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Report Card: Tennessee 45 South Carolina 42

Justin Coleman-1


Daniel: The Vols got toasted again in the secondary. I was concerned about if Tennessee had the depth to match up against SC’s quantity to receivers, but it was the quality of Pharoh Cooper that killed them. For the second week in a row, a Cooper set a single-game record for his school in receiving. Pharoh had 233 yards receiving, threw one TD of his own and ran one in as well. Justin Coleman, who actually had one of the few positive plays of the night for the DBs when he intercepted Dylan Thompson, was the most common target that the Gamecocks picked on. But it wasn’t just him. The entire secondary did a poor job communicating and locating Cooper all night and they paid. Brian Randolph did lead the team with 14 tackles, though it’s generally not a great sign when a DB has that honor. The interception and the win do enough to save them from a complete F, but it was not a good showing at all.  Grade: D-

Houston: Looks like we will get the worst grade out of the way early this week. This was an absolutely abysmal performance by the secondary for roughly three quarters. All told, the Vols would surrender 377 passing yards to South Carolina – 347 and two touchdowns to Dylan Thompson and another 30 yards and a touchdown to Pharoh Cooper out of the wildcat formation. Cooper also torched the Vols as a receiver in this game, breaking South Carolina receiving records on his way to 11 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns. South Carolina did a nice job of moving Cooper around a lot to get in him in more favorable matchups, but even when Tennessee knew the ball was going his way they couldn’t stop him. To add insult to injury, Cooper also added three rushes for 23 yards and another touchdown. If you take away Cooper’s performance (including his touchdown pass), South Carolina only completed 9 passes for 114 yards – but that’s not how football works. Grade: D

Reed: For the second straight week, the Vols couldn’t cover a Cooper. Pharoh Cooper had 11 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns in addition to a touchdown pass.  No matter what Tennessee tried, they couldn’t slow him. Dylan Thompson had nearly 350 yards passing and several Tennessee defensive backs missed tackles in the open field. Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds bounced off Vol DBs en route to over 200 yards rushing.  They’ve got to get this unit straightened out during the bye week. Coleman’s interception saves this bunch from an F, barely.  Grade: D-

Average Grade: D

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