Just 4 points away from a "lowly" MAC team upsetting a perennial SEC power in the Tennessee Volunteers.
Just as we barely lost to WMU 26-29 after starting QB Chandler Harnish went down, our starting QB in Knoxville went down just before the end of the first half injuring his non-throwing shoulder.
The senior QB Dan Nicholson took a beating in this game, leaving a gaping hole open at the position. To fill this position was redshirt freshman DeMarcus Grady. Grady all season has been our "mobile" QB filling in nice in goalline situations. This time he was thrown to the wolves against one of the best defenses statistically and athletically in the country.
We had lost so much experience with Danny N going down in the first half. The game was tied and this was a defensive struggle. DeMarcus Grady probably doesn't have the entire playbook in his arsenal at this point. 4 for 10 passing for 39 yds. 35 of those yards were on one deep play to another RS freshman Willie Clark on the sidelines. He made some impact on the ground rushing for 52 yds on 15 carries.
The problem was that Grady just isn't ready to play against an SEC with his lack of his experience. The consensus was that we should have passed more and been less conservative. More chances should have been taken down the field. There was one overthrown pass to Nate Palmer, but there should have been more of those kind of passes.
The running game wasn't effective, but who has been against one of the best defenses in the country. Justin Anderson instead of Me'co Brown should have been running inside because of his bigger, bruising body.
The defense stepped up against an inept Vols offense. Both DE Larry English and DB Mel Rice forced fumbles. English also managed to sack the QB 2.5 times and acheive MAC West Defensive player of the week.
#25 DB Tracey Wilson was getting run over during Tennessee's outside running game late. I think he was playing nickel DB or helping out replacing the SS Sobol as he went out with a concussion. I hope the young redshirt freshman can put on some more muscle or improve his tackling technique as his career goes on.
Special teams was decent with Mike Salerno going 3 for 4 on FGs. #33 DB Patrick George managed to block a punt on special teams, our 3rd of the season.
Players that didn't play:
WR Matt Simon (Heel) RB Montell Clanton (Ankle) QB Chandler Harnish (Ankle)
Players hurt in this game:
SS Mike Sobol (Concussion) WR Marcus Perez (Concussion?) QB Dan Nicholson (Non-throwing shoulder)