Monday, September 10, 2007

Tennessee 39-Southern Miss. 19


OK…so it wasn’t a blowout or the type of game you go home yelling YEAH in the parking lot afterwards but a win is a win. As the game progressed, the Vols took control, as quarterback Erik Ainge showed no ill effects from his broken pinkie finger. Tailback Arian Foster ran as if he was being let out of prison folks. I guess Coach Phillip Fulmer heard the cries from Vol nation begging for Foster to get more of the load in the backfield and the junior responded with 125 critical yards even after Tennessee went to the passing game. The Vols had three big scoring drives of 70, 73 and 53 yards in the game. The UT defense played up to the task in the second half getting a fumble recovery that led to a score after stripping the ball from Tory Harrison of Southern Miss.

The Golden Eagles came in believing they had a chance and they had their opportunities but had to settle for field goals when they needed touchdowns. Turnovers in the second half also killed any hope they had of making it a game. Special teams had a good game for the Vols, except for a 42-yard punt return they allowed in the first quarter. Freshman defensive back

Eric Berry got his first start and made the most of it with some good stops and hits. Still you have to wonder if the Vols are ready for primetime, which by the way starts next week at the Florida Gators. They cannot play next week as they did in the first half of this game, if they do, Fulmer’s boys will be chasing Gator tail all day. Lastly, they must keep improving on the running game if they stand a chance at helping Ainge beat the Gators.

Key Plays:

1. Ainge touchdown pass to Josh Briscoe that gave Vols 17-16 lead going into intermission.
2 .Vol LB Jerod Mayo forces huge fumble in third quarter.
3. Southern Miss QB Jeremy Young hits WR Chris Johnson for 69-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.