Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

April 18, 2013

ROCKY TOP BEAT: UT Orange and White game kicks off Saturday

CROSSVILLE — I can’t believe the Orange-White Game has arrived already. Tomorrow, Neyland Stadium will be the site for what has been an annual rite of spring for the Vol Nation. Fans will get their first glimpse of the new coaching staff and the players that will give their all for Tennessee in the fall. 

The day will start officially at 11:30 a.m. when fans can enter Neyland Stadium through Gate 7 at 11 a.m. for Fan Appreciation Day on the field. The coaches and Vol players will be available for an autograph session from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Lines will start forming at 7 a.m. for admission.

For those fans that are just attending, the game the gates will open at 12:30 p.m. All times are EDT. 

The actual game format will be one that we have seen before when depth issues prevented drafting opposing teams.

The offense will go against the defense with a predetermined method of scoring points. My advice, enjoy watching next year’s potential playmakers on both sides of the ball display their talents. 

Alden Hill will be moving up the depth chart as running back with Marlin Lane’s future with the team in question. Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman also have one last time this spring to impress and move closer to the starting quarterback job.

With a revamped receiving corps, the offense will most likely be a work in progress going into the fall. 

The defense is where most fans want to see improvement. That shouldn’t be real hard given last year’s debacle on that side of the ball. This year the defense will go back to the more conventional 4-3 alignment and be more aggressive. That will be more than a welcome change. 

By all accounts, Coach Jones has started building the football program back in all the right ways. His staff is committed; he has embraced former players and is off to a great start in recruiting for the 2014 class. 

Brick by Brick is what Coach Jones has named the process to returning the Vols to their former status in the SEC and nationally. This could be a long and sometimes painful process, but at least in the early stages, there is reason throughout Big Orange Country for optimism. 

Speaking of painful, Vandy’s football coach, James Franklin, was named the Tennessean of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. For Vol fans this is a hard one to swallow.

Only about 228 days until Coach Jones’ Vols put an end to Franklin’s one-game winning streak over UT and in the process end Jim Butler’s year of celebration. 

Speaking of my fellow columnist, I guess we would have heard a lot from him this week if a certain former Commodore golfer had won the Masters. 

Coach Cuonzo Martin added some more depth with a commitment from JuCo center Rawane Ndiaye. He is the fifth commitment for Martin, who only had three scholarships to give this year. Stay tuned. There is obviously more to come. 

Tomorrow is all about Team 117. Free parking and admission, plus a beautiful spring day all add up to a large crowd for the Orange-White Game. A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and besides, it will be the last time to hear "Rocky Top" live at Neyland until the end of August.  Go Vols!

(Frank Gale is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols focused on Utah

    The SEC media days have come and gone with no real news being generated. A successful media days appearance is usually defined as leaving Hoover, AL without giving a future opponent bulletin board material. Using that criteria, Tennessee left without any major gaffs.

    July 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Good things must come to an end

    The Dr. Pepper Classic, a long-time tradition at McKenzie Arena, affectively-known as the Round House, will seize, as a couple of teams dropped out, leaving the university in a "lurch," according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday morning. Teams wanted a cash guarantee to play, which couldn't be provided (at this time).

    July 10, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Majors Invitational tees off Sunday at Lake Tansi

    It is the second weekend in July and that means Johnny Majors is at Lake Tansi this weekend to host his annual golf tournament. It is always a treat for the local UT fans to interact with those that have been a part of the Vol football program. They come to the plateau each year to renew old acquaintances and share the stories of gridiron prowess from past years. By the way, the stories sure seem to get better with time.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: 'Dores make history with CWS win

    History was made at the College World Series in Omaha, NE, this week, as the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won the school's  first national championship in any sport since the Vandy women's bowling team won the 2007 national crown.

    June 26, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Tyndall hire closes the book on Martin era

    The University of Tennessee was able to close the books on the Cuonzo Martin era of Vol basketball earlier this week when they hired Donnie Tyndall to lead their program. Athletic Director Dave Hart, who conducted the search and the hiring on his own, appears to have found the right coach for this team at the right time.

    April 24, 2014

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: You never know what will happen next with TN sports

    When you cover UT sports, you never know what is going to happen next. The past two weeks were no exception as they were filled with "the good, the bad and the ugly."

    April 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

    With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

    April 10, 2014

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: Lady Vols, Vols' seasons concluded abruptly

    The basketball season ended rather abruptly last weekend for both the Lady Vols and the Vols; however, the way these two teams ended their seasons will leave entirely different lasting memories.

    April 3, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Basketball has taken Big Orange Country by storm

    Basketball has taken Big Orange Country by storm. The Lady Vols are a fixture in the Sweet 16, but the Vols returning after a few years' hiatus was a pleasant surprise. There are plenty of accolades to be spread around Rocky Top, but basically it starts with the guards and ends with Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon dominating the paint.

    March 27, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: How sweet it is for Big Orange fans

    "March Madness" enters the "Sweet 16" this weekend with both the women's and men's tournaments getting under way. It is especially sweet for Tennessee fans, as both the Lady Vols and Vols will be playing.

    March 27, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014