Here I sit, slumped into the couch as if someone just ran over my dog. I take a slow defeated sip of my lukewarm sweet tea that has one sad little dissipating ice cube. You could say I look like a pouty child slumped into that couch, because our Vols just got beat by a team and a fan base full of grown adults who BARK LIKE dogs for their team. And that dissipating ice cube, is a perfect simile for the faith in the Vols most of us have the rest of the season.
In the days leading up to this game, the irrational Volunteer confidence slowly started to creep in.
Monday/Tuesday: ZERO % chance. “We made Feleipe Franks look like a freaking Heisman front runner. Georgia has scored 40 every game. We couldn’t score 40 on UTEP. I just want to cover the spread (32.5)”.
Wednesday: 5% chance. “Maybe they just won’t show up…”
Thursday: 10-15% chance. “Ya know, maybe Pruitt just knows exactly how to scheme against Kirby”.
Friday: 20% chance. “If we just stack 7 and 8 in the box, we can win. Fromm is just a game manager”.
Saturday morning: 50% chance. “I’ve just got a good feeling about today”.
Saturday 3:29 PM: 100% chance. “No doubt in my mind we are winning this game! JG is going to find his stride and we are going to have a perfect scheme defensively. And we are going to shock the world! Georgia is overrated anyway!”
The 1st quarter thoughts:
- First drive 1st quarter. They get a mismatch with Swift and Kongbo on a swing pass. Looks like our Freak of Nature recruit has him behind the line. Then, you realize Kongbo has the lateral quickness of a turtle… 1st down gained by Georgia. “This is going to be a long game…”
- Georgia on a solid drive down the field. Then you see our boy, Darrell Taylor, break around the edge and strip Fromm. Vol fans everywhere stand up out of there seat and just enthusiastically just yell things like “BALL!” or “Get on da football!” And then the most Vol situation ever happens. Taylor’s strip was basically a bounce pass to Nauta in stride for a 31 yard fumble recovery TD.
- We have 3 straight drives with a 3rd and 1. We go 0 for 3…
- “It’s only 7-0. WE’RE STILL ALIVE!”
- Taylor with another strip sack. Everyone fist pumps.
- “WHO IS THIS NERD KICKING FOR GEORGIA?”
- Peyton Manning sideline interview. Everyone watching: “God, I just love Peyton. He looks really nice in that shirt. I want that shirt”.
- Nessler makes old man on CBS blunder. Note: the score is 10 to 0. “Georgia only has 3 field goals to show for it”. No Brad, no they don’t… 3 field goals would be 9 points. Math is hard.
- Nigel Warrior continues to let us down by dropping that interception.
- Synchronized disappointed sigh after not getting the roughing the punter call.
- Fields enters the game at QB for Georgia. Every Vol knows that “awe crap” feeling when a backup enters the game on us. We usually help start their career off on a good note.
- Georgia driving, but we hold them on 3rd & 1. They run a Herrien on a motion end around on 4th & 1. We all half way have to mumble “That was a good play”.
- Georgia scores make its 17-0. “Ya know, we are a couple of plays away”. Blind faith still hanging around.
- First drive of the 2nd half ends on a Fields’ led drive and a Fields’ TD. 23-0 “Well, that’s game.. And we’ve got this guy for 3 years. I need a drink”.
- Callaway catches a crossing route for a 1st anddd then gets crushed. Concussion protocol coming. “Its 1 step forward, 2 steps back”.
- JG throws a bomb to Palmer for a Touchdown. “DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK!” 24- 0
- “Thank you, Mr. Taylor” – after he gets his 3rd sack.
- Big stop with 13:34 to left in the game. Someone in the room said something along the lines of “We’re not out of it. Only down 18. And we’ve got momentum”. Ah, the blind hope we have.
- Swing out to Chandler, makes a beautiful cut and SEE YA. Touchdown Tennessee! 24-12. “We’re coming back!”
- The Georgia Running back Bullpen continues to own us. Herrien runs all over us, play after play..
- Swift finishes us off. 14 yard barrelling run, TD…. “We SUCK”.
- Ref tears achilles. I was a little let down we didn’t get at least one Kobe reference.
- Banks fumbles… “Alright let’s just beat the spread”.
- Fields scores on us again. Again we think “We have to deal with this kid at least 2 more years”…
Listen, at the beginning of the week most of us had zero hope. At multiple times during this game we believed we had a chance. If we land on any of those fumbles, who knows how momentum swings. We showed improvements in a lot of areas this week, enjoy that. Pruitt and company are doing the right things. They are just going to need time. LOTS of time.
As my partner and crime, Kurt said “We aren’t trying to beat the other team this year, we’re just trying to beat the spread”.