In the 90's, the Vols would come out early in the season, struggle a bit against their opponents but then put it all together for a complete game against the University of Georgia. In fact, for a long period of time, the Vols simply owned the Dawgs, no matter where we played.
The past couple of years, it's got away from that a bit. But then this weekend, it was a blast from the past as the Vols dominated Georgia in just about every phase of the game--well, except special teams. If you eliminate the nine points given up by lousy special teams play, the Vols rout of the Bulldogs is even more impressive.
I grinned from ear to ear all afternoon Saturday (OK, it was marred by the kick-off return and the safety, but those were only a few scant moments in an overall afternoon of joy) as the Vols took it to Georgia in a way they haven't taken it to an opponent all season long. At the start of the year, I said I wanted to see the Vols get back to beating at least one of the big three (in my mind) rivals--those being UGA, Bama and Tim Tebow. I also wanted to see Neyland Stadium be an intimidating place to play for road teams again. I'd not seen that--at least until Saturday afternoon. Neyland was rockin', Georgia was flustered and the team was dominant in two of the three phases of the game.
It was truly wonderful.
Now, in the afterglow, I find myself looking around at various UGA fan sites and other coverage just to see the reaction. (I find it interesting to look at the other side from time to time and see their take on the game). On one site, it was a lot of whining about how they shouldn't lose to an inferior Tennessee team and that the Bulldogs should have won.
Well, you guys didn't win. And I'm guessing we're not actually all the inferior since we beat you guys. Yes, maybe we had some home field advantage, but I think a lot of our win came from a carryover from UGA's defeat the week before. The Vols simply came out and demoralized the Bulldogs and it carried over--especially in the second half of the game. Montario Hardesty runs 39 yards for a touchdown and, with glee in my voice, I declare "The rout is on!"
Couldn't happen to a better team.
That doesn't mean I won't be pulling for UGA to upset Florida on Halloween.
But for now, I'm just ecstatic the Vols showed the Bulldogs that Smokey is the real big dog of the SEC East...
Labels: tennessee football
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/12/2009 07:07:00 PM