June 21, 1999 - by
Vols Say They’ll Be Themselves on Defense

January 1, 1999

By TOM SHARP

AP Sports Writer

Full Fiesta Bowl Coverage


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis has got a
big date Monday night. As the saying goes, he’s going to dance with the one
what brung him.

Chavis knows all about Florida State’s Peter Warrick, but Chavis gets
paid
to see all the problems and the Seminoles provide plenty.

“We’re going to be Tennessee, do what we do, and hopefully our athletes
will make more plays than their athletes,” he said of the No. 1 Volunteers
(12-0) and their national championship Fiesta Bowl date with the No. 2
Seminoles (11-1).

The Vols defense relies on getting pressure on the quarterback as
quickly as
possible and keeping the secondary from having to cover anybody for too long –
especially somebody as elusive as Warrick. A key to the Tennessee defense is
the speed of the linebackers, who can provide pass coverage and avoid the
downside of substitutions in passing situations, which is a weakening of the
defense against the run.

Tennessee also likes to bring linebacker Al Wilson up the middle on the
blitz, or Raynoch Thompson from the side.

“Wilson anticipates the snap count as well as anybody we’ve seen,”
Florida
State offensive coordinator Mark Richt said.

Chavis said the Vols will probably play Warrick man-to-man about 80
percent
of the time even though he caught 61 passes for 1,232 yards and 11 touchdowns
this year, an eye-popping 20.2 yards a catch.

“Warrick has gotten more attention because he is truly a great player,
but
you double him and you’re going to leave two other guys singled,” Chavis said,
pointing to Ron Duggans (38 catches, 616 yards) and Marvin Minnis (22 for
338).

“It goes back to being a pressure defense,” Chavis said. “If we’re not
getting the pressure and we leave those guys out there long enough they’re
going to complete passes. The pressure has to be a part of it. You’ve got to
force the quarterback to move, to throw before he wants to.”

At first blush it might seem the Vols would be helped by the
inexperience of
Florida State quarterback Marcus Outzen, making just his third start in
Monday’s Fiesta Bowl.

But after getting just one pass to Warrick in his first start against
Wake
Forest, Outzen found him eight times for 119 yards in a victory over Florida.
And Warrick, a high school quarterback, chipped in with a touchdown pass of
his
own on a reverse.

“We have to try to keep everybody from doing anything unbelievable,
but him
definitely,” said cornerback Steve Johnson, one of the men whose
responsibility that will be. “He’s a big-play receiver who makes a lot of
spectacular plays. We have to limit that.”

Johnson said the Vols will try to hit Warrick and the other Seminoles
wideouts at the line of scrimmage to disrupt the timing of their routes. Once
they catch the ball, Johnson said, the Vols need 11 guys hurrying to make the
tackle.

“You can’t let Warrick square up or 90 percent of the time you’re done,”
he said. “He makes a lot of guys miss.”

Wilson called Warrick “probably the best receiver I’ve played against
this
year, maybe since I’ve been in college.”

“He’s just one of those type players, whenever he touches the football we
have to swarm
to us to contain him and force them to go to other
options.”

Related Articles