Jonathan Crompton: A Real Straight Shooter

Stephen SmithContributor ISeptember 7, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback  Jonathan Crompton #8 of the Tennessee Volunteers warms up before the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Nashville, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Who was that masked man?

Well, he didn't really have a mask on, but Volunteers quarterback Jonathan Crompton was the ultimate straight shooter on Saturday in Tennessee's season-opening 63-7 stampede over Western Kentucky.

Crompton (21-of-28, 233 yards, 5 TDs) immediately went from liability to asset and has everyone in Big Orange Country feeling pretty good about themselves with UCLA coming in this weekend.

Beyond Crompton's performance, Tennessee did what Tennessee is supposed to do, especially at home—and that is to eradicate a team playing in their first-ever FBS game.

After all, part of re-establishing your reputation as an elite program is doing what elite teams are expected to do against the directional schools of the college football world.

"This is the way that we expect to play," Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin said. "We have high expectations here. I just talked to them about understanding that was one game and it's over. We've got to find a way to play better next week."

The defense was also with the program as defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's Tennessee-2 defense held the Hilltoppers under 100 yards of total offense and produced three turnovers. All in all, both Kiffins had a pretty fine weekend.

For all the controversy that surrounded his hire, Lane Kiffin has to be feeling pretty good right now. At least for this week, he's the king of all he surveys. But how long that lasts actually ties back into Crompton.

If the people around him—Bryce Brown and the running game, the offensive line and the defense—execute as well as they did last Saturday, UCLA is in for a rude awakening this week.

People love to say that you shouldn't read your own press clippings.


For Crompton, who's always been long on talent but short on confidence, Kiffin should plaster every article from every source he can find about his performance last week. Not so much to flatter him, but to show him that he can do this again and again...and maybe again.

Who was that masked man?

Why he's Jonathan Crompton.