October 31, 2013

Recollections of 1985: My First Trip to Jacksonville

So in the Fall of 1985 I was a ten year old boy who loved nothing more than his Georgia Bulldogs. At that time, I had been to exactly two Georgia games on the road - Mississippi State in 1982 (we have a bunch of family in Magnolia State) and the 1984 South Carolina game (which I've written about at my other blog). My brother and I both had already been to probably dozens of home games by then, but not that many on the road.

So it was really exciting when our Dad announced that we'd be making a family trip to Jacksonville that year. As fate would have it, my brother and I did something really dumb the week of that game - involving flushing a marker down the toilet - and on the Wednesday evening after my Dad had pulled the toilet and discovered what the problem was (of course we never mentioned that we had anything to do with it until the evidence was found), he declared that we probably WOULDN'T BE GOING TO THE GAME because of our actions. He strung us along for a day or so until he finally told us that we were still going to Jacksonville even though he was seriously disappointed that we would do something that stupid...and then lie about it.

Leaving out from Covington towards Florida always meant you took the back way through Jackson and Flovilla to get to I-75,  so we naturally stopped at Fresh Air BBQ. Always a treat! We drove for a few hours and stopped at a motel about an hour and half outside of Jax. We got up super early and got to the Gator Bowl in time to soak up the pregame atmosphere.

As people that have been can tell you, especially back then, you could literally smell the liquor and beer in the air. Even as a 10-year old boy, I knew that I loved that smell! I also knew that the Florida fan base was a lot different than ours. A mix of some serious rednecks and then...kind of these preppy, transplanted-yankee weirdo types. An odd mix, no doubt. Lots of trash was being talked back and forth. Again, I absolutely loved it.

Once we got to our seats, I marveled at the atmosphere. I had never seen anything like it at a college football game in my life. It was amazing. The 50/50 split for this game really is a beautiful thing. And as you may remember, there were many storylines going into this one. Florida, just that week, had become the #1 team in the country for the first time in its history. Also, they had this prolific, pass-happy offense led by their phenom QB, Kerwin Bell. Georgia, meanwhile, was ranked, and considered a pretty solid team, but most experts felt like Florida would win and probably win big.

Well, somebody forgot to tell our Dawgs that because they just played an incredible game. Long TD runs by Henderson and Worley led an offenisve performance that was good enough. Our defense would get sliced and diced between the 20s all day long, but they would always tighten up in the red zone and would never give up a touchdown. As I distinctly remembered a gentleman sitting behind us say - "the Junkyard Dawgs were back!" 24-3 was the final, but you wouldn't know it looking at the box score. Like I said, UF was pretty much moving it at will all day but they couldn't get in the end zone. It was beautiful. And a great first WLOCP game for a young, Bulldog fan...

My family and I would go to the next four Jacksonville games together. Later, I would attend many more either as a student or alumnus including several with my brother, but none have ever come close to matching the excitement and awe as that first one. It really was a special experience and one that I'll always cherish. 

A win on Saturday would do so much to salvage this season, but really - we don't even need to look at it like that. This is Florida. A win would give us three in a row, four of the last seven, and a .500 mark for the last decade. That would be huge. Let's get it done. Go Dawgs!

October 30, 2013

Gators Eat Boogers!

Apparently they spelled boogers differently back in the day, but it's all good, because gators eat them. And they suck. And I. HATE. THEM.



October 24, 2013

Getting Over Fear and Loathing and Some Random Bye Week Thoughts

This was me at some point late Saturday night/early Sunday morning...

Sorry for the lay-off, been a bit busy this week. Plus, the whole bye week and all, not to mention the fact that we lost to Vandy. I did post some thoughts about that earlier this week that you can read here and here. Usually I'll do an additional analysis/recap after a game, but I've had enough Staring Into The Abyss for this week so I think I'll just skip it.

So, what's going on?
  • It's looking like Gurley should be back for the Florida game. That's what you call great news. We just haven't been the same team without him. And according to Aaron Murray, Gurley is looking "beautiful as always." Sweet!
  • Serious discussion from the SEC office about trying to do away with the 15-yd penalty if a targeting call is overturned. That would have to go through the national rules committee and wouldn't happen until next year, but still, at least there some conversation going on about how stupid and asinine this rule is. Personally, I tend to agree with the Senator that all of this targeting malarkey is about the NCAA pulling a CYA (cover your ass) to head off potential lawsuits like the NFL has had to deal with.
  • For the "Fire Grantham" crowd, the stats show that the defense is continuing to improve. Just look at the box score of the Vandy game - 337 yards we gave up, and our total defense has improved to 58th in the country. They are improving, albeit somewhat slowly. And it looks like they are simplifying things a bit. That will help moving forward. Looking to spread some blame for the Vandy game? Well, it's pretty obvious, but how about our horrid special teams play and an offense that put up 221 yards of total offense and only 16 first downs. Pretty crappy, huh? That tends to happen when you go with a terrible game plan with terrible execution. The three turnovers obviously didn't help either.
  • And I'm not trying to throw the offense under the bus, but man - we really stunk it up on Saturday. Yes, I know, the injuries. The big problem was that Bobo, who has really done really well the last 2 1/2 years with his play-calling, seemed to seriously regress on Saturday. And again, I get it, he was trying to be more conservative with so many of his weapons gone, but as I mentioned in Sunday's post, he just needs to go balls out no matter who he's got on the field. I'm pretty confident he's learned his lesson on that. I hope... 
  • Following up on that, if we can at least have either Conley or Bennett (or preferably both) to compliment Woot as our possession guys, and if we can get Davis and Rumph completely up to speed as our downfield guys, then, if we do in fact have Gurley, then I think our offense is going to be good to go. 
Let's hope we get some guys healthy and continue to improve in all facets of the game.  Here's looking at you, Special Teams!

October 21, 2013

Mumme Poll Ballot, Week 8

 It's time for the Mumme Poll, the best poll in college football. This poll utilizes approval voting where voters vote for their top 10 teams without ranking with the exception of the top team. Here's my top 10 for this week: 

Florida State (top team)
Texas Tech
Fresno State

October 20, 2013

The Sunday Treatment and a Trip Around the Dawgosphere

Well, dang - that sucked.

Other than what I posted yesterday and this photo that I posted earlier today, that's all I've really got right now:

Thoughts of targeting, our special teams and our playcalling in the fourth quarter...

A Trip Around the Dawgosphere

We'll have to let the pros handle the heavy lifting today: 

Actually, I've got a little more than that - I still think if we can get some folks healthy, work out some shit, figure something out with special teams, and get back to calling offensive plays like we were, regardless of who's on the field, then I truly believe that we could win out. But like some have mentioned, at this point, 7-5 or even 6-6 is in play if we don't get a bunch of things figured out. Losing at least one more is likely.  Also, one last thing - and call me crazy or stupid but the numbers support this - for the second week in a row, our defense has shown improvement in my opinion.

I've never remembered our Dawgs needing a bye week as badly as we need this one.

A Photographic Encapsulation of the State of the Bulldog Nation

It's the proverbial "Thursday" for the Dawg Nation

Tough, tough loss. And it's turning into a tough season. The injuries, the special teams, continuing issues on D, targeting and other officiating issues...man, it sucks.Keep your heads up, Dawg fans. It won't be long until...

A victory over Florida would help!
Let's use this bye week, regroup, work some stuff out, and get Gurley and Bennett back. 

October 19, 2013

Thoughts on 1965, Injuries, Officiating, and Special Teams

Tough game. Not gonna blame it on the refs, but obviously the targeting stuff needs to be addressed. How are you going to overturn it but then say, "Oops, we were wrong, but we're still gonna hit you w/ a 15 yd penalty." Terrible.

Like the 1965 version of the Dawgs, injuries have just totally decimated this team. That '65 team had huge wins vs. 'Bama and Michigan and was on top of the world. Then, several key injuries just killed the team and they limp to a lackluster finish. Lots of similarities there. Remember how we felt after LSU? Man, what a roller coaster. The difference is this: pretty sure the '65 Dawgs didn't have completely awful special teams play. That's got to get handled. Like the Senator said, how can a major SEC program not have a competent long snapper in the game by the 8th week of the season?

At this point, going 8-4 in the regular season would be a minor miracle. It's always a great day to be a Dawg, but this one's tough, no doubt about it.

Thank God we've got a bye week this week. Go Dawgs!

October 18, 2013

A Big Thank You to the Readers of GYSB and a Few Housekeeping Notes

Howdy, hope all is well, and Go Dawgs!

A few things:

First off, I'd just like to once again thank everyone who is visiting this page for doing so. I'm right at 3,500 hits after about a month and a half. Now that might not sound like a lot to some people, but as a point of comparison, my other blog, The Piedmont Chronicles, which has been up and running for 3 years, has just under 11,000 hits. Now granted, that's more of a local, historical blog that wouldn't get as many hits, but still - the number of hits I've had on this particular page are good numbers in my opinion.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the key factors in that process, and that would be The Dawgbone. A lot of traffic obviously comes through that site, and I'm very grateful to them for adding me. Also, several fellow Dawg Bloggers have been kind enough to add me to their blogrolls: The Senator, Bernie, Sic 'em Dawgs and CC over at Sports and Grits. Thank you, guys.

To monetize or not to monetize

Well...obviously I made the decision to do so. I knew I had some dues to pay so I decided to wait until I hit a certain number of pageviews before I did that. I hit that number awhile back and went ahead and added the Ads. I haven't really fine-tuned those yet, but eventually I think they will be good ones that will be apropos to the site. If you see something interesting and feel so inclined, go ahead and give it a click. I might make a dime or something. But hey - 10 dimes and you got a dollar, ammaright?


I've mentioned a few times that while I was grateful for all of the hits, I was hoping to see a few comments. I have actually gotten a handful here lately, but I'm all about reader participation. So drop a line when you get a chance. One thing that was playing a roll with that for at least a few folks I've talked to was this: I had the comments set up where you basically had to be on Blogger or Wordpress or something else to comment. It was hard to leave a comment, basically. Didn't realize that until just a few days ago. But I've gotten that fixed. So, comment away!

Again, thank you. I've really enjoyed the hell out of this and hope you've enjoyed reading it.

Until next time.


Breakin' it Down: Vandy

So we've got Vandy tomorrow. With our depleted roster and continuing issues on the O-line, defense, and special teams, this game might be a real challenge. Let's look at some numbers:
Lots of interesting storylines in this one. Will Murray break both the SEC yardage and TD records tomorrow while Matthews breaks the receiving record? Can Georgia's defense make some 3rd down stops and get that crowd off the field? Will Rumph be the missing key to get UGA's offense looking more like it did against LSU and less like it did against MIZZOU?

One more stat that I think is pretty telling is this: Vandy is 75th in the country in terms of rush defense. I think we need to run the ball at least 50-60% of the time tomorrow. I think Green and Douglas are ready for it and can get it done.

Let's Go Dawgs! 

October 16, 2013

Some Final Thoughts On the MIZZOU Game

Going back to Saturday afternoon, about a half-hour after the clock hit zero, we got back to car to have some adult beverages, commiserate, and let the traffic clear out a bit. I remember saying something like, "well...at least the pressure's off, and knowing our luck, even if we would have won out we probably would have gotten shafted and been left out of the national championship game." Then I thought to myself - damn, you truly sound like a neurotic Dawg fan! Hey, that's how we roll. Dat how we play the game!

However, I think there's a little bit to that. You don't lose all of the talent we've lost and expect to just keep rolling along. Something had to give. And really, it just seemed like we were going to have to play a near-perfect game to make it happen. Well, obviously we didn't do that. Four turnovers and all. After the UT game, it should have become apparent that this team - after all of the injuries and the continued issues on the O-line, secondary, and special teams - just didn't have it in them to make the run to Pasadena. Things change, and injuries change stuff quicker than anything.

There's still so much to play for, though. As I said on Sunday, if we can't get a national crown, maybe we can keep someone else from getting one while picking up our first SEC title in 8 years. It's going to be real tough, but if we can get Gurley and Bennett back, avoid more injuries, and shore up our issues on the O-line, D, and special teams - I think we've got a good chance.

A few random, specific thoughts:
  • To me, Saturday did seem to be more about the Jimmies and Joes instead of X's and O's. At least when it comes to offense and defense (see below). 
  • Somebody commented about this on one of my earlier MIZZOU posts, and while I disagreed with a lot of the other stuff he mentioned, he might have had something here: Should Georgia have tried to run the ball more. Maybe instead of 45 passes and 31 runs, perhaps if it was more like 35 passes and 40 runs, we might have seen a different result. Maybe? 
  • Special teams is truly a problem. After reading the Senator's expansion on what Garbin posted about, it's enough to make you realize and appreciate that at least we're 4-2 and not 2-4.
Alright. Done with MIZZOU, time to start looking at Vandy. In the meantime, I'll just say this: I sure hope Gurley is 100%. But if he ain't, then he doesn't need to play on Saturday.

October 15, 2013

The Week 7 Mumme Poll

It's time for the Mumme Poll, the best poll in college football. This poll utilizes approval voting where voters vote for their top 10 teams without ranking with the exception of the top team.

Here's the top 10 for week 7:
  1. Alabama
  2. Oregon
  3. Clemson
  4. FSU
  5. Ohio State
  6. LSU
  7. Baylor
  8. A&M
  9. UCLA
  10. S. Carolina
Others getting votes: Miami, Stanford, Missouri, Louisville, Texas Tech, Washington, Fresno State, Virginia Tech

And my ballot for week # 7: 
  1. Alabama
  2. Oregon
  3. LSU
  4. FSU
  5. Clemson
  6. Missouri
  7. Texas A&M
  8. S. Carolina
  9. Baylor
  10. Ohio State
A few things: There was a major drop off in voting as I think a lot of UGA fans that had been participating decided to skip it. In this poll, and I think a lot of other folks that follow college football feel the same way, there's basically the top 10 plus Miami, Stanford, Missouri, and Louisville, and then there's everyone else.

A few things I'm wondering right now: Is Baylor that good? Is Ohio State a fraud? Could LSU beat either Clemson or FSU right now? And would Oregon have a good chance to defeat Alabama? And who will win this weekend - Clemson or FSU?

October 13, 2013

The Sunday Treatment and a Trip Around the Dawgosphere

The thoughts I posted earlier today still stand: while there is pretty of blame to go around in all phases of the game, really, more than anything, the game was lost by those four turnovers. You just can't do that against a quality opponent, which Missouri definitely is.

However, after some additional review, there is some specific, position-oriented blame that, although not as crucial as the turnovers (although this group could be said to be involved with that), can be blamed for our loss - the O-line. Not that they were just completely awful yesterday. They had their moments, especially with run blocking. But my God, what happened with our pass blocking? And at this point, we've got to figure something out with the left tackle position. It's not working.

Again, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I thought the defense played fairly well. I know a lot of folks reading this probably think I'm crazy or just think I don't know what I'm talking about, but I truly believe that. Take away fumble return (and I don't even count that last TD - it was trash), and you've got a pretty good defensive performance. And again, look at the box score - against a very good offense, and our D did pretty good. They were shaky in the first half, no doubt. But man, they were holdin' it down pretty damn good in the 2nd. That's how I feel about it...

And our usual Sunday Trip Around the Dawgosphere:

Tough game; tough loss. We've got to find a way to get past Vandy in six days. I see Missouri, best case, finishing 6-2 in the SEC, so if we can find a way to win out, we go back to Atlanta. While we won't be playing for a national crown, maybe we can keep somebody else from getting one and get an SEC crown in the process. Still a lot to play for. Today, as is the case everyday, is a damn fine day to be a Dawg!

UGA vs MIZZOU: What Happened?

This is what I posted on my FB account last night once we got back from Athens:
 Gotta tip your hat to the Missouri Tigers. They came in with a great gameplan and executed. We, on the other hand, did not. Without our top two running backs, three of our top four receivers, and with a defense that can only be described as mediocre - we are, at best, an average, middle-of-the-pack SEC team right now. With that said, if we can get Gurley back and proceed to win out, we will win the East again (MIZZOU will lose at least two or more conference games).
While I believe all of that is accurate, something else must be said, and it's pretty obvious: the offense didn't necessarily cost us the game, nor did the defense. Special teams were semi-solid as well (no breakdowns at least). It was the TURNOVERS! Simple as that. Which, I suppose, does mean you can pin it on the O.

Our offense did pretty good, I thought. Bobo had a very good game plan, and with the exception of a few drops and some O-line issues (and the turnovers, naturally), things went well. Our freshman tailbacks did great.  Our receiving corps did okay. Obviously, Murray had a tough game, but by the end, he was trying to pull off a miracle and made a couple of bad decisions. I don't think it would have mattered anyway. This was Missouri's game.

And for all of the D haters out there, look at the stats - look at the box score. Look at how many points we gave up off of turnovers. I think our defense played one of their best games of the year, and no one is talking about it. Of course, doing slightly better after being pretty bad all year isn't saying a whole lot, though. And you do know our D ranks 105th in the FBS in scoring defense, right? 

Tough, tough game...

I'm going to do my usual Sunday Treatment and A Trip Around the Dawgosphere later today.


October 11, 2013

Turning Back and Looking Ahead: 11 October 2013

Busy, busy this week, so this will be a short one. 

Turning Back 

It pretty much took me all week, but I did get through a full re-watch of the UT game. That was a tough one to watch a second time. With the awful injuries, the moments of frustration, etc., it was hard. But, I got through it. I could mention many negatives, and obviously there were many positives (I posted about that a few days ago), but I'll just say this: we won the damn thing. With everything that transpired, in my opinion, that was as big a win as we've had this season, LSU and USCe included.

Looking Ahead 

My word, have you seen MIZZOU's stats? Yeah, I get that Vandy is probably the best team they've faced this season, but man, they took care of 'em pretty good, didn't they? They're a good ball club. They're undefeated and cracked the top-25 this week. Averaging almost 47 points a game, they have a very balanced offense as they are averaging just over 250 yards per game on the ground and upwards of 300 a game in the air. Scary. Their D looks a little suspect, so I think we'll be able to move the ball on 'em a bit. Naturally, we've got to shore up those special teams. Seems like we've been saying that all season...

I usually do my prediction in my "Breaking It Down" post that I do Friday evening or Saturday morning, but I don't think I'll have time to get that up this week, so I'll just leave it right here:


I think we'll score some points, give up a fair amount, but I think our D will actually rise to the occasion and we won't have any special teams gaffes. Sure hope so.

Well, I won't be able to leave C-town until about 10:30 tomorrow morning and I won't be able to use the parking pass that I sometimes get to use, so I'm sure I'll have a fun time trying to get parked. If we can get into 331 by midway through the 1st quarter, I'll consider it a minor miracle. Everyone have fun and pull 'em through.


October 9, 2013

Thoughts on When Murray Might Break the SEC Passing TD Record

A few weeks back, I did a post where I mentioned that based on the numbers, Aaron Murray might well break Wuerffel's SEC record for passing touchdowns during the WLOCP in Jacksonville. As I had also mentioned, that would be pretty poetic considering Tebow broke Walker's rushing TD record against us in the 2009 edition of that game.

Now, however, it's looking like Murray, if he stays healthy (let's cross our fingers and throw up a few prayers), is probably producing at a clip where he will break the mark beforehand. At this point, Murray is at 109 career passing touchdowns. The record is 114. So far in 2013, Murray has tossed 14 TDs which puts him right at averaging 3 a game. If that trend holds, he'd be at 112 after MIZZOU and would tie and break the record the next week in Nashville against Vandy.

In the grand scheme of things, none of this really matters. We all know that getting a W is the most important thing, but wouldn't it be sweet if we win our next two and AM connects for 5 TDs. That would put him at 114 going into the Florida game. Then, the first one he hits in that game, and the record breaks. In Jacksonville. Against Florida! That would be pretty cool.

Go Dawgs!

October 7, 2013

The Mumme Poll and My Ballot for Week 6

Howdy folks. In addition to the AP and USA Today polls, there is another poll out there that I feel is equally important - The Mumme Poll. Founded a few years ago by the Senator and the guy that does the Third Saturday in Blogtober site, it is a little different:

Mumme Poll voters submit ballots which consist of their top ten teams in the country, without ranking (other than to designate a single best from those ten, for use as a tiebreaker).  The poll rankings are then compiled by means of approval voting; that is, the teams are ranked in the order of the total number of times they appear on voters’ ballots.

You can learn more by visiting here. Also, this is the most democratic poll out there. You don't have to be a coach, or a published sports writer - it is open to anyone who wishes to participate. To sign up, just go to the main page and register.

Just remember a couple of things: your ballots will be visible to the other voters, so don't try to game the system as your ballot can be flagged. Continued or egregious violations can lead to expulsion. Also, with more unconventional selections, it is encouraged to give an explanation for why you voted a certain way. You'll see that I included an explanation with mine because I put South Carolina in my top 10. It's a lot of fun, and as I've noticed every year that I've participated, it makes for a better ranking system than anything else out there. So if you feel so inclined, check it out.

My Week 6 Mumme Poll ballot: 

Florida State
South Carolina
Ohio State
Texas A&M

*top team
I'm sorry, but I just can't take Louisville seriously enough to put them top 10. If this was a top 15, or maybe even a top 12, I probably would. And at this point, I believe USCe would beat Miami, OK, or Lousiville. So I've USCe as my last team in.

October 6, 2013

UGA vs. UT: The Sunday Treatment and a Trip Around the Dawposphere

Wow! Just damn. I still can't believe we won that one. Man, the breaks were definitely beating the boys, and the injury bug was just damn decimating us. Down our 1st and 2nd string tailbacks, and without three of our four top receivers, we somehow managed to survive and "[get] the hell out of Knoxville." 

First off, hats of to Aaron Murray. On the day that he became the greatest passer in SEC history, he turned in his latest installment of "how to drive down the field at the end of the game in a couple of minutes and just totally decimate the hearts and dreams of your opponent." He's become pretty darned good at it. The next one in the books? How about most TD throws by SEC quarterback. About a week ago I posited that AM may very well break that record currently held by Danny Wuerffel against the Gators in Jacksonville. How poetic would that be considering Tebow broke the rushing TD mark previously held by Herschel against us in 2009. Now, it's looking like he'll probably break it against Vandy on the 19th if he keeps up this pace.  More importantly, he's just an amazing QB, one cool customer, and one hell of a Damn Good Dog!

And how about JJ Green? What a performance by our 3rd string TB. He rose to the occasion! Douglas did pretty good as well. Those two really stepped up and we don't win that one without them. And how 'bout my guy, Woot! Rantavious Wooten, #17. I just felt like he had the talent and drive to really break out this year. In fact, I mentioned that very thing in a preseason preview I did for a publication where I live. Again, without the contributions of Woot, we do not win this ballgame. Good on ya, #17. We're sure as hell gonna need you...

Which brings me to the bad stuff. Man, have you ever seen a rash of injuries like that? Dang. It was crazy. This much I think is pretty much certain - we'll have to finish this season without Marshall and Scott-Wesley. So that's our 2nd string TB gone (with Gurley still possibly not ready) along with two of our top receivers. Maybe we'll get Bennett back in a few weeks. Maybe not. We'll have to see. Hell, we even lost our punter, Barber, to a concussion. Crazy. Also, bad stuff - special teams. I don't know if anyone saw it, but they almost blocked another one earlier in the game. We've got to do something with our punt team. Something isn't working. Well, several things aren't actually. We're not setting up properly, we're not blocking properly, and there's something going on where Barber is just taking a split second too long. Got to be fixed or it will cost us a game down the road.

And for those who are bemoaning the fact that we didn't pick up any style points, y'all just need to get real. We were just damn fortunate to steal a W in that one. With the crazy number of injuries, the fact that Neyland was probably louder than it's been in years, and with a great gameplan by the UT coaches and even better execution by the UT players, just to get a win was huge. There's going to be games like that and it's what you do when you have those games that separates a decent team from a very good/great team. To me, that was as good a win during the Mark Richt era as we've seen.

And a Sunday tradition here at GYSB:  

A Trip Around the Dawgosphere 

And by the way, you saw what MIZZOU did to Vandy, right?

Next man up!

October 3, 2013

3 October 2013: Turning Back and Looking Ahead

Turning Back

I was heartbroken when I realized that I forgot to DVR the Georgia/LSU game on Saturday. I thought I had it set where all UGA games automatically recorded. When I got back from Athens Saturday night, I realized this wasn't the case. I was bummed. But, I was super stoked when I found out that ESPNU was running it Monday night! And once again - Damn! What a game!

Watching it the 2nd time on TV was a true revelation. As many in the Dawgosphere have already mentioned, our offensive line play was absolutely phenomenal. If we were to give out a DGD award to an assistant position coach, I'd have to think you would give it to Friend. He's done a helluva job.

Obviously, a DGD award for a coordinator would have to go to Bobo. He is nothing short of brilliant so far this year with his game planning, scheming, and play-calling. It's been good enough were he's even won over the evil one, CC Rider.

And then, most importantly, you have the players making plays: the O-line, Murray, Conley, Scott-Wesley, Artie Lynch, Gurley, Hicks and others. Special teams: both Barber and Morgan are doing great, and now it seems that we've got a pretty good long snapper in Trent Frix. And even on D. You've got some guys doing great: Sterling Bailey, Jenkins, Herrera, Floyd, Harvey-Clemons and several others are really playing lights out. As a unit, I know the stats aren't that impressive, but we've faced three of the best offenses in the country. I feel very confident about our D moving forward.

Looking Ahead

I don't care what anyone says, playing UT in Knoxville is never an easy thing. The 2003 game notwithstanding, it seems like we never have as easy time up there. I think it's gonna be a struggle for at least a half if not three quarters or more. I think we'll shut down their run and make them beat us in the air, and I believe that Worley, their QB, will make some throws, gain some yards, and score a few points. Ultimately, UT, with their still-depleted and young roster, will simply not have the depth to hang for a full 60 minutes. I could see us up by something like 31-20 midway through the 3rd quarter and then find ourselves winning something like 52-27. We'll see. Of this I'm sure - We'll be able to put up at least our usual number of points, and we should definitely give up less than we did against Clemson, USCe, or LSU. One last thing I'm certain of is this: if our heads are in the clouds and we're not hungry and ready to play this one, it could end up being a long and frustrating day in Neyland Stadium.