Kentucky vs. Tennessee | 27 Nov 2010 | Neyland Stadium
12:21 pm EST | SEC Network/ESPN3.com
Let’s not forget what Saturday really is.
Kevin Cooper, Chad Cunningham, Savion Frazier, Gerald Jones, Daniel Lincoln, Ben Martin, Denarius Moore, Nick Reveiz, Jerrod Shaw, Luke Stocker, Victor Thomas, LaMarcus Thompson, Chris Walker, Gerald Williams, and Tyler Wolf.
These are the senior lettermen. These are The Group That Never Quit, so eloquently named by senior wide receiver Gerald Jones.
Here we are once again, in anticipation of facing a long-standing adversary who would like a win more than oxygen to live. The Kentucky Wildcats desperately want to erase a slate currently littered with embarrassing numbers. We had better be ready and equipped with our A-game.
Tennessee 52 Mississippi 14
13 Nov 2010 | Neyland Stadium | 96,044Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-play | Drive Chart
The Tennessee Vols looked like a bunch of youngsters with their whole lives ahead of them, without a care in the world. The Ole Miss Rebels looked old, tired, confused, and not up to the challenge.
As predicted, Tyler Bray used a beautiful autumn afternoon to cement his place as the Vols’ QB. All he did was display a cool, calm, almost a caution-to-the-wind demeanor, throwing 18-of-34 for 323 yards, 3 TDs, and no INTs.
Furthermore, he gave this football program a fresh coat of beautiful, orange paint. Yes, he made mistakes today, including many throws that were not nearly as accurate as desired, but he made some drop-dead, beautifully-paced throws to receivers who are beginning to believe that Christmas happens every Saturday.
After all, Santa Claus is now a tall, skinny dude from the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Tennessee 50 Memphis 14
06 Nov 2010 | Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium | 39,742Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-play | Drive Chart
One of the most fascinating art exhibits I’ve seen included several unfinished sculptures of Michelangelo in Florence. It’s one thing to see the finished product, but it’s quite another experience to see a piece of marble that has been only partially cut – one from which the human form is partially poking through the rawness of the native rock, showing the immense but still unrealized potential of the raw cut. It leaves one contemplating the possibilities.
Call me a dreamer, but that was the image that came to mind as the first half was coming to an end Saturday night in Memphis.
South Carolina 38 Tennessee 24
30 Oct 2010 | Williams-Brice Stadium | 79,336Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-play | Drive Chart
Back-breaking turnovers by the mistake-prone Vols in the early minutes of the second half allowed South Carolina to put up enough points to keep a resilient Tennessee team from pulling off a huge upset that could have resulted in Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks giving the SEC East crown away.
In between those giveaways, Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley pulled what this observer saw as a bizarrely timed QB substitution. Just before entering the dressing room at the half of a 10-10 contest, Dooley summarized to the TV sideline reporter what it would take to give the Vols their first conference win: “mental, emotional, intellectual stamina.” Dooley was not willing to lay anything on a lack of talent, size, and other physical attributes. He put it directly inside the heads of his players.