I Went to the Music City Bowl and All I Got Was a Lousy Victory
I took Little Dork to the Music City Bowl.
First off, about “the call;” I know the Vol fans are raging about the way the game ended. It was confusing and nearly impossible to tell what was going on, but after observing what happened on replays, it was clear the referee made the proper call. Yates did indeed spike the ball with one second left on the clock. It was near disastrous clock management on Coach Davis’ part that just happened to work out for the Heels. The illegal substitution penalty was really irrelevant because even without the confusion with 18 players on the field, the fact remains that Yates did spike the ball in time, and spiked the ball with one second on the clock. The umpire didn’t see it because of the focus on the substitutions.
Second, the Vol fans at the game were mostly assholes. Yeah, I would have been pissed if I thought the refs took a win away from us but I don’t think I would have been cursing fans from the opposing team, especially if they had a 6 year old boy in tow. I’ve been to Neyland enough times to know what to expect from them. And yeah, most Vol football fans aren’t actually alumni. I certainly hope that dude who wanted to fight me wasn’t an alumni – his blatant stupidity would not reflect well on UT’s admissions committee.
That said, we sat next to a very nice couple from Jefferson City, the Hensleys (?), who were so nice I let them have my UT Media Guide. Hey, maybe that’s why they were so nice . . .
But consider this, college ball fans and UT fans especially, we won that game essentially playing a third string defense and a second string offense (owing to injuries, suspensions, etc).
So, the game itself wasn’t that awesome if you ask me. Double overtimes are always exciting, but I saw a lot of mistakes during the run of play. Mistakes can come from guys trying too hard, like Burney fumbling the interception that came after Carolina’s first score, an interception that would likely have put a dagger through UT’s heart early. I didn’t see many fabulous drives. UT scored on long passes on blown coverages (a problem we faced after Denuta Williams broke his leg). There were a ton of penalties, too.
The biggest mistake of course was the bad hold that lead to Paige-Moss’ block of the UT extra point late in the 4th Quarter. Penalty or no, 1 second left or 10 seconds left, if UT had made the extra point the outcome of the game would likely have been completely different.
During the 2009 season, I was one of T.J. Yates biggest critics. I thought he was horrible. His numbers tended to back me up. However I have to take back every word. He put it all together this year, without having access to two potential All-ACC targets, Little and Pianalto. We won’t likely see Yates playing on Sunday, but at least now I think he’ll get a shot.
In the past I’ve been titling my posts about Carolina football “The Season of Suckage.” Given all the suspensions and controversy surrounding the program, this year wouldn’t have been any different. But yet, it was.