The Overly Emotional Initial Reaction: UT vs Auburn Edition

     693 days. That was how long long it had been since we had won an SEC game. 11.2%, that was the percentage chance ESPN gave us to win. 15 point underdog at game time, via OddShark. But on Saturday, we overcame all that.

     I woke up around 7:30 Saturday morning to let the pup out. When I stepped out on the back porch and felt a perfect cool crisp morning breeze, I knew it was going to be a good Saturday. That is the type of temperature you’ve heard your Dad or Grandpa call “football weather”.

     When I went to the gym around 8:45,  the vibe from everyone I spoke to was “cautiously optimistic”. There was just a different feeling about Saturday morning a lot of Vol fans had. Everyone would say things like “I really think we have a chance” or “I think the bye week did us some good and I think we will play well today”. Everyone said that with a kind of a humble smile. They didn’t want to be overly optimistic, but you could see it in their eyes they knew a victory was on the horizon. They knew 693 days of heartbreak would be mended today.

     After watching Auburn last week against Mississippi State, there was a certain belief all week, that we had a shot. At worst we’d make it a close contest. Also, Auburn is very confused. They don’t know whether they are the War Eagles or the Tigers. Surely we can figure out how to beat that kind of headcase of a team…

In the days leading up to the game, optimism did not vary much.

Monday-Thursday: 50% chance. “Watching Stidham last Saturday was rather unimpressive. They are at home though and we can’t score. But, maybe…”

Friday: 69% chance. “You know, this 11:00 am CST start could play to our advantage. The Auburn tailgaters don’t get a lot of time to get rowdy”.

Saturday: 100% chance. “It’s an upset kinda Saturday. Get out the volunteer rifle, we are going tiger hunting. Or eagle hunting. Or whatever they think they are..”

 

1st quarter thoughts:

  • Ground and pound all over us first drive.
  • Toss sweep for a TD out of a SUPER overload left side of the line.
  • 14 plays of absolute dominance 0-7
  • Vols ball:
  • Mr. Ty Chandler with a nice 18 yard run on the first play of the drive
  • Ah, then the typical Tennessee combo. Next play, hold on Trey Smith…(smh) Take 10 of those 18 back.
  • Back to back good plays by Jordan 19 yard catch followed by an 18 yard run.
  • Someone you were with cursed us and said “O-line came to play today!”
  • Stall out next 3 plays and kick a field goal 3-7
  • Auburn Ball:
  • The highlight of Vandy scoring on Florida comes on “Suck it Florida! Crap, Vandy could kill us”.
  • “WE ARE THE WORST TACKLING TEAM IN THE NATION”.
  • Bituli bit soooo hard on the read option. Stidham for a 1st down. Inside the 5 yard line now.
  • 2 no gain runs followed by a “Holy crap our secondary made a play to hold them to a field goal”. 3-10
  • Vols Ball
  • Vols air raid begins. Big time catches from Jennings and Calloway
  • Stall out again at the 31 yard line

2nd Quarter:

  • Field goal blocked…. (insert your favorite explicit language here)
  • “Gus, you’re such a dork. Stop fist pumping”
  • Auburn Ball
  • Pick by Thompson!
  • Vols Ball
  • JG drops a dime to Chandler for 39 yards. Oh wait, pulled a UT and got flagged for an ineligible receiver.
  • Big catch by Jennings for 20.
  • Followed by a short leak out to Chandler for a 42 yard TD! 10-10
  • Aubun Ball
  • Auburn returners run into each other on kick off almost fumble. “Scrubs”.
  • Nigel Warrior, Statement. Tackle.
  • Showed highlights of the 1985 game against Auburn. Old guys said something like “We really showed Bo how to play real football that game”.
  • “Don’t try that stupid double reverse pass on us!” Huge pick by Kongbo.
  • Vols Ball
  • 4 terrible plays. 2 pick with 0 points…
  • Auburn Ball
  • We still suck at tackling 60 yard TD by that really fast guy name Schwartz 10-17
  • Tennessee Ball
  • Our O-line is back…
  • Punt to pin them inside the 5
  • Auburn Ball
  • 3 and out
  • Tennessee Ball
  • Good drive down the field. Getting in field goal range
  • Batted ball at the line (insert wide eyed emoji) Hearts drop while its in the air. All Vols had a simultaneous sigh of relief.
  • Boom. Right down main street. 13-17

3rd Quarter:

  • Tennessee Ball
  • B-E-A-utiful back shoulder throw to Calloway for a gain 25
  • We get to 3rd and 1. Sadly, this is our worst case scenario. We get stuff for no gain
  • Go for it on 4th and 1. Stuffed again.
  • Auburn Ball
  • Auburn’s offense sucks too. 3 and out
  • Tennessee ball
  • 12 yard scramble from JG. Too many people got way too excited for this. All the “YES, let see him use his legs more” comments came flying.
  • Palmer makes a “Skrong” hands catch.
  • Which leads to the 25 yard go up and get it TD from Mr. Jennings! 20-17
  • Auburn Ball
  • Next an exchange of: “OMG! Fumble! I don’t know what just happened! Was that some black magic?! That looked like a Madden glitch! Who cares, Touchdown Tennessee!” Awkward group huddle high fives and jump up and down 27-17

4th Quarter:

  • Auburn Ball (Again)
  • Seeing Pruitt bounce on the sideline before the 4th quarter commercial break, got us all hype.
  • Stidham, still mediocre at best.
  • WIDE RIGHT missed FG
  • Tennessee Ball
  • 3 and out, but pinned them deep. We’re all still very nervous we could pull a UT here.
  • Auburn Ball
  • 3 and out
  • Tennessee Ball
  • Another great JG throw to Palmer.
  • Held to a FG 30-17.  The “We might actually win this thing” anxiety is kicking in.
  • Auburn Ball
  • That Schwartz guy, he’s still really fast
  • Lol, that Slayton drop.
  • Deandre Johnson gets a MONSTER sack on 4th down.
  • Tennessee Ball
  • Bleed. This. Clock
  • “Wow. Eli Wolfe is still on the team?”
  • Auburn Ball
  • Auburn driving is making us all nervous here.
  • Seth Williams, you are lucky sir. You never had possession and that should’ve been a pick. Strangest ball exchange. 30-24
  • Everyone holding their breath during the onside kick. One last chance for a UT heartbreak.
  • HOLY SHEET! We did it.

 

Soak it in Vols’ fans. Enjoy that win. Do not let Auburn’s bad play the Saturday before, take away what we did this Saturday. This was a completely different team offensively than we’ve seen all year. We took chances and let our big time possession receivers make plays. JG played lights out. And I mean he was literally graded out by PFF as the best QB on Saturday. We got to see quick reads, high velocity line drives on deep hitches, and great timing touch passes on back shoulder throws. We got a treat on Saturday.

Now, let Bama Hate Week begin.

Have an awesome week everyone. Be sure to join us live on Facebook at 7pm EST Monday night where we we will recap the weekend! Thanks for reading and be sure to share this out to all your friends!

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