Fulmer: Take Care of Tennessee 1st

College Football News
Posted Sep 2, 2008

Head coach Phillip Fulmer noted and corrected the media with his first summation of Monday's night's game before looking at the game film.

By: BE Coleman

Head coach Phillip Fulmer noted and corrected the media with his first summation of Monday's night's game before looking at the game film.

Words surrounding a regrouping for the Vols next game in 12 days found Fulmer noting, "We have to take care of Tennessee 1st, then UAB."

"There were breakdowns in the pass rush, whether getting our hands up and tackling better in the open field," noted Fulmer. LB Rico McCoy and Safety Eric Berry combined for a total 7 tackles on the night.

The Vols did not look like a prepared squad in game one, fumbling a snap in the games first offensive possession that cast a light upon the lacking of basic fundamentals for the second straight season opener.

The loss will hurt the teams pride for several days coming, perhaps not as much as it will when a brutal stretch of practice corrections occurs over the next week and a half.

Fulmer noted he was disturbed with the passing game, "be it from a timing standpoint or what." There was little swagger from one of the SEC's top returning units on the evening.

The pre-game jitters that were not supposed to be were at a premium for the Volunteers. "We were not consistent running the ball," noted Fulmer.

"Statistically, we got out of whack running the ball" noted Fulmer. 'We had some big runs there, but we were not consistent running the ball."

The stats sheets provided showed the Vols ran 34 rushing plays and 42 pass plays that were very similar to the former Vol O-Coordinator David Cutcliffe's approach.

The play calling by O-C Dave Clawson was not as important as were the lack of execution by players. Fulmer noted that the offense has to finish drives.

The Vols only managed 189 yards passing, but found 198 running the ball.

"You cant give up plays that take you out of field goal range as those are things you work and hope everybody is paying attention," noted Fulmer.

There were severe break downs in the passing game with QB Jonathan Crompton. Missed reads, missed balls, and miscommunication made UT one-dimensional during the game.

UCLA had trouble stopping the Vols rushing attack at times, but enjoyed greater success watching Tennessee self implode passing the football.

"In the heat of the moment you have to make a decision to throw that ball away," noted Fulmer of Crompton's play. "Those are the types of things we definitely can get better at," added Fulmer.

The Vols front line proved inconsistent as the game wore on, the guys up front that were supposed to protect Crompton fell short miserably.

Berry noted, "Right now, we have an offense that's struggling a little bit. We just have to take care of them until they get right."

The Vols spent the night in Los Angeles and return to classes and practice late Tuesday. -n-

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