A Win is a Win

Tennessee 32  UAB  29 (2 OT)

25 Sep 2010 | Neyland Stadium | 95,183

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Sometimes you just have to say that a win was mostly good fortune.

Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore makes the game winning catch in the end zone during the second overtime of the game against Alabama Birmingham. Photo by Adam Brimer.

If you don’t believe that this win can be attributed in large part to luck, consider this: (1) In regulation time, UAB’s field goal kicker, Josh Zahn was 0-for-5, missing from 41, 35, 49, 30, and 54 yards; (2) Tennessee was outgained 544 to 287 in total yards – 429 of UAB’s yards were in the air at a 7.2 yards per reception clip; (3) The Vols didn’t turn the ball over a single time; (4) UAB had 7 infractions for 55 penalized yards; and (5) UAB won the possession tally 36 minutes to 24.

Against almost any of the other 120 FBS teams, or against UAB on any other Saturday, this was a loss with those kind of events.

There’s going to be a lot of microscopic inspection of this one by the Vol faithful. Here’s a preview of what the microscope will find: (1) Tennessee’s woes on third down continued, with a 2-of-15 conversion tally; (2) Matt Simms was sacked 5 times and got plastered-hit an additional lots-of-other-times; (3) Tennessee only ran the ball 5 times in the second half; (4) Surprisingly, Tennessee threw the ball more than it ran it – 34 to 27; (5) Tennessee gained 42 net yards on the ground on 27 carries (1.6 yards per carry); (6) the Vols’ field position was fairly good; and (7) the Vols went 3-and-out on 3 out of 6 possessions when they didn’t score any points (the second half), whereas they went 3-and-out on 4 out of 7 possessions when the scored all of their points (the first half).

*****

The OL is a sad disaster – but anybody other than a rainbow-holding optimist could have seen this coming. One of the results of this sad state is that Tennessee’s traditional run-game dominance is a faint memory. The only thing sadder would be to pin this near-loss on Matt Simms, who had his bell run on nearly every play. You can’t blame last week’s lack of run prowess against Florida on the Gator defense – this week proves that it is much more on the shoulders of the very young, very, very injured offensive line.

It’s all back to what we have – a very young and inexperienced squad that cannot afford injuries. But we withstood all of that, and on the first play of our possession of the second overtime period, Matt Simms, once again under intense pressure, threw a killer-strike to Denarius Moore, who made a world-class catch for the game-winning TD.

Don’t forget that. We have some big winning intangibles. When the talent catches up to our will, we will be back in the high life again. But until then, keep the faith. It will take time, and it will happen. I know it.

*****

A win is a win. Easy to say when you’ve spent the day chasing rainbows.

On Saturday, the weather on Iceland's Snaefellsnes Peninsula was a bit different that in Knoxville / Photo by norcalvol.

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11 responses to “A Win is a Win”

  1. tk says :

    TIDBITS
    -HOPE YOU AND THE LADY ARE HAVING A BLAST
    -WHEN YOU LEAVE THE COUNTRY I GUESS THE BLOG PREDICTION GANG GO WITH YOU…..NO OTHER PREDICTIONS EXCEPT YOU AND I.
    -TWO WEEKS IN A ROW THAT I GOT PRETTY DARN CLOSE TO THE SCORE…..SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THAT!!!
    -MISSED THIS HOME GAME..FIRST MISS IN AT LEAST FIVE YEARS….TERRIBLY COLD AND CONGESTION, SO I LET THIS ONE SLIP.
    -AND FINALLY….THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS ARE ON SALE NOW FOR 30% OFF (NOT AVAILABLE IN OUR KNOXVILLE LOCATION)

    • norcalvol says :

      Sorry to hear about your cold – a valid reason to miss the trip – probably glad you didn’t try to gut it out knowing how the game went down.

      Iceland is a wonderful place to get out into the middle of nowhere and experience all of the elements. Not as cold as I thought, but more windy than I thought – sometimes hard to stand up while taking pictures. Beautiful nonetheless.

      Yea, I dunno where the group went for predictions, plus there is seemingly no more energy from them for any kind of discussion, pre or post game. Perhaps its the team, I don’t know. I’ll keep writing regardless, even if it’s only the wolves in the night that are listening.

      If we all buy some of those 3rd-down conversions on sale, it might help a bit.

      Thanks for checking in.

      • tk says :

        ill hang tough with you thru the season fred even if we dont hear from the others. …. but im sure you knew that before i told you!!!

  2. bert says :

    oops!! sorry i missed this game…

    had i made a prediction it woulda been something like ut 37 uab 10…

    [that's why i'll keep my day job...]

    as for the game…544 total yards??? really???
    WTF!!! that does not bode well for the rest of the schedule…

    it’s startin’ to look like a 4-8 season…

    fred, any chance you can post an article written in icelandic??? ;-)

    enjoy your vacation…

  3. tk says :

    bert.
    icelandic…..it sounds just like fred when he talks after hes put extra ice in his jack daniels. looks like murderer’s row coming up for the vols.

  4. norcalvol says :

    544 total yards… I thought the defense would have a better day than the offense, which is why I picked a low point-total for UAB. The second-half comeback / UT offense meltdown was disturbing. Frankly, I’m surprised we won in OT after such a terrible half.

    The way Georgia is going, I normally would have lots of hope going into Athens, but the way we’re going, I don’t think it that matters.
    LSU in BR looks hopeless, but look what Dooley did last year with LaTech at LSU – damned near beat them. Perhaps the Tigers were not up for the game as were Tech.

  5. tk says :

    FOLKS I THINK LSU WILL BE OUT TO PUNISH OUR OFFENSIVE LINE. THEN GEORGIA WILL BE LOOKING FOR LEFTOVERS. THE SAD PART IS THAT AFTER THOSE TWO, BIG NUMBER ONE COMES ROLLING INTO KNOXVILLE. IT DOESNT LOOK PRETTY DOES IT. BUT KEEP THE FAITH. STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.

  6. orangebopper says :

    I for one will take any win this season. I did not understand why our defensive coaches could not stop the wide screen pass. The good defensive ends we have should have been told to widen out on stance and not to bite when back comes out of backfield on their side. They must have ran it 20 times. I know the defense is thin but not at defensive end. I take nothing away from UAB. They have a very experienced team and it showed but we could not plug all the breaks in the dam. We have to circle the wagons for the next few weeks and hope for the calvary. It could get worse before it gets better.

  7. NorCalVol says :

    “It could get worse before it gets better”…
    No doubt. You know, the four “given wins” at the end of the season are out the window – any one of those teams, even Memphis, could beat us. Kentucky and Vandy are likely watching what’s going on and licking their chops. A win against anybody in October will be a very pleasant surprise. I’m not so worried about October (I have no expectations) as I am November – we could be a shattered team by then. That’s when we’ll see what we’re made of.

  8. tk says :

    maybe our chance, fred, is the fact that vandy and kentucky are usually beaten to death themselves by november……
    but my big question is where are sandy and donald?

  9. norcalvol says :

    TK, I don’t know, but I’ll be on the lookout for them up here at 64 degrees north.

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