By: David Boclair
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 08:07

Overwhelmingly, the first impression of the decision to fire coach Ken Whisenhunt must be a positive one.

Granted, the Tennessee Titans had a little more than the standard 60 minutes to pile up stats, but their 483 yards of total offense, 371 passing yards and 19 passing first downs all were season-highs. They accomplished that behind a retooled offensive line that kept quarterback Marcus Mariota from being sacked for the first time in his career.

The fact that the Titans never led until they scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime – a five-yard pass from Mariota to tight end Anthony Fasano – showed that interim coach Mike Mularkey instilled a renewed belief in a team that had lost is previous six games this season and 16 of its last 17 dating back to last season.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 07:59

Naturally it was the St. Louis Blues that allowed 45 shots on goal yet held the Nashville Predators scoreless Saturday.

After all, no other NHL team has shut out the Predators more. And the only time Nashville got more shots on net without getting at least one in the net was a game against – that’s right – St. Louis.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 07:55

Every night, the Nashville Predators put some of the NHL’s best offensive defensemen on the ice.

Behind the bench, though, is one of the best of all-time.

Assistant coach Phil Housley’s 21-year playing career ended more than a decade ago but he still holds a place among the highest scoring blue liners of all time.

Monday, he takes his place among the sport’s all-time greats – regardless of position – when he and six others join the Hockey Hall of Fame as the 2015 induction class.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 07:49

The takeaway from Vanderbilt’s latest near-miss is that it’s not enough to simply take the ball away from an opponent.

The Commodores forced a season-high four turnovers – and did so against a team that had committed just six in its first eight games. They had two fumble recoveries and one interception in the second quarter alone.

It was a dramatic reversal for a team that has been one of the nation’s worst in turnover ratio throughout the season, yet the offense only turned one of the four turnovers into points. Surprisingly, that still was almost enough to defeat a top-10 opponent.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 07:45

After losses in four of its previous five games, Middle Tennessee State got back in the win column and set numerous school records in a back-and-forth battle against last season’s Conference USA champion. 

Middle Tennessee is now one step closer to bowl eligibility, a goal coach Rick Stockstill has explicitly stated is a priority. The Blue Raiders (4-5, 3-2 in Conference USA) need two wins in their final three games to get there.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 14:14

Marcus Mariota is a go.

The Tennessee Titans’ rookie quarterback successfully navigated three days of practice this week, which prompted interim head coach Mike Mularkey to name him the starter for Sunday’s game at New Orleans (noon, CBS).

By: David Boclair
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 13:56

Like most in Middle Tennessee, the folks at Pearl Cohn High School probably will root for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Their preference, though, is for a high-scoring game in which Saints quarterback Drew Brees produces a bunch of touchdowns.

If he does, the students at the school will benefit.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 13:40

The Tennessee Titans experienced first-hand three weeks ago how a coaching change can make a positive difference for a team.

The Miami Dolphins ripped the Titans in their first game under interim coach Dan Campbell in what was the best possible result of such a move.

Tennessee has to hope for something comparable in the first game under interim coach Mike Mularkey. The Titans’ attempt to transform themselves during the season comes in Sunday’s game at New Orleans (noon, CBS) against one of the league’s hottest teams at present.

By: David Boclair
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 13:10

Vanderbilt had not faced a ranked opponent in more than a month when it went to Houston last Saturday.

Things did not turn out so well against 18th-ranked Houston.

Now comes an even more formidable opponent. The Commodores face No. 10 Florida, which has a chance to earn a spot in the SEC championship game.

A better performance does not guarantee a better result. It’s tough to imagine, though, that things could go any worse when this one kicks off (11 a.m., ESPN).

By: David Boclair
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 11:48

Ray Horton did not point fingers at anyone.

The Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator made it perfectly clear, though, that he does not expect any to be aimed at him or his players.

Thursday, when coordinators typically speak to the media, Horton stuck to a small and consistent script as he discussed this Sunday’s game at New Orleans (noon, CBS), the current state of the team and what’s to come after coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired two days earlier.