A Win is a Win
Tennessee 32 UAB 29 (2 OT)
25 Sep 2010 | Neyland Stadium | 95,183Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-play | Drive Chart
Sometimes you just have to say that a win was mostly good fortune.
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.