Tennessee's David Holbert, left, is in for the touchdown as South Carolina's Ko Simpson (10) reacts during the first half Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
You almost have to feel sorry for South Carolina. They come out and dominate the game for the first 28 minutes and can only build up an 8-0 lead. Then, the Vols put in Brent Shaeffer who gives them a much needed spark on offense, leading a drive in the last minute and a half for a touchdown and a two-point conversion to even the playing field at 8-8 going into the lockerroom. Then, the second half comes and Tennessee destroys the Gamecocks in all phases on the game and win a great game that keeps them one step up on Georiga in the race to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. The first 28 or so minutes were painful for me as a UT fan, but the final 32 were a thing of beauty. My only real complaint is our third-string game up too many yards when we had the game sealed away and we should never have allowed Carolina to have that final touchdown. But a win is a win is a win and it's a great day anytime you can beat Lou Holtz, which UT has done a lot lately.
You know, in the past, I've been the first to jump all over Randy Sanders, blaming him for the complete lack of offense at critical times. So, I'm gonna give him some huge credit for this game and this season. The man knows what he's doing and it shows. He calls the right plays at the right times to get it done and I loved his scheme here of rotating Ainge and Schaeffer as needed within drives to help the team. Also, his adjustments at half-time helped us to throttle SC in the second half and win the game. But I think his biggest calls was the time-out before half-time. He called it, not Fulmer and there's a great article in today's Tennessean
about it. Good call, Randy. You took a gamble and it paid off huge. Turning point of the game and may be the best time out of the season. '
Also, I have to add this--why the hell does Lou Holtz kneel down and pick grass on the sidelines? I just don't understand....
As for South Carolina, I've a few things to say--I feel sorry for your fans. In two big games this year, they've teased their fans early only to have hopes dashed late (here and UGA). But there is no excuse for the small group of fans who threw bottles and things on the field during the game. You know what--you thought you should get a call, but you didn't. UT didn't get some calls and we got the short end of the stick on some calls. Be a good sport, boo the refs but you do not have the right to throw things on the field. You give your school and its fans a reputation as being classless and I know full well that most Gamecock fans have some class.
Also, I have to wonder what's the deal with the clocks in SEC stadiums this year? UT has issues with our play clock early in the season and then Williams Brice Stadium had issues during this game. You know, I've covered quite a few high school games in my time and they can get this right with fewer trained professionals running the clock. So, why not here in the SEC?
And before I go, let me say...
ROCKY TOP, YOU'LL ALWAYS BE HOME SWEET HOME TO ME!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/31/2004 07:53:00 PM
GOOD OL' ROCKY TOP! ROCKY TOP, TENNESSEE!