Brad Shepard


    Tennessee needs secondary help, and the Vols got it in a big way during early signing period, starting with Georgia hard-hitting safety […]

  • Gameday on Rocky Top looks at the Tennessee Volunteers’ early signees. First up, the offense…



    Akporoghene is one of the […]

  • Note: Check back in the coming days for offensive and defensive capsules from UT’s early signing period signees.

    If you were hoping for a massive bang to end Jeremy Pruitt’s first full recruiting cycle’s early […]

    • HT replied 4 months ago

      No mention of the bizarre comments about the offensive coordinator search? I will of course stay patient (as if I have some other choice) but I’m beginning to see some red flags.

  • It’s ridiculous to anoint a high school junior as the savior of a long-dormant program. But, for Tennessee fans needing a future on which to cling with no present to speak of, Thursday’s commitment from Marietta […]

    • Great commitment… just hope we can hold onto him until signing day. The way recruits are flipping and players are transferring I am always nervous until the ink is dry. Go Vols!!

  • Play-calling is an art.

    Some offensive coordinators have the innate talent to keep defenses on their toes, and others struggle within the framework of a game to sustain unpredictability.

    For first-year […]

    • Oh please not Freeze! What a disastrous choice that would be. His awful behavior would turn off fans, and his lying and high profile scandals will also be a distraction we don’t need. There are plenty of good coaches out there without fishing in the sewer.
      I can’t imagine Fulmer green lighting Freeze.

    • Is there an OC candidate who has recruited a 4* or 5* QB that would consider UT? Seems like we have a need at 2 positions.. QB and OC.

    • Great work as usual, Ghost

  • Back during Butch Jones’ first year in Knoxville in 2013, the Vols entered the penultimate game of the season against Vanderbilt needing a win out against the Commodores and Kentucky Wildcats to make a bowl […]

    • Great points… I’ll be on “pins and needles” for this game and probably a bit emotional since I am married to a Vanderbilt alum… Go Vols!!

  • I hope you’re wrong too, but I worry about it.

  • With so much to play for on Saturday, Tennessee’s game against Missouri was a colossal thud.

    It should have been the most embarrassed the Volunteers felt all year, and, if they didn’t, something is severely […]

    • Brad, glad your son had a great time. I can remember my first Vols game (vs. Vandy) in the very old Neyland Stadium in the 60’s. It was a blast and I have never forgotten it… I’ll bet your son will always remember the good time.

      Unfortunately, I think this Vol Team is done for the year. I believe they are mentally worn out and the pressure of the Vandy game will be too much. I hope I am wrong.

      Go Vols.

  • It’s time to see if coach Jeremy Pruitt can keep this ball rolling.

    We’ve seen that the first-year Tennessee coach can recruit, and we’ve seen that he can develop. But can he get his Vols to pull off their […]

    • Mizzou COULD be 8-2, but they could also be 4-6 (late FG to beat Purdue, some classic Vandy moments including an incomplete pass in the end zone as time expired to win last week).

      That said, I think Mizzou is the better team. I really want to believe the Vols can hang, but I’m not sure I do.

  • The biggest recruiting trend so far in the Jeremy Pruitt era at Tennessee is the Vols getting bigger and stronger across the board at every position. If there’s another trend that is continuing on Rocky Top, it’s […]

  • We’re just going to get this out of the way up front: Regardless of what happens the rest of this season, Jeremy Pruitt is the real deal.

    Tennessee finally has a football coach who eats, breathes, and sleeps […]

    • Wow… looking forward to next week… great game plan, solid coaching and good execution… all = a recipe for success. Go Vols!!

  • You’d be right to be a Tennessee fan and be concerned that the Vols are hosting a top-15 program in a must-win situation in order to make it to the postseason [at least, with a traditional 6-6 record…]

    Yet, […]


    This is going to be short and sweet.

    The first reason for that is there simply wasn’t much about which to be excited in a lackluster 14-3 win over Conference USA also-ran Charlotte that looked like […]

    • I don’t want to psychoanalyze 50+ kids and staff, but I wonder how much of this team’s motivation is driven by Pruitt. He’s a first year HC, so he’s learning how to lead, and that comes with some growing pains.

      Is it that hard to imagine the 3-year Alabama assistant and lifelong Auburn hater was fired up as all get out for that game? And maybe, after the better part of a decade with elite programs, he might not have been too fired up about a game against a C-USA also-ran?

      I don’t want this to be taken as a knock on CJP, just as an observation that maybe our guys follow the tone set by the HC more that we think, and he’s learning on the fly how to get the same fight from the team every game…

    • I gotta reiterate that Saban’s first Alabama team lost to UL-Monroe. So as long as we win in season one, I’ll be happy. If we get to a bowl game I’ll be ecstatic. Right now we’ve got a shallow Sun Belt offensive line and that will change.

      We will be a decent team next season and downright scary by year three. Pruitt gets “it” in a way that Dooley and Jones don’t. The man knows what is and is not important to win at football. And Helton is a phenomenal coordinator, QB developer and playcaller… he’s just trying to cover up the one thing no coordinator can completely cover up, a bad offensive line. And, FWIW, with a healthy Chandler we probably score a couple more TDs.

      Also, I don’t want to brag… at least that’s what I think I’m supposed to say just before bragging… but 19-1 in this week’s pick’em baybee! Now I just need to make up 27 more spots.

  • At this point, I feel like Tennessee is going to struggle to make a bowl game. But that’s not to say the Vols can’t.

    When you have a game like they had against South Carolina where you’ve got myriad […]

    • Can’t take the 49er’s lightly… need to maintain momentum going into the KY game. Rhythm and discipline will go a long ways to getting out in front of these guys early so the banged up guys get some rest. I prefer not seeing a sloppy game on a lesser opponent.

      Good luck Brad on your picks this week… mine have been lousy all year. Go Vols!!

    • 3-3 last wk. Navy (2-6) outscored the overrrated Irish in the 2H after scoring precisely zero points in half#1. Not bitter about missing on 4-2. Not at all. Not one bit. Overrated Irish should be hypenated. If they make the playoffs, I hope they face Bama.

      BC -1.5 (Westgate/Unibet) over Va Tech is a gift. Old Dominion, Georgia Tech and the aforementioned overrated Irish all scored 45 or more ag’in’ that Hokies D. BC has a mildly above average QB and a great RB.

      Clemson -39 over Lousiville. Like Tennessee and Bama – in the first quarter – times 4. Wake Forest hung up 56 & Ga Tech put 66 on Louisville.

      Wake Forest/Syracuse – Over 76.5. Wake avg 33 and Syracuse avg 44. Wake gives up 37 a game. Syracuse isn’t much better.

      PSU +12 vs Michigan. The UM D is solid but +12 is pretty rich. I’d love to see a straight up win and relegate the Big 10 to the couch for the playoffs.

      TN -21 over Charlotte. I hate laying 3 TDs as we haven’t done a terrific job covering against teams like this in the past decade. Of course, Pruitt isn’t the Intern, or Dooley or Kiffin, either.

      Oklahoma -13 over Texas Tech. Just because the Sooners need a big scoreboard every week to get into the playoff discussion. Plus I think they can outscore TTU with a modicum of defense.

      • WIN & COVER – BC 31-21 ; Clemson 77-16;
        FAILS: Wake/Syracuse over 76.5; PSU +12; TN -21; Oklahoma -13

        But I was feeling pretty good about my Vols pick at 14-0 in the first quarter….

  • I just watch the game back, normally really late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning and then again during the week if we win. I try to rewind every offensive or defensive play that results in a big UT gain or loss or an opponent’s big gain or loss.

  • I heard more about that after I wrote. Seems like he wasn’t allowed to challenge, which makes me appreciate it more.

  • If you’re not encouraged about the improvement and development of the Tennessee Volunteers over the 2018 season, it’s because of some pre-programmed belief that we’re destined to fail.

    I get it. The Vols lost […]

    • So nice to read a grounded and objective point of view instead of the rants with all the answers on some of the other sites. Hopefully the Vols can take it one game at a time and continue to focus on improvement. The “W’s” will come and they will surprise some teams in the near term… and perhaps make a bowl. Go Vols!!

    • I was wondering about the non-challenge of the fumble, but someone on some site said they aren’t allowed anymore and all challenges are the league only. Other than that point, great article.

    • Brad, in your article you mentioned doing film study. Do you know of any way to get access to All-22 footage of the Vols? Do you get to use All-22 footage or just rewatch broadcasts?

      I am a big-time football nerd, but the only place I really get to play around with football schemes and strategy is on video games. I would really love to see everyone on the field on each play so that I can go back and see, for example, if the offensive line is playing well from play to play. When there is busted coverage, I would love to see whether the corner or the safety screwed up, or if the receiver just made a great play or ran a great route, etc.

      I know that you can see some NFL All-22 footage if you pay a bunch of money for a special package, but I don’t know of any way to see college All-22 tape.

      • I just watch the game back, normally really late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning and then again during the week if we win. I try to rewind every offensive or defensive play that results in a big UT gain or loss or an opponent’s big gain or loss.

  • Great post. It’s frustrating, but we’re getting there.

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