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Tennessee Postgame Notes



Oct. 31, 2009

Recap |  Final Stats |  Quotes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

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Tonight's Result

  • Tennessee defeats No. 21 South Carolina 31-13 to improve to 4-4 (2-3 SEC) on the season. The Gamecocks fall to 6-3 (3-3 SEC).
  • The win is UT head coach Lane Kiffin's first over a ranked team. He has two losses to No. 1-ranked teams this season (at Florida, at Alabama) by a combined total of 12 points.
  • Tennessee improves to 22-4-2 in the all-time series and 14-1 in games played in Knoxville.
  • Tennessee is now 12-3 all-time on Halloween and 5-0 in Knoxville. It was UT's first home game on Oct. 31 since 1942.
  • The win was Tennessee's fourth in Neyland Stadium this season, assuring the Vols at least a .500 mark at home for the 21st consecutive season.
Hardesty Returns to Form
  • After rushing for a season-low 48 yards at Alabama, senior tailback Montario Hardesty returned to form with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries vs. South Carolina. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry on the day.
  • It was the third 100-yard game of Hardesty's 2009 season and career. He rushed for 160 yards vs. Western Kentucky and 140 vs. Ohio.
  • It was just the second multi-touchdown game of Hardesty's career. He also scored twice on the ground at UCLA in 2008.
  • On the season, Hardesty has rushed for 841 yards on 166 carries and scored eight touchdowns. He is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 105.3 yards per game this season.
  • His career rushing total is at 1,887 yards, which ranks 16th in school history. His 21 career rushing touchdowns are tied for 10th all-time at Tennessee.
McCoy Leads Vols Defensively for Fifth-Straight Game
  • Senior linebacker Rico McCoy led the Vols for the fifth-straight game with 10 tackles. His fourth tackle of the game was the 300th of his career. He has 75 tackles on the season after posting 87 a season ago.
  • He now has three double-digit tackle efforts in the last four games. He has 10 career games with 10 or more tackles.
  • McCoy also forced two fumbles in the game to give him four on the season. The NCAA leader in fumbles forced had five entering Saturday. McCoy added a pass break-up to his tally as well.
Noting the Tennessee Offense
  • After not scoring in the first quarter in the last three games, the Vols posted 14 points in the opening frame vs. South Carolina.
  • Tennessee converted its lone fourth down attempt of the game in the second quarter. The Vols have converted 69 percent of their fourth-down attempts this season (9 of 13).
  • Sophomore fullback Austin Johnson caught a career-long 39-yard touchdown pass on the Vols' opening offensive drive. It was only his second career reception.
  • Junior fullback Kevin Cooper also snagged his first career touchdown on a 2-yard reception in the second quarter. Cooper has caught just 18 passes in his career and 11 this season entering the game.
  • Freshman running back Bryce Brown reeled off a career-long 37-yard run in the first quarter. His previous long run was 34 yards vs. Western Kentucky.
  • Senior tight end Jeff Cottam set up UT's third-quarter touchdown with a 21-yard reception. It was just his second catch of the season and also a career long. His previous career long reception was 13 yards vs. Arkansas State in 2007.
Noting the Tennessee Defense/Special Teams
  • Tennessee surrendered its first touchdown to an opposing offense in 175 minutes of action when Stephen Garcia hit Moe Brown for a 31-yard score with two minutes to play in the third quarter. Tennessee had played 10 full quarters without allowing an offensive score.
  • The Vols forced a season-high four turnovers and converted those takeaways into a total of 24 points. On the season, UT has 16 takeaways and has scored a total of 83 points off those takeaways this season.
  • Freshmen safety Janzen Jackson posted the first forced fumble of his career in the first quarter. The Vols recovered (Dan Williams) and scored the game's first touchdown on the ensuing drive. Jackson finished with a career-high seven tackles.
  • Senior defensive tackle Dan Williams made numerous big plays. He recovered his first career fumble leading to the Vols' first score, posted his first sack of the season in the third quarter and registered three quarterback hurries. He finished the game with four tackles. He has a team-high nine hurries this season
  • Senior defensive back Marsalous Johnson posted his first career sack in the second quarter. It was UT's first sack since the Florida game (four games).
  • Freshman linebacker Greg King recorded his first career interception on a tipped pass in the fourth quarter. King added an eight-yard return to the pick. He finished the game with one tackle.
  • Redshirt-freshman defensive end Willie Bohannon earned his first career start in place of an injured Chris Walker. Bohannon had played in six games this season prior to earning a start. Bohannon finished with a career-high three tackles.
  • Senior punter/placekicker Chad Cunningham converted his first career field goal, a 39-yard kick in the fourth quarter. Cunningham took over placekicking duties for the injured Daniel Lincoln this week.
On the Black Jerseys ...
Tennessee took the field Halloween night -- the Vols' first home game on Oct. 31 since 1942 -- wearing black jerseys for the first time since 1921. The decision to manufacture and wear the black jerseys was made too late for Tennessee's official apparel provider, adidas, to offer the product to retail outlets. The Athletic Department will provide an update in the coming days regarding the retail availability of the black jersey.

Statement from Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton: "We understand the great tradition of the Orange and White. Introducing black jerseys for this unique game should in no way be interpreted as a move away from our traditional colors. When approached by the team captains on Wednesday, we felt like we owed it to the team to strongly consider it. In the end, we just felt that this game provided a unique opportunity."

 

 

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