Anything but This

LSU 16  Tennessee 14

2 Oct 2010 | Tiger Stadium | 92,932

RecapBoxscorePlay-by-playDrive Chart

LSU scored on the very first play from scrimmage and on the very last play from scrimmage. In between, Tennessee fought their hearts out and left everything they had out on the playing surface of Tiger Stadium. Except for a bizarre event on the final timed play of the game, it was enough to win.

Tennessee defensive tackle Montori Hughes leaves the field after the loss to LSU. Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess.

Not only was Tennessee not supposed to win this game, they weren’t supposed to even smell the fourth quarter with a chance to win. Instead, the Vols held a 14-10 advantage with 0:00 left on the clock. Celebrating one of the biggest upsets in recent memory after stopping the Tigers near the goal line, the players wearing the orange shirts on visiting turf had to muster up another defensive play because, in the chaos of the final seconds ticking off the clock at a glacial pace as the Tigers desperately tried to get a play off and as the Vols desperately tried to get substitutions onto the field, Tennessee was whistled for having 13 players on the field.

That gave LSU one more play from the Tennessee 1 yard line. The Tigers suddenly smelled life after breathing their last gasp of air within the jaws of death as they seemed to botch their final chance. The Vols, after dancing on a cloud for a precious few seconds of extreme accomplishment, had to prove one more time that they were worthy of winning a game that was already theirs.

When Stevan Ridley ran the ball into the Vol end zone on the final play – an untimed play due to the defensive penalty – which somehow seemed cruelly inevitable after the officials gave LSU their final chance, the hearts of all Volunteers of any time from everywhere were ripped from their chest.

Completely dominated in yardage statistics, the Vols were able to hang with the Bengals because of game-changing aspects of football: getting possession via turnovers (3 INTs and a fumble recovery) while not giving up the football, committing next to no penalties, and keeping the Tigers from gaining good field position with a good kicking game. Unfortunately, the NCAA doesn’t hand out win slips for playing a near-perfect football game against far superior talent during your first road game in a very hostile environment. The Vols weren’t perfect enough.

There is lingering controversy. If the defense is trying to substitute, the umpire is supposed to allow the defense to get set. Instead, LSU was able to snap the ball before the Vols defense was set, and more importantly, while they had 13 men on the field. The Tigers suddenly had a final lease on life. And there are other observations of what actually occurred in those final few seconds, depending on who is talking. All that will have to be sorted out later, perhaps tomorrow, with a plea from Dooley to the SEC depending on what the game film shows.

But for now, it can be said that it’s official: we’re getting better…

…and what doesn’t kill you will hopefully make you stronger.

About these ads

Tags: , ,

5 responses to “Anything but This”

  1. Jan Evett says :

    It was extremely unfortunate. The Vols played an intense and exciting game and they never gave up, they were in it all the way (dare I say to the bitter end?).

    Everyone – including the coaching staff – got caught up in the moment, and I think the weight of the defensive miscalculation has to fall on the defensive coordinator (and/or staff). The players gave it their all and I am very proud of each one of them!

    BTW, you guys were waaayyy off on those predictions this week. Show some faith! :)

    Go Vols!

  2. DW says :

    It’s been a long time since I jumped out of the chair cheering an unexpected Vols victory, and it may be quite a while before I do that again. It’s hard on old guys to that high and low within a few seconds. I was proud of how they played today.
    OK, gotta go now and cheer for Wash to hit this game winning field goal against USC. Thats gonna make me feel a lot better tonight!!

  3. rockytop78 says :

    General Neyland’s Game Maxim 7 certainly comes to mind here: “Carry the fight to your opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.”

    Tennessee played well for 59 minutes of the game. However,Tennessee did not show up on defense for the first 30 seconds of the game, when Jordan Jefferson broke off an 83-yard run on LSU’s first play from scrimmage, untouched, all the way to the end zone; and Tennessee had too many show up for the last 30 seconds of the game, when 13 men on defense caused the penalty that allowed LSU to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

    Someone mentioned to me that it’s difficult to out-stupid than Les Miles; but we managed to do that last night at the end of the game.

    This one is hard, hard, hard to take.

  4. tk says :

    WELL I AGREE WITH DW ALL THE WAY…..WE ARE AT THE AGE THAT WE CANT GO THROUGH WHAT WE WENT THROUGH AT THE END OF THE GAME…
    AND FRED I LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO THAT WHEN YOU BET ON FOOTBALL, TENNESSEE IS ONE OF THOSE TEAMS YOU MUST LEAVE OUT OF THE EQUATION. BUT I DONT THINK ITS A REASON TO STAY OUT OF VEGAS…YOU KNOW THEY DO HAVE SOME PRETTY GOOD HALF ASS PANCAKES!!!!

%d bloggers like this: