Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Cheech and Chong had one...

Snoop Dogg had one...

Ricky Williams has or had one.

But, evidently, Lamarcus Coker's "medical condition" is all good... and that could be bad for the Dawgs if we don't shore up our rushing defense. Last year, Tennessee didn't kill the Dawgs on the ground, but Lamarcus had 58 yards on 12 carries for a 4.8 average per carry. Arian Foster led the Vols with 64 yards on 15 carries. The Vols gained 129 yards rushing (not counting 14 yards lost in sacks) in Sanford stadium last year. This is 3 yards shy of the Vols average yards rushing over the first 4 games this year. In most Georgia-Tennessee matchups, holding the other team to 129 yards rushing should result in a victory. Tennessee is accustomed to having tremedous offensive lines and a power running game to complement a capable passing attack. We need to shut down their ability to run the ball, as did Florida (holding the Vols to 37 net yards rushing,) and limit their yardage on first down, then we will be in a better position to defend the pass and win this game.

While Erik Ainge is a sound passer with some young, but emerging receivers, I like our chances for victory if he has to throw the ball more often because the running game is not working. Face it, he will get 250 yards passing one way or another and it will be difficult to sack him (Ainge has been sacked only twice all year, which leads the nation.) Imagine how much more difficuly it will be to get their offense off the field if they are chewing up yardage running on the ground. We gave up rushing yards in chunks to SC (140), Alabama (164) and Ole Miss (158) and cannot afford to repeat those performances in Knoxville. The real key will be limiting yards gained on first down. Putting UT in 2nd and long or 3rd and long will make all the difference for our defense that needs to come up big this Saturday.

So while he is a Coker, a smoker and a midnight toker, let's hope Lamarcus isn't a first down poker this Saturday afternoon.


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