Here we go again. Today in his press conference Bobby Johnson was asked about the quarterback situation and this is what he said about Mackenzi Adams and Chris Nickson:
"We could do a possibility of things. I think both of them have the same kind of skill set so we're not going to have a different game plan for both of them. Both of them will be ready to play against Kentucky, so it won't be a problem to play both."
Are you tired of hearing that both quarterbacks have the same skill set and that the team is working on a generic game plan for two quarterbacks?
I don't think both guys do have the same skill set. OK, both can supposedly run and pass. But a 10-yard sack on Mackenzi might be a 3-yard gain for Chris. A 10-yard run for Mackenzi might be a 40-yard run for Chris. A 20-yard pass by Mackenzi might be a pass thrown out of bounds by Chris.
With the problems the offensive line is having, and with the conservative plays the coaches insist on calling, I think we've got to go with mobility. Sure, Mackenzi has nice, loping strides and can run in the open field. But Chris has the lightning-fast reflexes that enable him to duck a sack and get out of the pocket. He did it a couple of times in the Florida game against the vaunted Florida athletes. In fact, he was the one player the Gators were worried about facing — he nearly beat the eventual national champion Gators in Nashville two years ago.
And it was encouraging on Saturday night to see him throw the same corner-of-the-end-zone touchdown pass to Jamie Graham that Adams threw to him twice in Athens. (It took Chris two tries, but who's counting?)
In the Ole Miss game, when D.J. got shaken up early, I wrote in the live blog that outside of Chris Nickson, Moore was the one player we could least afford to lose. That seems like a long time ago. Like everybody else, I thought Johnson should go with Adams after the Miss State game, and he did, and now we know our problems weren't because Nickson was the quarterback. Now that he appears to be well, I think we go with him. I like the idea of putting Adams in the game to move the ball through the air for a drive here or there. But again, our line has problems, Kentucky has a fast and tough defense, and we're going to need Nickson's quickness.
One other thing: Remember how Johnson started Kovalchek last year on senior day? Johnson will start Nickson against Tennessee, and we might as well go ahead and get him in there.
It's all about the Tennessee game. I wouldn't put my money on us to beat Kentucky or even cover the spread, whatever it is. Kentucky is a very tough team and Lexington is a tough place to play. And Wake Forest is now in the driver's seat to go to the ACC championship game and they're a well-coached team that's won pressure games before. We can win both those games, sure, but the Duke loss rattled my confidence. How about yours?
But the Volunteers are in shambles. Sure, they want to win one for the Fulmer, but look where that got them last week against an awful Wyoming squad.