Every game is a ‘big game’ for Vol fans. That’s what makes us great fans. We care. A lot.
But Saturday’s game against South Carolina is a really Big Game. This team has made it a big game due to psychological concerns – we now have a phobia of, a neurotic aversion to, a downright fear of the Dreaded Second Half.
I had a dream about Saturday’s game…
Except for rare circumstances, I pull for SEC schools against non-conference foes. Thursday night’s National Championship game, Alabama vs Texas, played at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, was not a rare circumstance for me.
Usually, what’s good for the SEC is good for Tennessee. It brings continued pride, wealth, and the national spotlight on my conference, and some of that spotlight shines on the Vols, even when we are in the middle of the conference’s pack. Read More…
For Virginia Tech, the Peach Bowl game is a very big deal. If they win, they get a 10-win season.
The Hokies have had 10-win seasons 10 times before under Frank Beamer. So, it isn’t about that.
They’ve achieved way bigger things than that. For starters, they’ve had a perfect 11-0 regular season—remember the 1999 Miracle in Morgantown? They’ve played in the national championship game for goodness sake—the 2000 Sugar Bowl loss against Florida State.
It also isn’t about revenge against Tennessee over being manhandled by the Vols in the 1994 Gator Bowl when freshman Peyton Manning led Tennessee over the Hokies 45-23. And, it isn’t about revenge over their consecutive 27-0 losses at Knoxville in 1933 and 1937. Hardly.
The Peach Bowl game is about pride and recognition as a national entity. It’s about being a real player on the national stage. You know—about being one of the big boys. About belonging to the club.
Beating Tennessee would mean that much toward those aims? Read More…
It’s Tennessee vs Virginia Tech in Atlanta, Alabama will meet Texas for the title, and the SEC clean up with 10 bowl spots.
It’s official. Our Tennessee Vols will face Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Years’ Eve at 7:30 pm ET. The game will be televised on ESPN. Tennessee readily accepted the bowl bid today. The appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, formerly known as the Peach Bowl, will be Tennessee’s 48th bowl appearance in school’s history, making UT tied for 3rd with Southern California in all-time bowl appearances. Only Alabama (soon to be 57) and Texas (soon to be 49) have played in more bowl games. The Vol’s bowl record is 25-22.
We’ll take looks at the Hokie’s season and team in the coming days here at Vols in the Fall. Read More…
The self-proclaimed biggest game ever played for a generation of Kentucky football fans in front of 70,981 turned into more of the same Saturday night:
- A dog-fight of a Boarder-State Rivalry War; and
- A Tennessee victory.
With a win on Saturday, Kentucky would have fulfilled a string of significant accomplishments for their improving program under coach Rich Brooks.
- An 8-4 regular season, the first 8-win regular season since 1984.
- A second place finish in the SEC East for the first time since the realignment of the conference in 1992 and best SEC finish since 1977 (when they tied for first with Alabama).
- A likely New Years’ Day bowl date for the first time since the 1998 season (Outback Bowl, Jan 1, 1999 vs Penn State).
- And perhaps, most importantly, an end to The Streak – 24 consecutive losses to their bitter, long-time, border state rival.
But, would have didn’t materialize. Read More…
I had the Rolling Stones’ song When the Whip Come Down rattling around in my head all Thanksgiving Day. I think I know why – it started to morph into Will the ‘Posts Come Down?
Kentucky (7-4/3-4) is due to break their losing streak of 24 against the Vols (6-5/3-4).
During the period 1985-2008, the ‘Cats are 0-24 by a total score of 911-400 and an average score per game of 38-17. The Vols shutout the ‘Cats four times and held them to under 10 points an additional four times. Tennessee scored over 50 points seven times. Five of those seven 50-plus games were in consecutive seasons (1996-2000).
But, all good things come to an end. The streak will be broken sooner or later. I’m just not ready. I’d rather see 2009 anointed as the silver anniversary of the last Kentucky win of the Beer Barrel (where in the hell is that thing now anyway?). Read More…
But above all, appreciate the performer you saw on the field, even though he wore blue and gray.
Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster carried the ball 25 times. He gained 282 yards. That’s an average of over 11 yards a carry.
He scored 4 TDs on runs of 15, 23, 32, and 77 yards.
He also gained 42 yards on 4 pass receptions. That’s 324 all-purpose yards.
Dexter broke the all-time Ole Miss records for most rushing yards in a game (formerly 242 yards by Dou Innocent in 1995) and most all-purpose yards in a game (formerly 317 yards by Deuce McAllister in 1999).
If Ole Miss had been playing anybody else, that would have been exciting to watch. Another performance showing the excitement of college football.
But it was against the Vols. And it was the most rushing yards ever given up by Tennessee to an opposing rusher. Ever. He busted it by 65 yards, formerly co-held by Mike Prichard (Colorado 1990) and Bobby Humphrey (Alabama 1986), both with 217 yards. And according to Knoxville’s Jimmy Hyams on the radio, McCluster became only the second opponent to rush for 4 TDs against Tennessee, equaling the mark of Southern Cal great Marcus Allen back in 1981.
Oh, and Dexter McCluster’s 282 rushing yards on Saturday were more yards gained on the ground than any team against the Vols this season.
A humbling end to a very bad week.
WARNING: After the jump, there are a lot of photographs of Dexter McCluster enjoying open-field running. Read More…