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Vols Weather Early Storm To Win Season Opener

Written by: Jake Wallman (@WallmanE75)  Tennessee played its second Southern Athletic Conference opponent in Lenoir-Rhyne on the season Tuesday night inside Thompson-Boling Arena and they would learn fast that this team was no Tusculum.  In the first nine minutes of the game things went back and forth with the teams trading some early blows. Lenoir-Rhyne even held a slim 3-2 lead when Djibril Diallo hit a three pointer just two minutes in. Every time it was the Vols hitting a shot, the Bears found a way to answer. KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 06, 2018 - Guard Jordan Bowden #23 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears and the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics Tennessee hit a three to make it 9-3, but Lenoir-Rhyne hit a three of their own moments later and made it 9-6. The Vols went back down the floor and Jordan Bowden hit a three to bring the lead back to six, but then the Bears would hit another three of their own and it was back to a three-point game. It looked as if Tennessee was starting to pull away as the lead stretched to 20-12 when Lenoir-Rhyne came out of nowhere and made it a one possession game again. That’s when Rick Barnes had seen enough and called a timeout. “What we talked about the way we were playing defense, you know careless. We were playing hard, there’s no doubt I thought we were playing hard. But we weren’t playing smart, we were running guys off the line we weren’t supposed to when we didn’t have too,” said Barnes.    This was a timeout that the [...]

Vols Weather Early Storm To Win Season Opener2018-11-07T02:38:23+00:00

Vols Get Win Over Charlotte On Homecoming

Written by: Matthew Peterson Tennessee walks away with a win, but closer than they would have liked after defeating the UNC-Charlotte 49ers 14-3 in Neyland Stadium on Saturday. The Vols struck first with an 82-yard punt return courtesy of wide receiver Marquez Callaway halfway through the first quarter. Defensive back Nigel Warrior stressed how Callaway’s punt return set the tone for the team, “He set the tempo for us,” Warrior said. “He got us going.” Jarrett Guarantano added a 16-yard touchdown pass to Josh Palmer in the corner of the end zone before the end of the first quarter to extend the lead to    14-0. Despite getting out to a quick 14 point lead the offense began to slow down. Callaway believed that may be attributed to overlooking the opposition. “I think a lot of us underestimated Charlotte,” Callaway said. The 49ers would get on the scoreboard with a 20-yard field goal right before the end of the half. Going into halftime the Vols could not beat the sixth ranked run defense in FBS of the 49ers totaling zero rushing yards. Coach Jeremy Pruitt said the team was not surprised that the 49ers run defense was stingy. “We’ve struggled to run the football all year, so I don’t know why this game would be much different,” Pruitt said. The second half was a game of chess between both team’s punters flipping field position for the opposing offenses. The Vols punted on four possessions in the second half and missed a field goal to go with it. As for the 49ers they punted four times in the second half as well and had three 3-and-outs in the game. Through the air Guarantano was able to find [...]

Vols Get Win Over Charlotte On Homecoming2018-11-03T22:00:48+00:00

SEC Football Preview Week 10

Written by: Nicholas Hill (@nickoverthehill) The SEC has reached its tenth week of the season and the matchups this week will likely determine the winners of each division and who will play in Atlanta for the SEC Championship on December 1st. The current leader of the SEC West is Alabama at 5-0 in conference play and the SEC East has a tie between Georgia and Kentucky, who will play this week for the SEC East Championship. Alabama can clinch the SEC West Championship this week with a win at LSU, but it the Tigers win they would not clinch the division and Alabama would still remain in SEC West title contention. There are five SEC Conference matchups this week in addition to two non-conference games including Tennessee’s homecoming game against Charlotte. Vanderbilt and Arkansas are off this week. Here is a short rundown of the six matchups this week that involve SEC teams excluding Tennessee. Lines are as of Thursday, November 1st and the rankings are from the College Football Playoff Committee's pole. 20 Texas A&M (5-3)(3-2) @ Auburn (5-3)(2-3) TV & Time: 12 PM on ESPN Line: Auburn -4 Series: Texas A&M leads 5-3 Streak: Auburn has won 1 straight Last Meeting: Auburn won 42-27 in College Station last season. Synopsis: Texas A&M did win the meeting prior in 2016 when the two meet at Auburn as the Aggies outscored the Tigers 29-16. However, the A&M is coming off a 28-13 loss at Mississippi State, while the Tigers were off last week. Auburn did win their last game two weeks ago in Oxford against Ole Miss 31-16. While both teams are essentially out of contention for the division title, this game should go a long [...]

SEC Football Preview Week 102018-11-03T10:51:34+00:00

Tennessee Welcomes Tusculum to Rocky Top as Basketball Returns

Written by: Jake Wallman (@WallmanE75) The lights inside Thompson-Boling Arena turned on Wednesday night and live basketball was seen for the first time since Tennessee hosted Georgia and clinched a share of the regular season SEC title last March.   The Vols who will open the 2018-19 campaign with their highest ranking in program history at sixth in the AP poll hosted Tusculum on Halloween night for their only exhibition matchup of the season. It was all treats and no tricks for the Vols as they jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back. The closest the Pioneers from Tusculum ever got to tying or taking a lead was at 8-5 when the game had its first media timeout. The first half saw a lot of consistency on both ends of the floor for Tennessee. After the media timeout, Tusculum was shut out for almost eight minutes and the next points for the visitors weren’t earned, they came from the free throw line. On offense, Tennessee shot an even 50 percent from the field in the first half and had 14 points in the paint. They forced 16 first half turnovers and turned them in to 19 points. Tennessee got power from the usual crew as Jordan Bone had nine at halftime, Grant Williams had eight while both Admiral Schofield and Jordan Bowden had seven. The game was decided and put to bed by halftime with a score of 42-14.  Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes was asked about the performance from the first to the second half and he said “In the first half, I thought defensively we were getting stops and consecutive stops and allowing us to get out and push the ball,” [...]

Tennessee Welcomes Tusculum to Rocky Top as Basketball Returns2018-11-01T23:56:15+00:00

Inside the Schedule: Tennessee Volunteers

Written by: Jake Wallman (@WallmanE75) It’s that time of year again, i've already seen pictures of Halloween candy hitting the shelves in stores. Plus Starbucks debuted their annual “Pumpkin Spice” flavor this week, even though summer's just now dwindling down. Game week is finally here for the Tennessee Volunteers and the long what for Big Orange football is finally over. The boys in orange kickoff their 2018 campaign under first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt this Saturday, Sept. 1st in Charlotte, N.C. in the Belk Kickoff Classic against the 17th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. The Vols are coming off a rough 2017 campaign that ended with a 4-8 record, the worst in school history and also saw the firing of Butch Jones after a lopsided loss to Missouri on November 11th. Fans in Knoxville seem to have plenty of positive vibes despite the team coming off of an uncharacteristically down year. Here are my game-by-game picks for the 2018 Tennessee Vols. Week One (Sept. 1) Tennessee vs. No.12 West Virginia in Charlotte, N.C. Mountaineers Head Coach Dana Holgorsen enters his eighth year in Morgantown and each year he’s been searching for the “lightning in a bottle” type of magic he found in year one with a 2011 Orange Bowl victory. This game is set as the CBS Game of the Week as the college football season gets underway and is set for a 3:30 p.m. eastern kickoff. Most of the nation will tune in for this one with Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson in the booth. West Virginia is returning an offense that might as well be ranked in the top 10 with Will Grier at quarterback. A lot of people see him as a Heisman dark horse if [...]

Inside the Schedule: Tennessee Volunteers2018-08-31T17:21:45+00:00

Grizzlies waive Kobi Simmons

Written by: Jacob Boughter (@jacob_boughter) On August 28th, the Memphis Grizzlies waived fan favorite Kobi Simmons, who played for the Grizzlies during the 2017-18 season. Simmons was a McDonald’s All-American in 2016 and played one season of college basketball at Arizona before going undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft. The Grizzlies signed the 6-5 combo guard to the NBA’s first ever two-way contract on July 1st, 2017. Simmons played in 32 games for Memphis last season, averaging 6.1 points and 2.1 assists per game on 42.3% shooting. He spent the rest of the season in north Mississippi with the Memphis Hustle. A contributing factor to Simmons being waived could have been the recent signing of Shelvin Mack for the Grizzlies. Mack has played in the NBA for seven seasons and was a member of the Orlando Magic last year. Simmons being waived is also possibly due to the return of Mike Conley for the 2018-19 season, after he missed all but 12 games last season. This makes Simmons the fifth point guard on the team behind Conley, Mack, Garrett Temple, and Andrew Harrison, putting him in a position where his value dropped do to the number of point guard in Memphis. It has been rumored that the Grizzlies waived Simmons to free up a roster spot for hometown hero Markel Crawford. Crawford played for both the University of Memphis and Ole Miss during his college career and was recently signed to a camp deal with the Grizzlies. The high-scoring guard most recently played for the Grizzlies during the 2018 Summer League season, where he averaged 9.6 points in 18 minutes per game. The Grizzlies now have one of their allotted two two-way contracts open, with Japanese [...]

Grizzlies waive Kobi Simmons2018-08-31T14:20:52+00:00

Honoring a VFL: John Ward

At first, I chose not to write this article as I didn’t know if I could honor a legend in the right way. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about how John Ward would’ve wanted me too on the adage that you need to take every opportunity you can get and run with it. Being born in 1996 and with John retiring officially after the 1999 basketball season, most would say I don’t know who John is. Well with the power of YouTube where a lot of John’s broadcasts are and thanks to Vol For Life Films, I’ve heard him more than you might think.     John Ward was everything to Tennessee fans, especially in East Tennessee. When a fan didn’t have the opportunity to go to a game, it was straight to the closest radio and his voice would be the one to greet them, “Hello everyone, this is John Ward of the VolNetwork.” He would describe everything down to the last detail. He and the late Bill Anderson, the late color guy that sat next to John in the Neyland Stadium press box for three decades, would be overly homer for Tennessee without going overboard. You knew who they wanted to win and they never made the game about themselves. Those two were the best broadcasting duo that may ever grace this Earth. His storied calls are quotes that will be remembered forever, and they will be something I will show my kids someday:     “Did he make it? The crowd tells you. GOOD-AH JOB!” – Georgia vs Tennessee, 1995  “Give. Him. Six!!!” – after every touchdown Tennessee scored for over three decades  “Bottom! Bang!” – words tossed around in basketball broadcasts for Tennessee basketball  Or two of [...]

Honoring a VFL: John Ward2018-06-28T14:20:14+00:00

Vols once again in SEC/Big 12 Challange

For those who don’t know, the Big 12/SEC Challenge is an annual college basketball event taking place between the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12. The conferences along with the athletic directors from the schools will create ten matchups between a Big 12 team and an SEC team. One of the greatest things about the event is that it isn't played at neutral sites. You do not have to travel to New York or the Bahamas, two popular locations where some early season tournaments are held. The Volunteers have been a team that’s regularly participated in the challenge, only missing out of the 2013-14 season which was the year it was created. Taking a quick look at the Vols and how they’ve fared in the event, they’ve done well. In Tennessee’s first year, Donnie Tyndall’s squad beat Bruce Weber and Kansas State in Knoxville, 65-64. The Vols went to TCU in 2015, Rick Barnes’s first year at the helm, and lost 75-63. Tennessee has won its last two outings vs the Big 12, 70-58 in 2017 at home and 68-45 this past season at Iowa State. This has led to a record of 3-1, but the SEC as a whole has seen better days. Going into the sixth year of the challenge, the Big 12 has won the challenge four times with the SEC winning last year 6-4. Although the times have not yet been set they probably will be as the season gets closer. Here are the 10 games with their locations: Alabama @ Baylor, Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas Arkansas @ Texas Tech, United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, Texas Florida @ TCU, Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, Texas Texas @ Georgia, Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Georgia Kansas [...]

Vols once again in SEC/Big 12 Challange2018-05-27T15:08:06+00:00

Nashville claims 2019 NFL Draft

Growing up in Tennessee, the city of Nashville has always been the measuring stick as to what a city can do to make itself appealing. The two big cities on either side, Knoxville and Memphis, have developed a rivalry of sorts with our state capital as to who’s the better city with the better atmosphere.   Everyone knows what type of town Nashville is. Broadway is the center of the activity. The street is lined with honky tonk bars, six bands in six different places playing a Bruce Springsteen song at the same time. The Nashville Predators are becoming a NHL-powerhouse, with a big Stanley Cup run a year ago. The Southeastern Conference has really staked it’s claim on the city with men’s and women’s basketball tournaments being held at Bridgestone Arena along with several other events like the Music City Bowl and the Vols making a trip down every so often to a play a home game at Nissan Stadium.   Nashville has even been dubbed as “the city where dreams come true” with Music Row, where aspiring music artists who are mostly in the country music industry come to get their start. The bottom line is that Nashville is Tennessee’s hub city and its why Bud Adams, the longtime owner of the former Houston Oilers and now Tennessee Titans picked Nashville, because as he described it, “it is the Athens of the south”.   So, all this sports town needed was a big-time event, something that could not only give the city the limelight but keep them there. The Preds did host the NHL All-Star game in 2016, an event where the hockey world is looking at you only. The event came to [...]

Nashville claims 2019 NFL Draft2018-05-27T14:55:30+00:00

Could Mason Rudolph Start sooner then Expected

The Steelers made an interesting selection in the draft that not everyone saw coming, especially Ben Roethlisberger. With the 76th pick in the third round the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph. Rudolph went to school all four years and was the starting quarterback for his last three. In each of those three years he completed over 60 percent of his passes, and he threw for over 4000 yards in his final two years. After finding out, Roethlisberger was not quiet about his reaction: “I was surprised when they took a quarterback because I thought that maybe in the third round, you know you can get some really good football players that can help this team now.” Previous to the draft he made sure the Steelers franchise was aware that he think he could play “for at least three more years.” Now with this selection, people may wonder how valid GM Kevin Colbert found Roethlisberger's claims regarding the longevity left in his career. Big Ben did show signs of deteriorating over the past three seasons with his completion percentage lowering each year along with his yards per attempt dropping as well. This team has had the best wide receiver and running back in the league for the past few years and the clock is ticking for them to get to the promised land. It is no secret that Antonio Brown as well as Le’veon Bell are in their primes while Roethlisberger is now 36 and has seen his peak come and go. If Roethlisberger's play continues to erode like it has, having a quarterback who is ready to step in and already knows the system could possibly save a season. There is no [...]

Could Mason Rudolph Start sooner then Expected2018-05-27T14:33:45+00:00