How ugly was that?

Missouri 29 Tennessee 21

If all football games were that ugly, I would have stopped watching football a long time ago.

That is not really a knock on either team’s will or desire. It’s just that the elegant side of football was completely missing Saturday night in Knoxville. What was left was ineffective offenses and hard-nosed defenses, with a truckload of mistakes thrown in for bad measure.

It was tedious to the point where I just wanted to leave my living room for long stretches of time.

But I suffered through the entire evening, glad that this was not the end of the season, not the end of Version 2.0 of Team 118.

Or better yet, perhaps we could nock it back a notch to something like Version 1.2.

That is a lot better than Version 1.0, which might have left us trying to avoid an 8 loss season next week in Nashville.

Instead, we have a nearly certain bowl bid awaiting after the Vols meet one of the worst Vandy teams in history.

Happy Thanksgiving indeed.


4 responses to “How ugly was that?”

  1. rockytop78 says :

    Fred, try tedious while sitting in the cold at Neyland Stadium, ha ha! I was the beneficiary of a late ticket from a good friend of mine, and I joined him and another buddy for the game. I am always glad to be able to share in the company of my friend, and the convivial camaraderie was some compensation for the drudgery on the field. In fact, it seems that good friends and fellow Vol fans (not to mention Vols in the Fall) are what have sustained me over the recent years; and they make the losing and mediocre play bearable.

    My take-aways from the game were this: (1) UT was way too slow on offense to adjust to the very quick defensive line for Mizzou, and that many of the fake handoffs/short passes were way too slow in developing. (2) Part of the reason that Mizzou’s D-line were in UT’s backfield so often was due to the ineffectiveness of Tennessee’s O-line. It was painful to see Gilliam out there again at right tackle, getting beaten pretty much every time by a very quick defensive end; while I acknowledge that the guy gives his all for Tennessee every time that he steps on the field, it still is painful and frustrating to watch him play. It is also perplexing that the O-line hasn’t progressed more by this time of the season; yes, I know that there have been a lot of injuries, but I would still like to think that we could see better play in the next-to-last game of the year. I really wonder whether Coach Mahoney is up to snuff; and I also wonder if Butch Jones is going to be hamstrung, as Phil Fulmer was, by excessive loyalty to coaches who are in the not-ready-for-prime-time category. (3) While Mizzou was good enough to beat UT, the fact that Mizzou is the champion of the SEC East says a lot about the strength (or lack thereof) of the SEC East. (4) My sole consolation about this loss is that it deprived Georgia of the chance to play for the SEC championship.

    So, let’s hope that we can beat down Vandy this coming weekend, and become bowl-eligible; and hope for better times next year.

    And thank you again for all that you do!

    • rockytop78 says :

      Well, let me modify take-aways #3 and #4 above: I guess that Mizzou has to beat Arkansas to be crowned as SEC East champ. But I am rooting for them now.

    • Fred says :

      I was noticing the few empty seats along the upper rim and was a bit surprised… but a cold night in late November can be a test of commitment!

      Agree that the game had a distinct “slowness” about it. The other issue I noticed was how utterly helpless some of our secondary looked in the final stages when Mizzou went up by 2 TDs. Really awful.

      The issue with Butch and his assistants – that is an excellent point. I notice that in his press conferences, when he is talking about something in the past he always says “we” as if he is including his assistants that are now with him. That might be telling of his mindset… which I admire… but this sometimes has to be a cruel business.

      And, yes, the SEC East is one weird group.

      • rockytop78 says :

        I think that some of the issues with the secondary in the 4th quarter may be related to going from a zone-type coverage to more man-to-man coverage, in an effort to squelch the running attack of Mizzou at that point; and by then, the DBs were just gassed. Just my thought.

        But it didn’t look good, whatever the reason.

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