AJ Johnson, Michael Williams

This morning, news broke that Tennessee linebacker A.J Johnson and cornerback Michael Williams were under investigation for a sexual assault allegedly committed early Sunday morning. At his noon press conference, Butch Jones said I want to be right rather than fast. We'll continue to gather information and based on what we have at that particular time, we will determine whether or not they will practice but if there is anything of it, then they won't practice. I think we've proven since we've been here that we're always going to act accordingly and we're going to act swiftly. Four hours...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 17, 2014

Lady Vols v. Oral Roberts, 7 PM EST

It's the second game for the Lady Vols as they look to cut out any sloppy play against Oral Roberts. Gametracker: miss you, ability to see stats by half Audio: Mickey's drawing hearts around Middleton's name on the stat sheet Video: only available online, contain your shock When we left the Lady Vols, they were busy running Penn out of TBA. Next up: Oral Roberts, who we've seen before, but it's been a couple years since the 82-63 win to open the 2012-2013 NCAA Tournament. Is Oral Roberts a tough opponent? Well, their RPI last year was 282 and Baylor didn't back out of a game they had...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 17, 2014

Point-Counterpoint: Missouri

Point There can be no compromise with Missouri By Zombie Henry Clay Ladies and gentlemen, when last we spoke, I addressed you most eloquently upon the subject of compromise-- addressing whether or not every compromise is an abdication of a principle, or simply  a measure of mutual concession and sacrifice. I plied our body politic with words of erudition, and sought to sway you with a sweet and honeyed tongue-- but long years have wrought a bitter wisdom in these dusty bones, and I fear I must abjure my former words and repent. Having considered the matter most deeply upon my Christian...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 17, 2014

Re-weighing expectations: Vols one game away from 2014 goal of bowl eligibility

Weighing the Vols' chances against their remaining schedule: Week 12. There's been a lot of confusion about the RTT 5-30 Point Scale that we use to precisely and accurately predict the outcomes of Vols games, so I wanted to take the opportunity this week in particular to clear up some of that confusion. 1. The characteristic for which the 5-30 Point Scale System is best known is its patent pending Liquid Precision. It's precisely accurate to an integer chosen mostly at random. 1. That statistical quirk that you think should be accounted for? The 5-30 Point Scale accounts for it to the...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 16, 2014

Butch Jones, Josh Dobbs Reach Level Two

Tennessee's exciting young quarterback prepares to face the first good defense that knows he's coming, and Butch Jones and the Vols try to take an important step up the ladder. Rarely has doing what Tennessee teams historically do to Kentucky felt so good.  Getting win number five over the Wildcats allows Tennessee to think about making holiday arrangements in Nashville or Memphis with Vanderbilt in the hole.  But now an additional opportunity truly appears. Missouri will be the 12th ranked team Butch Jones has faced in his first two years.  The head coach got his win over #11 South...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 16, 2014

Thirteen Tennessee-Kentucky Thoughts

What we take forward from the extended Tennessee beatdown of Kentucky. 1. There's only so much you can say about a win where we put up a postgame recap nine minutes after the final snap. This was comprehensive; 50-16 isn't a misprint and it isn't telling you something you shouldn't know. This got nasty in a hurry. 2. If you missed the game: Josh Dobbs went for nearly 300 yards at 70% through the air plus another 50 on the ground while Jalen Hurd ran for 112. Jason Croom, Von Pearson, and Brian Randolph(!) had touchdowns, and Aaron Medley was good enough. Pearson in particular looked like a...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 15, 2014

Tennessee 50 Kentucky 16: The Next Step with Style

Josh Dobbs scored four touchdowns, the defense scored another, and Tennessee took the next step towards bowl eligibility with style, drilling Kentucky 50-16 Saturday afternoon in Knoxville. For the first time in Butch Jones' tenure in Knoxville, Tennessee ran away with a meaningful SEC game, jumping out to a 30-3 lead before cruising to an 50-16 win over Kentucky Saturday afternoon in Knoxville. Josh Dobbs threw for 293 yards and ran for 53, and Jalen Hurd added his third 100-yard game of the season, leading the Tennessee offense to 511 yards and 43 points. Dobbs threw for three...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 15, 2014

Vols-Wildcats: 2nd half game thread

The Vols are in control at the half against Kentucky. Here's your second half game thread. Yes, it's all Vols at the half with the good guys leading 33-13 and generally looking in control except for a couple of drives by Kentucky and a squib kick that gave away three points at the end of the half. Can Tennessee continue to roll in the second half? Stay tuned.
Rocky Top Talk Nov 15, 2014

SEC Power Ranking Week 12

The triumphant return of Satan's smallest minion, and we try to make sense of the injuries besetting Ole Miss. Previous Rankings Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Comments Ole Miss Auburn Auburn Mississippi State Mississippi State Mississippi State Consistency is the hobgoblin of... okay fine, we were wrong. Auburn Ole Miss Alabama Alabama Alabama Ole Miss Georgia LSU LSU LSU Georgia Georgia Kentucky Kentucky Tennessee Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas The highest rated zero win team I've ever seen. Tennessee Tennessee Missouri Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas...