Tennessee Postgame Notes

Oct. 18, 2008

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Noting Tennessee
  • Tennessee improves to 3-4 (1-3 SEC); Mississippi State to 2-5 (1-3 SEC) on the year.
  • The Vols entered the game unranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls; Mississippi State was also unranked in both polls
  • Tennessee returns to action Oct. 25 when it hosts Alabama at Neyland Stadium. Kickoff has not been set yet. The game will either begin at 3:30 ET and be televised by CBS or start at 7:45 ET and be televised on ESPN.
Tennessee-Mississippi State Series
  • Tennessee now leads the all-time series with Mississippi State 28-15-1, dating to 1907. That record includes a 13-7 mark in Knoxville.
  • The Vols have won the last six meetings with the Bulldogs which is the longest win streak by either team in the 101 year series history.
Phillip Fulmer's Record
  • Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's record now stands at 150-49 (.754) in 17 seasons with the Vols.
  • Fulmer now owns an 87-17 (.837) record in home games, a 94-32 (.746) regular-season SEC record and a 37-15 (.712) record against the SEC Western Division.
Tennessee One of Only Two Schools with Two Coaches Over 150 Victories At Same School
  • Phillip Fulmer's 150th triumph as Tennessee's head coach, allows him to join Gen. Robert R. Neyland (173) as the second Vols coach to reach that victory plateau. UT stands alongside Michigan as the only two schools with two different coaches owning 150-plus victories at their respective schools. Bo Schembechler (194) and Fielding Yost (165) passed the 150-mark for the Wolverines.
Berry Breaks SEC Interception-Return Yardage Record
  • Sophomore defensive back Eric Berry broke the game open with a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the second career touchdown for Berry. His other touchdown was a 96-yard interception return at Florida in 2007.
  • The 72-yard return gives Berry 397 interception return yards for his career which is the most career interception return yards in SEC history - previous best was 379 by Bobby Wilson of Mississippi. Florida State's Terrell Buckley has the NCAA career record with 501 yards.
  • Berry's fourth-quarter interception was his team-leading fifth of the season and the 10th of his young career.
  • Berry has now intercepted a pass in three straight games. Former safety Jonathan Hefney was the last Vol to have an interception in three consecutive games. (2006 against Marshall, Memphis and Georgia).
  • The Fairburn, Ga., native also had a season-high 10 tackles including his second career sack.
Noting the Defense
  • Sophomore defensive end Ben Martin forced a fumble on Mississippi State's first possession. It was Martin's first career forced fumble and the second forced fumble of the season for Tennessee.
  • Tennessee had a season-high five sacks tonight.
  • All three of UT's interceptions tonight occurred in the fourth quarter.
  • Senior defensive back DeAngelo Willingham recorded his third interception of the season on the first play of the fourth quarter.
  • Junior defensive back Demetrice Morley recorded his second interception of the season and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. It was the second career touchdown for the Miami, Fla., native. His other touchdown was a 31-yard interception return against LSU in 2006.
  • Junior defensive tackle Andre Mathis had a career-high four tackles. Also setting a career-high was sophomore linebacker LaMarcus Thompson with three tackle Sophomore defensive end Chris Walker tied his career-high with three tackles.
  • Tennessee has allowed just one rushing touchdown in the last 24 quarters.
  • Tennessee's defense has allowed just one rushing play of 20 yards or longer this season (none today).
Noting the Offense
  • Redshirt sophomore quarterback Nick Stephens finished the game 10 of 20 passing for 136 yards.
  • Stephens 18-yard rush in the second quarter was the longest by a UT quarterback (other than the Gerald Jones package) since Brent Schaeffer's 22-yard run vs. Florida in 2004.
  • Junior tailback Hardesty scored the first touchdown of the game with a one-yard leap on UT's first drive of the second half. It was the North Carolina native's team leading fifth touchdown of the season.
  • Sophomore wide receiver Denarius Moore hauled in a 45-yard grab in the third quarter from Stephens. It was the third consecutive game that Moore and Stephens have hooked up for a pass play of 45 yards or longer.
  • Sophomore tailback Lennon Creer carried the ball a career-high 17 times for a team-leading 68 yards and one touchdown.
  • Senior tailback Arian Foster made his 21st consecutive start today, extending his streak of the second-most consecutive starts by a UT tailback in the Fulmer era (1992-present). Jay Graham tops that chart with a string of 24 starts during the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
  • Foster attempted his first career pass in the fourth quarter (incomplete to Josh Briscoe).
Miscellaneous Notes
  • Today's attendance was 98,239.
  • Press box PA announcer and former UT SID Haywood Harris missed tonight's game as he recovers from some recent health issues. Harris believes this to be the first home game he's missed since the 1959 season. Harris has been at every UT home game since the beginning of the 1960 season - a streak of 310 home games.
  • Tennessee elected permanent captains this week that will serve for the rest of the season. Seniors named were defensive end Robert Ayers, offensive tackle Ramon Foster, wide receiver Lucas Taylor and linebacker Ellix Wilson. Junior tailback Montario Hardesty and sophomore safety Eric Berry rounded out the group as voted on by the team.
  • Junior offensive lineman Vladimir Richard made his first career start tonight.





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