If you don’t get a chance to watch a lot of SEC football because of your
travels to and from Virginia Tech games, you might not be all that familiar with
the 2009 Tennessee Volunteers. Today we’ll give a quick recap of their season,
game-by-game, and later in the week we’ll take a more in-depth look at their
offensive and defensive personnel.
The Vols went 7-5 on the season, with a 4-4 mark in the SEC. For awhile it
was questionable as to whether they would go to a bowl game, but finishing the
year by winning four of their last five games propelled them into the Chick-fil-A
Bowl against the Hokies.
Lane Kiffin will lead his team into this game amidst allegations of
recruiting violations, but that probably won’t make a difference in this one.
Both teams have a good reason to like their matchups. This has the potential to
be a great game.
Tennessee 63, Western Kentucky 7 (1-0 Overall, 0-0 SEC)
In the most meaningless game of the season for the Vols, Tennessee flattened
Western Kentucky 63-7 to open the season. In Lane Kiffin’s first game as head
coach, the Vols rolled up 657 yards of total offense while limiting Western
Kentucky to just 83.
QB Jonathan Crompton threw for five touchdowns, and tailbacks Montario
Hardesty and Bryce Brown both had over 100 yards rushing. This game didn’t prove
anything for Kiffin because of Western Kentucky’s talent level, but this was a
solid start to the post-Phil Fulmer era.
UCLA 19, Tennessee 15 (1-1 overall, 0-0 SEC)
Kiffin’s second game didn’t go quite as well as the first. Tennessee was
knocked off by UCLA 19-15 in Knoxville. The Vol defense played great, limiting
the Bruins to 186 yards. However, the offense had just 208 yards and turned the
ball over four times. The turnovers set UCLA up with a number of short fields,
and they escaped with the road win.
This game did show that Lane Kiffin, along with his father, defensive
coordinator Monte Kiffin, had already made a big difference in the performance
of Tennessee’s defense. UCLA’s offense was shut down all day, and only a poor
performance by the UT offense cost the Vols the game.
Florida 23, Tennessee 13 (1-2 overall, 0-1 SEC)
There was certainly no shame in this loss. The Vols lost to #1 Florida 23-13
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