Tennessee Football 2013 Spring Game: Live Analysis, Notes and Recap
Final Score: White (offense) 71, Orange (defense) 95.
The spring game for the Tennessee Volunteers is over, and the defense triumphed over the offense with a late surge of back-to-back turnovers.
The defense was in the lead for most of the game, but the fatal wound was the pick-six that put the defense on top 93-69 with three minutes to go. There was just no feasible way for White to pull it off.
Neither quarterback was much better than the other, and this battle may not be over until well after the 2013 season starts.
Vols QBs went a combined 18-43-2ints.....230 yards passing, 1 TD.In the Orange & White game.— 102.5 The Game (@1025TheGame) April 20, 2013
The spring game did show that the defense has improved quite a bit in the pass rush, and it gets full credit for that. Tennessee returns most of its offensive line, so the UT defense wasn't playing with a decided advantage there.
As far as the offense goes, there are many wrinkles to iron out before the fall. However, Alden Hill and Raijon Neal proved to be valuable offensive assets.
Neal looks more explosive than Hill, but Hill came off as far more reliable from play-to-play. Neal was the spark that ignited the offense, but he was more apt to fall to the first tackler.
Tennessee fans should be more than a little excited about the 2013 season after today. They have every reason to believe that they can possibly get as high as the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
That would be an excellent start for Butch Jones, but he really just needs to make the postseason in any slot to make the fanbase smile for the future.
That's it, Tennessee fans. Hopefully, the defense gave the orange and white faithful something to smile about. The offense still needs some work, but that's to be expected with what UT put into the draft this season.
And that's the ballgame. The Orange team wins it 95-71! Second year in a row the Orange has won it— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 20, 2013
That was an unbelievable two-play run for the defense! A fumble recovery followed immediately by a pick-six has turned this into a blowout.
Orange 93, White 69 with 3:14 left in the game.
Palardy got backed up (by the coach) to get a 37-yard field-goal attempt to make it 66-65 Orange. Palardy hit it, and it's a one-point match halfway through the fourth quarter.
As quickly as White cut the lead, Orange got it back. Thanks to Duck Dynasty, though, White is working on getting the game back in-hand.
Running back screen was the play that @friar_martin_dc picked and Peterman tossed it to Hill for a 19 yard gain!— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 20, 2013
How excited are Tennessee fans about Butch Jones?
What you have all been waiting for. The attendance today -- 61,076 fans. Second biggest attendance at the spring game in UT history!— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 20, 2013
White is coming on strong here on the second drive of the second half. After a long pass, the offense gouged the defense again with a long rushing play.
White seems to have paid attention in the halftime locker room.
The score is now 58-52 Orange, but White is in the red zone.
The second half is about to get underway, and the clock will be running for both 10-minute quarters.
The major takeaway from the first half was that Tennessee's defense is going to be competitive in the SEC. The offense has some work to do, but there is still plenty of time.
Halftime stats for the White team:
WHITE (Offense) Stats: Pass - Worley 6-14-129 1 TD, 1 INT; Peterman 3-11-9; Rush - A.Hill 8-48, R.Neal 8-19; Rec - Neal 2-42; Howard 2-18— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 20, 2013
The 52-yard field goal by the White team bounced off the crossbar and through the uprights. White is still down, but the score is much closer now.
Orange 53, White 40.
Obviously, the defense is not allowed to tackle the quarterbacks, but the referees are really giving the defense the benefit of the doubt. There have been two quarterback scrambles that should have gone for first downs.
Safety first, of course, but there's no way that the quarterback wouldn't have avoided those one-on-one attempts.
A 58-yard touchdown pass from Worley brings the score to 53-30 in favor of the Orange. This is exactly what Tennessee fans wanted to see.
A great defense can only set an offense up to win. The offense has to bring the game home.
WHITE Stats: Worley 4-11-74; Rushing - A.Hill 5-28, R.Neal 8-19; Rec. R.Neal 2-42, Pig Howard 1-21— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 20, 2013
Orange up 46-19 over White.
Rajion Neal is quickly becoming the go-to guy for the offense. He's been the most exciting offensive player to watch so far, and he's been the target on most of the plays that got White points.
The defense spent the second part of the first quarter in the backfield and took a commanding lead over the offense.
The offense needs to get itself together. Vols fans should definitely be thrilled at the defense's skill, but they want to see a complete team before the day is done.
Orange has taken the lead, and the offense simply doesn't look like it has answers for the issues at hand. It's still extremely early in the game, though.
There is plenty of time for the quarterbacks to find rhythm.
The defense is forcing the offense to earn everything it's getting. This has to put Vols fans at least a little at ease for the upcoming season.
The 42-yard field goal is good for White. That is still worth three points in this game.
White 15, Orange 10 with 3:56 left in the first.
The defense blitzed, and Just Worley countered with a screen pass for 39 yards. Four points for the White. (Two for the first down, and two for a play that went for more than 15 yards.)
The sack of Nathan Peterman forces the offense to punt again. Orange is keeping it close early on.
The Tennessee offense is in white, and the defense is in orange. Justin Worley is the starting quarterback.
With fewer than 15 minutes remaining before UT kicks off against itself, let's take a look at some important things that should happen today.
Butch Jones will break his new system out, and it should be well-worth watching. He ran a spread at Cincinnati, and the Bearcats were consistent contenders for the Big East title while he was there.
Wide receiver. With the quarterback battle that's going on today, the wide receivers are going to get a lot of attention. There isn't a known superstar that will take the field today, but this game is the best opportunity for anyone to claim a spot on the starting lineup.
The quarterback battle will be one of the most heated fights on the field. Between Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman, somebody has to step up and put some distance between them and the No. 2 spot on the roster. That may or may not happen today.
The defense under John Jancek is back to a 4-3 configuration, and it will be a pleasure to watch. Sal Sunseri had good reason to try the 3-4, but it definitely didn't work out as planned. The 4-3 should help Tennessee get back to SEC quality much more quickly.
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