This Is Our Year – Tennessee
Good morning, y’all. As I pointed out earlier, there is no greater bond for the male of the species than college sports, football most particularly. I believe it was Jeff Foxworthy that said, “all Southern men know how to drive NASCAR and coach football”. I completely agree. In the spirit of male bonding, I wheeled my band mate, Axel Rhodes, down to the Rec room to catch the game on the big screen.
We settled in to watch two groups of finely tuned athletes meet on the field of honor and do battle for their respective supporters. Unfortunately our side was suffering with intestinal flu and 4 starters were out. Not helpful “powers that be.”
Like last week, the game got off to an optimistic start, it was 0 to 0 at kickoff. Unlike last week, the toothless wonders from Tennessee scored first on a well crafted drive. Tennessee up 7-0. Not to be outdone, our fearless warriors marched down field and answered, 7-7. Following a set of punts, the Orange men (but wearing black) started marching again and finished the drive with a field goal. Tennessee up 10-7. At this point I’m getting the impression that it was going to become one of those whoever scores last wins affairs. I was wrong. Eventually the cosmos righted itself and things degenerated to hell on earth for the Tennessee faithful.
With Georgia in the lead 24-10 at the half, I felt confident enough to tease my hillbilly band mate a bit. “Axel, I’m curious. If a fellow from Tennessee divorces his wife, is she still his sister?’ Axel pondered for a second before replying, “If she ain’t his cousin.”
I’m glad we cleared that up before Georgia received the 2nd half kick and promptly fumbled. I’m not feeling so smart-alecky anymore and put my full attention back to willing my boys to keeping the Volunteers out of the endzone. Which we did until garbage time. ln the interim we score 17 more to end the game at 41-17.
The most heart pounding moment came when Nolan Smith went down with what turned out to be an elbow injury. I can’t explain the sudden loss of God’s love or the spite of the “karmic witches”, or whatever forces were in play that predisposed this event. Fortunately he appears to be ready to continue the crusade against the Philistines.
After watching our defensive coordinator throttle the high scoring Vols and the offensive coordinator “take what they were giving us”, I have concluded we have the best coaching staff in college football. We’ll know for sure when we meet Alabama in Atlanta.
Stetson Bennett was 17 of 29 for 213 yards for 1 touchdowns and no interceptions. Almost as important was his 40 yards on the ground in 8 carries. His mobility has kept the offense on the field and continuing drives, which is what a good quarterback does.
James Cook had a breakout game with 104 yards on 10 carries, His 2 touchdowns were split equally between running and passing, where he caught 3 balls for 43 yards. Defenses not accounting for him do so at their peril.
Zamir White took over the “grind it out function” in the 4th quarter and accounted for 55 yards. The balance of Running Back U accounted for a total of 274 yards and managed to keep the Hillbilly’s offense off of the field, which is a very good thing. Keeping our defense rested and ready is paramount.
The receiving corps looked like a team trip to the “best little house in Texas”, everybody caught something. Adonai Mitchell led the way with 5 catches for 45 yards. Cook contributed the only passing touchdown and 43 yards. Passing just enough to keep drives going was a great strategy for this game.
Placed in the horrible position of facing the best team to date and fighting an internal foe, the flu, the junkyard Dawgs continued to rock. The Tennessee running game was limited to 55 yards, outstanding! Their passing numbers were huge, 332, but we managed to keep those passes in front of us. We did recover a crucial fumble on what looked like a scoring drive that kept our lead intact. Amazingly, there was just 1 interception. Generally if a team is going all pass, there are going to be a bunch of interceptions. I was wore out from watching them play, I can only imagine how tired they were.