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Im a fairly young laid im 26. I dont remember a tenn defense this awfull, pathetic, horrible, tramatizing, ugly , stupid, and just plain bad. so im curious if there has ever been one lol..... so please chime in with some insight into the years before time.....
1988 (I think) readily comes to mind when we opened on the road vs. Georgia and Southern Cal. If memory serves, the Hershel led Bulldogs put up 44 points on us and the the Marcus Allen led Trojans beat us like 42-7. The Vols started out the season 0-6, but rallied in the weaker part of the schedule to win 5 straight.
"Old School"! A strong defense wins championships!
I'm 36, so Im not sure if I considered old. I've been a Vol fan since my freshman year in 1994 and retroactively a Vol fan since before I was born. I have an opinion and would also like to add some questions for those who were fans during the Johnny Majors years. To answer your question, this is the worst defense I've seen. We won the East in 2007, but that defense was probably second worst. We only gave up 404 yards per game and 27.3 points per game (I had to look that up). I'm guessing this year's defense is statistically far worse. What's ironic is how good our defenses were in 2005 and 2008 giving up less than 300 yards per game and less than 20 ppg. Our offenses were anemic that year. As a side note, Chavis had his share of haters among fans when he was here.
This post was edited by bigorangekaz 17 months ago
Here are my questions for those who were fans in the 80s and early 90s.
1. Who were the DCs under Majors prior to Lacewell and Marmie? I realize I can probably Google it.
2. Were Lacewell and Marmie well-liked by fans, and on a somewhat related note, how are they perceived today? Are they considered average, bad, good, great....?
3. Were either of these guys forced out, or did they leave for other opportunities?
4. Who were the best and worst defensive coordinators under Majors?
5. What did Fulmer do to the coaching staff when he took over? Obviously, some of the assistants stayed (Cutcliffe, etc.). I assume there was a Majors faction and a Fulmer faction. Did Fulmer fire anyone immediately or weed anyone out over time?
I am 45 and loved the Vols my whole life. My first game i attended was in 1982 and only missed 3 home games from then till 2000 when my son started playing on Saturdays.
1. Ken Donahue is only one I can recall right now.
2. I don't remember people complaining bout the assistants only majors.
3. Donahue was fired during the season. Don't recall how others left.
4. The 85 defense was best overall under majors. 88 was the worst.
5. I think most of Fulmer assistants were on major's staff. Don't remember him firing many.
Majors changed DCs like he changed socks. I can't remember them all but Bobby Jackson was early on with Majors at UT. Ken Donahue and Doug Matthews were also DC. If you lasted more than 2 years it was the exception.
Lacewell and Marmie were viewed somewhat ambivalently at those times. We were successful on the field largely because of the tremendous offense we had. as long as we did not have a Troy day on D we were in good shape. It seemed most of the talent migrated to offense. The DC just had to make do with what was left.
Majors was apparently very difficult to work for. Matthew retired, Donahue went back to Alabama, Jackson i don't remember, Lacewell went to Dallas to work for Gerry Jones(they were teammates at Ark), Marmie became headcoach at Ariz. after staying with Fulmer. Do not remember Majors first DC at Tn in '77. Prob a 1 and done.
Donahue and Marmie were the brightest defensive minds and had the most success i guess on the field. Marmie was the bend-but-don't-break philosophy. give up yards but not TDs. You could do that with Gault, Duncan, Hancock, Jones, to create points. Donahue had the big year in '85. Lots of interceptions and sacks. a fun D to watch.
Fulmer kept Cut, Sanders, Bradley, Chavis, Marmie.
Marmie was well-liked by the fan base at one time and the phrase Marmie's Army was awesome. But my favorite under Coach Majors was Ken Donahue. If for no other reason, his scheme that completely dismantled Miami's high powered offense in the Sugar Bowl. However, with Coach Majors, if you didn't produce, you got canned. Donahue's downfall was the start of the 1988 season at 0-6. Giving up 50+ to Washington State was the final straw and Majors fired him midseason.
Haha, am I the only one who put off reading this post because he didn't want to find out that he WAS one of the "older posters?"
1977 to1979 Bobby Roper
1980 to1982 Bobby Jackson
1983 to1984 Larry Marmie
1985 to mid1988 - Ken Donahue
mid-1988 to 1989 - Doug Mathews
1990 to 1991 - Larry Lacewell
1992 - Larry Marmie
2. I would put them at good. Generally, Lacewell liked more so than Marmie by fans
3. Lacewell left on his own after getting fed up with JTM. Marmie left first time for better job I recall
4. DOnahue / Lacewell. Difficult to say. early DCs had a pretty bad roster
5. I don't recall him forcing anyone but there were some changes. My recollection migth not be right
Cut went from QBs to OC/QB
Brought in Steve Marshall to take his place with OL
Brought in Kippy for WRs and moved Randy to RB replacing Charlie Coe (think COe left on his own)
Ray Hamilton left and he brought in Jacob Burney for DL
Tim Keane left and he brought in Lovie Smith for DBs
LWSVol, thanks for getting Roper. had forgotten all about him.
This is why I love this site. Thanks for the history report LWS. +1
BUTCH IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. GO VOLS!
I am 40, and my first game was UT vs. Alabama we lost like 17- 30. I was 6. But I can remember that day well. It was my first game at Neyland. I cannot remember a defense ever being this bad! EVER!!
Great feedback guys thanks for all the replys.
LWS - didn't Frank Emanuel get the job after Roper was demoted and quit?
If my memory serves me, I think it was Emanuel that Majors was joking about when I heard him drunkenly talk about how many coaches he had turned into insurance agents. I never forgave Majors for that comment.
This post was edited by RunThruThe T 17 months ago
I began listening and watching(not many TV games back at the beginning) in 1957. My answer to your question is simple... NO! This is the most horribly coached defense I have ever seen by a UT team. If Sunseri had any pride he would resign and spend some time reflecting on whether he has what it takes to be a DC. He would be doing all these young men a favor. Are they overly talented? No Are they less talented than any team in the SEC? No Are they middle of the pack in talent? Yes Are they confused? Yes...to the point of despair. Could better defensive play calling from the sideline help? Yes Would that solve most of the problems? No Would better coaching, scheming and play calling solve most of the problems? Yes...probably 50% Would 50% have bought us more wins? Absolutely...easily 6-3 and maybe 7-2. JMO but again my answer to your question is NO!
This post was edited by tnbear66 17 months ago
First game attended was Penn State UT under lights in 1972.
This is by far the worst Tennessee defense I have seen.
Additionally, this is the worst Tennessee team I have ever seen on fundamentals. Absolutely flabbergasted the cameras caught Dooley counting men on the field during one play. Year three, game 8, you should have this ironed out.
BTW, that 0-6 1988 start was the darkness before the dawn with regards to the run from 89-01.
Emmanuel came on staff in 1979 replacing Robbie Franklin as LB coach. He left after 1981
I am 39 and have been watching games regularly since 1990. I am not trying to sound overly dramatic, but this is the worst defense I think I have ever seen in the SEC since I've been watching.
The chant around campus at the time was"Go Johnny go, and take DeVoe". Referring to Don DeVoe the basketball coach at the time. We were bad at both sports at the time.
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