It’s funny how a single victory can turn around the entire vibe of a college program. But that is exactly what has happened with the Tennessee win Friday evening over NC State.
It is easier for that to happen with a season opener after a bad season rather than a late-season win after a few losses in the same season. A record of 1-0 with an impressive performance means that all things are possible. An upset victory getting your team to 3-5 means that you just might go bowling at the most.
The air is fresher, the grass a brighter green, the flowers more fragrant. It feels like a brand new world. That’s the first scenario.
Everything still stinks. That’s the second scenario.
Derek Dooley did his best to dampen runaway expectations on Friday night by saying that this win is just that – only a single win. A record of 1-0 doesn’t mean anything other than you are 1-0.
Nice try, coach.
Well, after working two hours late into the evening to prepare a game summary for you, it was all lost in a malfunction of my web browser.
Frustrating and disappointing to say the very least. I’m lucky I still have my laptop as it nearly was thrown out a window.
[LESSON: Never be in a hurry, and save your work - often.]
No energy remains to try and recreate the post or create another one.
Plus, I’m heading to the mountains early in the morning for a week of hiking.
Nonetheless, the game on the whole was a rousing success.
The links to game information (courtesy of ESPN) are at the lower part of the header above.
Cheers, and Go Vols!
In 1939, the Tennessee Vols kicked off their historic season with a 13-0 defeat of NC State in Raleigh. Why historic? The Vols not only dished out a shutout that opening day, but were unscored upon for the remainder of that regular season.
That is historic.
Whether or not 2012 is to be a historic season is for the pundits to have fun with. What is true is that this year’s opener against the Wolfpack is one thing if nothing else — a game the Vols must win. They must. Because if they don’t, and depending on how the loss goes down, Tennessee will find themselves behind the eight ball going into the Florida game with another must-win scenario before heading into another October filled with heavyweights.
Playing the November schedule with the only chance being a 6-6 season is a worse-case scenario. A win over NC State wipes that possibility off the table.
That’s how crucial this game is for Tennessee.
NC State are one of those teams that better programs fear. Their turnover margin during the regular season was +1.17, which is more than enough to carry a mediocre program to the post season. It is a remarkable statistic made even more remarkable because the Wolfpack lost 11 fumbles and 11 interceptions. That’s 22 times this season that State turned the ball over, yet they still maintained better than a plus-one per game margin.