Good Day, Folks,
This past Saturday was a great day for college Football. There was a series of tremendous games that were both exciting and meaningful to the college football landscape until the final whistles ending the games.
To start, I was both disappointed that the Vols (WE) lost, but I was both Proud and Happy at the way the Vols played. Winning is one thing and an important thing, But the team playing well and improving is another thing that is equally important in the future of this team not only for this year but for the future years.
I have seen teams in the past forty years that lost a game to an opponent and that loss lit a fuse that burned for the rest of that season and in some cases for years. It lit burning resolve and determination to not lose again for that season or to that team. Do you have an idea about that? Think about Coach George Cafego and Vandy.
Bama was the team at the start of the year that I thought we had the worst matchups with in almost every position. As our injuries mounted, those matchups did not appear to get any better. When Bama was hammered, played badly at Home, and lost to Ole Miss, I did not think that it helped the Vols because I thought that it would let Nick Saban get his team’s attention. The next games indicated that.
What happened? For the first time since Saban arrived at Bama the Vols lead in the 4th QTR and the Vols had played toe to toe with Bama for the entire game. The Vols out rushed the Tide and their AA RB. Looking at the game, the game stats ran as good or better for the Vols. Bama won the 4th QTR stats because of one drive. The difference for Bama was the number of players on their 2 Deep Roster especially on the OL and DL that were 4th and 5th Year players versus the VOLS Freshmen and Sophomores at every level on offense and defense.
The “Great News” was that our guys on both offense and defense made plays and played toe to toe with Bama at every position except kicker. The Tide’s kicker made two for six points and Medley missed three (- 9 Points). I have been mad at players in the past for poor play, but I really feel sorry for him. He contributed so much to the team’s growth and success last year and this year he just seems snake bit. I know this hurts him deeply. I hope he bounces back in the next five games.
What is my greatest reason for my feelings of happiness and optimism? The Vols had players on the field that made stops and blocks and catches that were not on the 2 Deep Roster when the year started and that did not travel to Nashville for the opening game. While they made some mistakes, they also did not back down and made some great plays. They FOUGHT!
The Vols have the #2 Toughest Schedule to date based upon the national power ratings and 4 losses. Every loss was to a team ranked in the Top 25 at some point this year. We appear to be improving with young players and older players stepping up. The younger players appear to be grasping the game and the game is slowing down for them. They are making fewer mistakes. They have talent and it is showing in their play. The young OL are really blocking well on running plays and on defense the young front is playing the run well.
Kentucky has a better record and is at home with a really good RB and a Good QB with experienced WR’s. Their defense has really been both disappointing at times and good at times. The offense has turned the ball over and has had penalty problems. A win over the Vols would make their season and really hurt ours.
Stand by this team, I am!!
GO VOLS! BEAT THE CATS!!