Daily Beacon Sports Editor David Cobb and Assistant Sports Editor Troy Provost-Heron were not able to make the trip to Oregon. They watched the game from home and assessed grades based on UT's performance against the Ducks.
Justin Worley started the game as well as the Volunteer faithful could have hoped, hooking up with Josh Smith for a splash play and then finding Jason Croom in the end zone to get the Vols on the board first. Unfortunately, he did not bring his team close to scoring again, finishing the game 13 of 25 with 126 yards. – Troy Provost-Heron
Running Backs: B-
Raijon Neal fumbled early to put the grade of this unit in jeopardy. Oregon prevented any big plays from UT's backs, but the Vols showed competence in the run game much of the day with a team average of 4.7 yards per carry. Simple competence was not enough to force the Ducks to pack the box against the run, which could have opened up the pass game. – David Cobb
Wide Receivers: C
Other than Josh Smith's 51-yard reception early in the first quarter, the young receiving corps did not contribute to the offense. In total, six receivers caught passes, but only two – Marquez North and Brendan Downs – caught multiple passes, and no receiver other than Smith recorded more than 20 yards receiving. – TPH
Offensive Line: B
The big guys up front did not grant Worley excessive amounts of time to throw, but Oregon never sacked the UT quarterback. The Vols got enough of a push up front to generally gain positive yards in the run game. This unit can do little to help with UT's inexperience on the perimeter. – DC
Defensive Line: B-
They are the reason that the Vols are the first team all season to stop an Oregon rusher from recording a 100-yard performance – the Ducks had five 100-yard rushers in their first two games – but their inability to get a consistent pass rush on Marcus Mariota let the Heisman candidate sit in the pocket and do whatever he wanted against UT. – TPH
On several occasions, Mariota forced UT's linebackers to choose between blitzing or remaining in pass coverage. There was no correct choice. With Curt Maggitt still out, this unit struggled to do anything more than the secondary or defensive line in reigning in Oregon's offense. – DC
Defensive Backs: D-
Even with the momentum of a five-interception game against Western Kentucky still looming, the secondary was outmatched against the unparalleled speed of Oregon. Marcus Mariota picked UT's young corners and safeties apart on his way to a 456-yard, four touchdown day. The Vols didn't help themselves out by missing some key tackles on De'Anthony Thomas and the rest the Ducks' backfield, either. – TPH
Special Teams: C+
The Ducks kept UT on pins and needles with their flashy return game. Michael Palardy finally figured it out and booted a few well-placed punts to the sideline to erase any possibility of Oregon getting a head start on the scoring drives that inevitably followed. Vincent Dallas proved capable but not dangerous as the Vols' kick returner. – DC
Week Three GPA: The Vols post a 2.14 for their performance against Oregon.
Season GPA: By Daily Beacon grading standards, the Vols sit at 2.85 for the season.