Vol linebackers missing in action
By Grant Ramey and Leonard Butts | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
KNOXVILLE — There was nothing overly precautionary about linebacker Herman Lathers and Curt Maggitt not playing in Tennessee’s 51-13 win over Georgia State Saturday at Neyland Stadium.
They wouldn’t have played, no matter who we played this week,” Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said after the game. “We need to get them back, I know that.”
Lathers sprained the AC joint in his shoulder and Curt Maggitt is dealing with turf toe. Both injuries were sustained in last week’s win over North Carolina State in Atlanta.
Dooley said a decision hadn’t been made about the pair playing against Florida next week. Both players were limited in practice leading up to the Georgia State game.
Fifth-year senior Willie Bohannon filled in for Maggitt at outside linebacker and junior Dontavis Sapp played in place of Lathers at inside linebacker.
(Bohanon) does a good job,” Dooley said. “And Dontavis Sapp, he’s playing pretty good for us. I’ve got to go see how he played this week (on film). But we still need those two guys,” Dooley said of Maggitt and Lathers.
HIGH EFFICIENCY: Calling Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray efficient Saturday may be the understatement of the year.
Bray completed 18-of-20 passes for 310 yards and four touchdown passes in Tennessee’s 51-13 win over Georgia State. He completed his last 13 pass attempts for 265 yards and three of the four scores.
He’s doing good, he’s had two good games,” Dooley said. “We’ve just got to go week to week.
“I don’t think it’s any different than the last game. He has it (confidence). He’s earned it and he’s played well.”
Bray has completed 45 of 61 passes for 643 yards and six touchdowns through Tennessee’s first two wins.
KICKER CONCERNS: Michael Palardy missed a 39 yard field goal and an extra point attempt (his second missed PAT of the season) before being replaced in the second half.
You need to make those,” Dooley said. “And I need to go see what the issues were, on film.
That’s obviously a concern moving forward.”
MORE THAN ONCE: With his two touchdowns on short runs against the Panthers, running back Rajion Neal notched the first multiple-touchdown game of his career.
HAPPY B-DAY: UT tight end Mychal Rivera had four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown against Georgia State. It was his 22nd birthday.
“I came in with a goal of scoring a touchdown on my birthday and I achieved it,” Rivera said. “It was a slow start (to the game), but we continued to work on moving forward.”
STILL KICKING: Former Alcoa standout Derrick Brodus got another shot at putting points on the board for the Vols against the Panthers. Brodus connected on a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to put UT up 44-6.
COLONIAL PERIOD: The last time the Volunteers played a team from the Colonial Athletic Association was 1963, when the Vols won 34-6 over Richmond. The previous two meetings with CAA teams in the 1940s also resulted in victories.
NON-SEC STREAK: With the victory over Georgia State, the Vols have now won eight consecutive regular-season games against non-conference opponents, dating back to September 2010. The victory also gives the Vols their first consecutive 2-0 start on the season since 2003-04.