CATEGORY: FOC College Football


HED:Oilers' defense burned by Testaverde

By Todd Vinyard

Daily Journal

MEMPHIS Tennessee has a defense designed to biltz and take chances while leaving cornerbacks by themselves on an island.

Gilligan's crew had a better chance for rescue Sunday than the Oilers in a 36-10 loss. Raven quarterback Vinny Testaverde threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

Oiler safety Blaine Bishop was out with a broken forearm. Tennessee cornerback Tomur Barnes tried to fill in, but was burned on two Baltimore TD passes.

"We had a lot of changes back there, but I thought we did a good job," Oiler head coach Jeff Fisher said. "We didn't make some of the plays we needed to make. We didn't catch interceptions that should have been interceptions. We will have to turn that around or Pittsburgh will get after our rear ends."

Pittsburgh is next up on the road for the Oilers, now 1-2. Testaverde and the Ravens got after the Oilers' rear ends in the second quarter. Testaverde was 23 of 37.

Testaverde, the 1986 Heisman Trophy winner, had TD passes of 25 and 5 yards to Derrick Alexander.

"I thought they were going to do exactly what they did," Testaverde said. "They blitzed us like they have everybody this year and we made some big plays off of it. We mixed it up a lot today. We ran different formations, looks and plays and it kept them off balance and it shows in the score."

Raven wide receiver Jermaine Lewis was the main target with eight catches for 124 yards and a touchdown of 41 yards. Alexander had five catches for 66 yards. Southern Mississippi product Michael Jackson and Brian Kinchen added four catches.

For the Oiler secondary, it was another game without an interception. They have none in three games.

"It is important to remember we have played against some pretty good quarterbacks Jeff George, Dan Marino, and Vinny Testaverde," Fisher said. "They make a lot of people look bad."

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