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UT Halftime Notes: UT 24, USA 7



Sept. 28, 2013

HALFTIME QUOTES FROM Butch Jones

(On what the Vols need to do in the second half)
"Well we just need to settle down. We left some points off the board right there at the end of the half. We have to throw the ball away and live another down. That's part of the maturation process."

(On changing the quarterback in the second half)
"No."

TENNESSEE TIDBITS

• Tennessee is 3-2 in coin tosses this season after losing today's flip.
• Today's attendance was 87,266, moving the season average to 90,406.

TENNESSEE CAPTAINS

• #1 Michael Palardy, #41 Dontavis Sapp, #45 A.J. Johnson and #72 Zach Fulton.

VFL LEGEND OF THE GAME

• Today's Vol For Life Legends of the Game are Jeremaine Copeland, a standout receiver from 1995-98, and Mike "Stop" Cofer, a defensive end from 1979-82.
• Copeland, from nearby Harriman, Tenn., had 103 catches for 1,361 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Vols and went on to a successful career in the Canadian Football League. Playing for Montreal, Calgary and Toronto, he amassed 10,014 receiving yards and 75 TDs on 622 catches. He currently is wide receivers coach for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
• Coker, a native of Knoxville, was a four-year letterwinner and team captain in 1982. During his time with the Vols, he recorded 237 tackles, five sacks and nine forced fumbles before going on to a 10-year NFL career. Playing for the Detroit Lions, Coker earned Pro Bowl honors in 1988 and racked up 62.5 sacks and 10 fumble recoveries during his pro tenure.

 

 

FOR STARTERS

Devaun Swafford got the start at nickelback for the Vols, making him the fourth true freshman to earn a starting nod.
• The other rookies to get starts thus far are Marquez North, Josh Smith and Cameron Sutton.

TERRIFIC AT TAKEAWAYS

• Sophomore free safety LaDarrell McNeil grabbed his first career interception, returning an errant Ross Metheny pass 16 yards in the first quarter and setting Tennessee up for 40-yard Michael Palardy field goal.
• Tennessee now has nine interceptions this season in five games.

BUTCH BALL

• Since 2011, Butch Jones-coached teams have forced 74 turnovers (entered game with 73), ranking Jones first nationally among head coaches from BCS conferences during that time.
• Tennessee recorded a first-half interception (LaDarrell McNeil) vs. South Alabama.

AND WHEN ONE COMES YOUR WAY...

• Tennessee entered the game averaging 11.25 points per game off turnovers (either on the play or subsequent possession), the best rate in the SEC and fifth nationally.
• The Vols turned LaDarrell McNeil's first quarter interception into three points via a 40-yard Michael Palardy field goal.

PALARDY HANDLING ALL OF THE CHORES

Michael Palardy continues to handle all of Tennessee's punting and kicking chores.
• Palardy drilled a 50-yard first-quarter punt that UT covered and brought the returner down at the 15.
• Palardy now has four punts of 50 yards or more and seven downed inside the 20 this season.
• The senior kicked a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter and now is 4 of 4 on the season and 27 of 37 in his career.
• Palardy improved to 4 of 9 on field goal tries of 40 or more yards.
• In PATs, Palardy was 3 of 3 on the day, improving to 20 of 20 this season and 95 of 100 for his career.
• Palardy registered four touchbacks on kickoffs vs. South Alabama.

BRICK-BY-BRICK FOR THE OFFENSE

Josh Smith hauled in his first career TD pass in the second quarter, catching a 29-yarder from Justin Worley.
Marlin Lane's 54-yard run in the first quarter, the longest of his career, was the longest carry by a Vols' running back since Tauren Poole went 59 yards for a TD vs. Alabama on Oct. 23, 2010.
Rajion Neal had a 53-yard burst out of the backfield in the second quarter, which was the longest of his career.
• Those rushes by Lane and Neal marked the first time the Vols had two carries of 50+ yards in the same game since Cedric Houston had carries of 54 and 65 at South Carolina on Oct. 30, 2004.
Marlin Lane extended the ball over the goalline while landing on his back, getting credit (after a review from the replay booth) for a two-yard TD run. It was his fourth rushing score of the season and the eighth of his career.
A.J. Branisel recorded his second career catch and first career TD as a Vol, catching a two-yard toss from Justin Worley in the first quarter.
• Branisel and Smith became the third and fourth true freshmen to hit paydirt in 2013, following in the footsteps of Cameron Sutton and Devaun Swafford, who each returned interceptions for scores.
• The last time Tennessee had two true freshmen with touchdown receptions was on Nov. 6, 2010, when Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers accomplished that feat.

RUSHING GAME

• Tennessee rushed for 188 on 22 carries in the first half.
Rajion Neal ran for 102 of those yards on 13 carries with a long of 53.
• Neal has his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and the fourth of his career.
Marlin Lane carried for 66 yards and a TD on only five carries.

WORLEY UNDER CENTER

• Junior quarterback Justin Worley returned to the starting lineup, getting his fourth start this season and seventh in his career.
• Worley threw two TD passes to run his season total to eight and his career tally to nine.
• Worley had a two-yard TD pass to freshman tight end A.J. Branisel in first quarter.
• He added a 29-yard toss to freshman receiver Josh Smith in the second stanza.
• Worley was close to capping two more lengthy drives but threw interceptions in the end zone.

WHAT ARE THOSE GREEN PATCHES?

• Tennessee's coaches wore green patches on their polo shirts at Saturday's game, commemorating their repeat participation in the annual Coach To Cure MD weekend.
• The initiative is part of the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy effort in bringing awareness about Duchenne disease and "Leading The Fight To End Duchenne."
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