Phil makes a move.

And it’s not from Krispy Kreme to Dunkin’ Donuts, either.  It’s at quarterback.

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer announced at the Vols’ walk-through Friday that Nick Stephens would start at quarterback Saturday against Northern Illinois.

Fulmer said it was time to shake it up and that Stephens deserves a chance to show what he can do. Jonathan Crompton started the first four games for the Vols, but struggled mightily. He was 8-of-23 for 67 yards in the Vols’ 14-12 loss to Auburn last week.

Fulmer said there are no plans to play two quarterbacks in this game. If Stephens plays well and the Vols are moving the football on offense, he’ll be the go to guy the entire game. Fulmer said Crompton took the news well and will be ready to play if needed.

Yeah, I’ll bet he took the news well.

It’s pretty interesting timing.  Stephens takes a shot against a MAC team that you’d figure wouldn’t put up too much resistance, although N. Illinois’ stats aren’t too embarrassing at this point in time (not that it’s played anyone tougher than Minnesota to date).  But if he’s mediocre rather than successful, it introduces an element of uncertainty in Georgia’s preparation for next week’ game.  It’ll be worth seeing if Stephens displays any better skill at throwing the deep ball than Crompton has shown this season.

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UPDATE: Yech.

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2 Comments

Filed under The Glass is Half Fulmer

2 responses to “Phil makes a move.

  1. Sam

    From my sources here in TN, I don’t think this was Phil’s decision to make. Several of their deep pocket boosters have REALLY been applying the heat to Hamilton about this. It may even be too late as I heard he had been told to give Stephens a chance if Crompton struggled at Auburn. Short of a miraculous turn around, I don’t think CPF survives the winter. I have heard grumbling all nine years that I have lived amongst the strange people they have for fans, but nothing even remotely touched this situation. They are totaly beat down and can no longer blame it on the assistant coaches.

    Personally I would like for him to stay but knew that every year he survived was that much further they would sink and it would take longer for them to recover. The recruits at the florida game got an earful from the booing fans, and saw the empty seats. They are in disarray in K’ville. Got to love that!

  2. David H.

    From the stats, it doesn’t look like Stephens’s numbers were too bad. It looks like Tennessee wasn’t able to dominate with the running game and wasn’t able to possess the ball very long.