Posts Tagged ‘Peyton Manning’
Buy Periactin Without Prescription, It pretty much goes without saying that Jonathan Crompton’s journey as the Tennessee Volunteers’ quarterback been a long and arduous one. This Saturday, that journey moves one step closer to ending.
This weekend’s contest against Vanderbilt will be Crompton’s final home game for the orange and white and will be his one last chance to show the denizens of Neyland Stadium just how committed he has been to the fortunes of Tennessee football, how dedicated he has been to success as both a player and a leader, how much he has worked to become someone the Vols and their fans could be proud of.
It also represents the last time—perhaps the only time—for Tennessee fans of every stripe to show him just how much they appreciate him for what he has done.
Image via Wikipedia
Thus, I hope that all of you who make the trek to the game on Saturday will consider doing a little something special to show Crompton that we as the Vol Nation do appreciate his hard work, his effort, and his loyalty to the University of Tennessee.
I think it is the least that we as a fanbase can do.
In recognition of this, a special group has been formed on Facebook to celebrate Crompton’s contribution to Tennessee Football and to hopefully do a little something special for him on the Vol Walk this weekend.
For those of you out there who don’t recall, Crompton received death threats last season due to the Vols’ implosion. Then, early this season, there were many who, again, questioned his abilities (including yours truly, I’m sad to say) and openly called for Lane Kiffin to bench the Vol senior in favor of reserve quarterback Nick Stephens. This ignores the furor on the various chat boards. This young man had to endure all of this while still trying to work toward winning games. To Lane Kiffin’s credit, he stuck to his guns and was proven to have made a smart decision when Crompton had his coming out party against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Jonathan Crompton has played under four different offensive systems, and has had to re-learn everything throughout his entire time at Tennessee. Yet, rather than complain or just give up, Crompton stuck it out despite his doubters. He kept working, kept trying, kept pushing to be better. Even though it probably took him a bit longer than he wished it had, he finally found that success that had so eluded him. What’s more, in the process of attaining his goal, he gave the new era of Tennessee Football a fighting chance for respectability in its first year.
Despite his successes this season, it is doubtful that Jonathan Crompton will ever be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks to wear the orange. With names like Peyton Manning, Andy Kelly, and Heath Shuler in the lineage, that is understandable. Still, in many ways, Crompton has shown more determination, more perseverance, and more heart than any Tennessee quarterback in the modern era.
I think that means something.
Thus, I encourage all of you to not only join the Facebook group honoring Crompton’s contribution to Tennessee Football, but to also maybe do a little something on your own this Saturday as he makes his final Vol Walk toward Neyland Stadium—maybe a sign, maybe a salute, maybe a kind word.
In light of the events of the past week and the misdeeds of some of the Volunteers, I think Crompton’s type of dedication and sacrifice stands out all the more.
All I can do is to say that I am proud that Crompton wore the orange…
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This Week's Roundtable is hosted by:
This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies Buy Macrobid Without Prescription, , who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.
Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:
1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances? Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances? Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?
HSH: I'm not exactly how real Berry's chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle. Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow. I don't think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances. If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.
That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing. Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude. Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I'm glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year...
Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.
First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy. In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country. I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere. That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased. Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman. I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.
That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…
I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak. Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.
There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents. That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.
As for whether I think it is selfish for Lane Kiffin to keep Berry from playing on offense, that one is easy to answer. No, not one bit. In fact, I feel the opposite. To me, changing the way you field a player for the sole purpose of advancing that player’s interests is selfish—even if it adds prominence to the team or the program as a whole. As the old saying goes, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” In my opinion, any coach with a Heisman hopeful should treat that player in exactly the same way he would any other player. To do anything else not only flies in the face of the team concept, but can be woefully dangerous in terms of its effect on team morale—just ask Heath Shuler and the Tennessee offensive line that played in the 1993-94 Citrus Bowl.
Were Kiffin to decide independent of the Heisman race that Berry needed to play on offense, I would have no problem with it, in fact it might be extremely exciting. To do so just for the sake of Heisman balloting, however, is simply not something I think is acceptable.
Furthermore, I question whether suddenly playing a player in a new position would actually help or hinder the chances of winning voters’ eyes. This season is filled with change already—from top to bottom. Berry, just like everyone else on the Vols’ squad, is busy learning new schemes and concepts from the new coaching staff. Furthermore, the sheer size and scope of the playbooks for Tennessee is really quite staggering. I have heard from a reliable source that, up until 1997, no offensive player in the modern era had ever learned the entire offensive playbook until Peyton Manning, and he only accomplished that feat as a senior.
To me, adding a whole new facet—offense—to the game for Berry would likely result in a fall-off in his performance on defense. It adds one more thing that he has to keep track of in his head and doubles the already considerable pressure that being pumped as a superstar brings with it. In then end, I think there is probably more to lose than there is to gain.
2) Do you think Kiffin secretly wishes he would have held onto Taj Boyd?
HSH: Nope, not all, for two reasons. First, as we all know, Kiffin's a confident fellow. He has his plan, he knows what he wants and how he wants to go about it. And he believes in what he's doing.
He evaluated Boyd, saw that he might have lacked pure arm strength and that he made have had some issues coming off knee issues. So he told Boyd what he told him. I think Tennessee's in good shape with Tyler Bray and they might get Memphis' Barry Brunetti to switch his commitment to West Virginia, and the recent run on WR recruiting, what QB wouldn't want to come to Tennessee and throw to those guys?
Lawvol: Well, whether he does or doesn’t, is really irrelevant now. What is, is.
That said, I doubt that the Blackjack General, has given more than a few seconds thought to the matter considering his staff and this no-holds-barred approach to recruiting. I am sure that Boyd probably appreciated the honesty from Kiffin in telling him that he simply didn’t feel that Boyd would fit in the Vols’ system. I know I find it refreshing. Either way, like HSH, I feel certain that Kiffin will find the right person and it’s not like the Vols haven’t started to get looks from some good players. After all, though we do not yet know how a Lane Kiffin-coached team will perform on the field, he has made it clear he knows how to recruit. Furthermore, trying to make a player work when they really are not suited to your system just leads to disappointment for everyone involved.
I say get the right player for Tennessee, even if that means waiting a bit. I for one am glad to see that Kiffin is willing to do just that.
3) Is this the most excited you have been for a football season to start EVER?
HSH: In recent memory, yes. Maybe 2006, Macrobid over the counter, Purchase Macrobid online, because I had just started school up here in Knoxville and the big opener with Cal and Florida coming in two weeks following that. Perhaps 2005, Macrobid blogs, Macrobid cost, because of all the hype and that defense and the "momentum" from the previous season.
But this is different. It seems like it's been a year since Kiffin was hired and we went through the staff hiring and the coups on National Signing Day, the verbal slap of Urban Meyer and the secondaries.
Now it's go-time. Everything's going to be new, fast shipping Macrobid, Macrobid long term, so that adds a bit of intrigue to the whole thing, but the energy Lane, purchase Macrobid for sale, Buy Macrobid online cod, Monte and Coach O have brought certainly have had their effects on the players and us as fans. Amidst all the energy though, we have to remember that Tennessee's not going to win the SEC this year. This isn't going to be a one-year turnaround and we have to be a little patient, Macrobid gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Macrobid schedule, prepare for some of the usual pains and just enjoy the climb. The Vols have 8 home games this year, so hopefully the fans are ready to do their part in helping the team.
Lawvol: That’s a tough question to answer. For me, discount Macrobid, Buy Macrobid without a prescription, the most exciting pre-season run-up to kickoff in my lifetime was getting ready for Peyton Manning’s senior year in 1997. The Vols were picked to be stellar and were ranked in the pre-season top-3 in all the polls. It also happened to be my senior year in Knoxville. I suppose I would still say that there was more “excitement”—in the sense of there being a real belief on the part of everyone that the Vols might win the whole thing—in 1997. If we are talking about just sheer anticipation because you simply have no idea what to expect, then I would have to say that this year is on top.
Of course, ordering Macrobid online, Macrobid maximum dosage, it is worth noting that in 1998 I had very low expectations of what Tennessee would do prior to the season getting under way. What with Manning graduating and a virtual unknown named Tee Martin starting his first game at quarterback, I figured that the Vols would probably find rough going for at least the first few games of the season. That season, get Macrobid, Macrobid use, however, turned out pretty well for the Vols.
Either way, buy cheap Macrobid, Cheap Macrobid no rx, I am always stoked before the first kickoff and it seems to increase exponentially as the first game approaches. There is so much to be excited about this year and—no matter what happens—I feel like this will be a good year for the Vols as they progress toward the future.
After all, a lousy football season is better than no football season at all…
4) A quick diversion from football and onto Basketball, Macrobid mg. Buy Macrobid from mexico, Do you think that Bruce’s style of basketball is a deterrent to the one and done type players, due to the fact one and done-rs and top recruits are looking for more minutes and to be the center of attention?
HSH: I don't think it's Bruce Pearl's style as much as it the fact that we're Tennessee. Just to be brutally honest, taking Macrobid, Where can i cheapest Macrobid online, if you're a a high school kid who has obvious NBA talent, wouldn't you want to showcase that on the biggest stage possible?
I know Bruce has taken our program to heights it's never been before and I hope he never leaves Knoxville. But we're still Tennessee. I know Michael Beasley went to play in relative obscurity at Kansas State and still managed to be the second pick in the draft, rx free Macrobid, Macrobid trusted pharmacy reviews, but the point still remains, at least in my mind.
We're not near the top of the list of schools a future NBA star and one-year college player is going to go to increase his stock. On top of that, Macrobid from canadian pharmacy, Macrobid reviews, there are all of two ex-Vols in the Association right now—C.J. Watson now in Orlando and Marcus Haislip just signed by the Spurs. Watson wasn't drafted and Haislip has spent the last few years in Europe after being a bust of a lottery pick.
The bottom line to me is this: our prestige has gone up exponentially the last four years under Pearl, Macrobid pharmacy, Macrobid dosage, but we're still Tennessee, and we still aren't exactly pumping out NBA players a la places like Carolina, order Macrobid online overnight delivery no prescription, Buy Macrobid online no prescription, Texas, UCLA, effects of Macrobid, Buy generic Macrobid, Kansas, UConn, Macrobid no rx, Macrobid no prescription, Memphis State and so on.
Lawvol: Frankly, I hope it is because I have little tolerance for the one-and-done mentality.
Most of the “in-and-out, australia, uk, us, usa, Where to buy Macrobid, thanks-for-the-cred, see ya!” type of players are not the sort that I want to see Tennessee recruiting. The whole “student athlete” thing should still mean something. I am dedicated to Tennessee and have been since the day I decided that I would attend college there. I expect the players we put on the floor to be not only be great athletes, is Macrobid safe, After Macrobid, but also good representatives for the university, and good people. I am not naive enough to believe that all the players we recruit are completely free of the ulterior motive of wanting to play professionally and perhaps using the Big Orange as the springboard to making that a reality. I also will freely acknowledge that I can hardly blame a player for leaving early when they are all but guaranteed to instantly become wealthy.
All I ask is that the players wearing the orange be committed to Tennessee while they are here, online buy Macrobid without a prescription. Order Macrobid from United States pharmacy, I have no problem with them dreaming of the future or making decisions based upon that future. What I do have a problem with is when players simply see Tennessee (or any other school for that matter) as little more than a way to get their ticket punched as quickly as possible.
But then again, I am a lawyer and am generally a disagreeable sort…
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on our largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):
- Rocky Top Talk
- 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- Vol Junkies
- Pigskin Pathos
- Bleeding Orange
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Buy Celebrex Without Prescription, Last year, during the off-season, I began a series on the Great Games played by the Tennessee Volunteers football team over the many years as seen through my eyes. As I am wont to do, I seem to have lost my focus and have not exactly done a capital job of keep that series going. Imagine that.
Since the off-season is once again upon us—paired with the fact that I have been coming up pretty spare in terms of ideas lately—I’ve decided it is time to once again take a walk down memory lane and re-live some of the greatest games in Tennessee history. For those of you who missed the 2008 installments of this series, here are the ones I’ve covered thus far:
The “Great Games” Series:
- Ole Miss 1991
- Florida 1992
- Alabama 1995
- 1996 Citrus Bowl
- Florida 1998
- Lawvol’s All-time Top-10 Games
In addition to my list, Will, one of the sages over at RTT has been counting down the top-50 games of the Phillip Fulmer era in grand style. Predictably, some of his favorites are on my list as well. Trust me, his list is worth a look (and is far better researched, far more thoughtful, far better written, and … well … just far better than my little foray into the ghosts of games past). Since I don’t want to be accused of stealing his thunder, I will be citing to his accounts of his favorite games liberally.
In fairness, it might be best to just skip this article altogether and just go read his work. Lord knows I would but for the fact that I have to write it…
22 November 1997
(5) Tennessee 59 • Kentucky 31
Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, Kentucky
Some folks might think I am crazy for including the 22 November 1997 contest between Tennessee and the Kentucky Wildcats on my list of great games. I can understand why they might question my thoughts on this (or my sanity). This game was anything but a flawless game for the Vols and was hardly the Tennessee defense’s finest hour. In fact, Celebrex samples, the game as a whole was pretty darn sloppy, Celebrex no rx, as was the weather. Still, for reasons which I will attempt to explain (a feat I will likely fail utterly to accomplish), this game still ranks as one of the great games in Tennessee football history. The short answer as to why can be summed up in two words:
I make no bones about it. I am a huge fan of the guy who wore No, Celebrex forum. 16 for the Vols from 1994 to 1998. As many have pointed out, Buy Celebrex no prescription, both Andy Kelly (1989-91) and Heath Shuler (1991-93) could—in their own right—claim to be the greatest Vol quarterback in the history of the program during the time they wore an orange shirt. Then, starting only a few snaps into the 1994 game against the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl, everyone in Orange Nation began the process of forgetting everything they ever knew about quarterbacks at Tennessee, Celebrex dose, as true freshman Peyton Manning took the reins from senior Jerry Colquitt, Cheap Celebrex, who quite tragically (and downright depressingly) suffered a career-ending injury in the first series of his first start at quarterback.
The rest, as they say, is history…
Part of the reason I am such a huge Manning fan, Celebrex australia, uk, us, usa, I suppose, Online buy Celebrex without a prescription, owes to the fact that his first game was my first game as a student at UT. That sort of direct connection makes it easy for me to identify with his career in a way which surpasses most—if not all—other Vol footballers. I guess those were my four years too. Of course there is no mention in the official record of the games those four seasons mentioning this fact. I suppose that was just an oversight by Tennessee’s capable staff of statisticians. Go figure…
At any rate, by 1997, Manning was a senior and had already achieved legendary status in the minds of many of the Big Orange faithful through his exploits both on and off the field, buy cheap Celebrex no rx, which included breaking almost every single record worth keeping track of and turning down a big paycheck from the NFL in the interest of returning to Neyland Stadium for his senior year.
By the time time that the Kentucky game rolled around, Buy cheap Celebrex, the No. 5-ranked Vols were 8–1 and—despite having suffered an abysmal 33-20 loss to the Florida Gators—still had a chance to finish the year with an SEC-Eastern Division title (thanks in no small part to the Georgia Bulldogs’ and LSU Tigers’ victories over the Gators). In other words, the Vols were in control of their own destiny.
With only Kentucky and the Vanderbilt Commodores remaining on the regular season schedule, rx free Celebrex, most Vol fans—myself included—naively assumed that the deal was already done. The Vols would collect their final two victories and advance to the SEC Championship game without much difficulty. Well, Celebrex mg, friends and neighbors, we were wrong.
Each of the last two games that season were down-to-the-wire events which left many a well-wrung hand in Big Orange Country and no doubt took years off of the lives of many.
[caption id="attachment_3333" align="alignright" width="128" caption="Hal Mumme's hair taunts you..."][/caption]
In 1997, the Kentucky Wildcats were coached by Hal Mumme. For those of you who don’t remember Mumme (or were not around, Celebrex no prescription, paying attention, Celebrex class, or sober enough to be able to remember him) Mumme was a bit of a sensation in this era. His new-look “Air Raid” offense (which is now the trademark of coaches like Mike Leach) had turned the SEC on its head with its seemingly ridiculous effectiveness. Furthermore, Mumme’s trademark was his willingness to take huge gambles which flew in the face of conventional football wisdom. Of course, you kind of have to give Mumme a pass on that one. I mean, purchase Celebrex online, it was Kentucky…
Early in his time at Kentucky, What is Celebrex, some felt that Mumme’s style of play was little more than smoke and mirrors which, when tested, would lead to complete collapse. As Mike DuBose and the Alabama Crimson Tide, where to buy Celebrex, among others, Celebrex without prescription, learned that was not always the case. Sometimes it worked … sometimes. Kentucky under Mumme was a no-holds-barred offensive machine with a remarkably simple philosophy: outscore your opponent. To Hal Mumme, defense was a neat idea, but scoring was the key to winning. And score they did.
Led by gun slinging phenom Tim Couch, buy Celebrex online cod, the Wildcats put up gaudy offensive numbers against their opponents. On the other hand—while the record book leaves this somewhat open to debate—they apparently fielded no defense of any kind whatsoever. Still, Where can i find Celebrex online, they won more games than most probably expected them to, and obviously believed that they had a chance to beat the Vols in the “Border Battle” for the first time in 13 years and re-claim the, now sadly bygone, buy Celebrex without prescription, Beer Barrel Trophy. At 5-5, Celebrex images, this game was going to be Kentucky’s bowl game.
Still, most of the Vol fans that rolled into Commonwealth Stadium on that November Saturday in 1997 had no idea what they were in for…
By that point in time, Celebrex over the counter, I had come to expect three absolute certainties from Tennessee / Kentucky match-ups:
- It is always freezing cold;
- Some form of precipitation always falls at some point during the game; and
- Tennessee always beats Kentucky handily in a semi-lackluster display which really leaves you wishing you had watched the game on television rather than freezing yourself to death for four hours.
As it turns out, Australia, uk, us, usa, I got the first two right. I was pretty far off though when it came to the last one.
It was—predictably—cold, rainy, and windy that afternoon in Lexington. Hence, Celebrex pictures, after consuming my semi-edible “box ‘o lunch” I was not all that excited about getting off the bus and trudging into the stadium with the rest of the Pride of the Southland. Part of this was due to my belief that the game would be the typical Tennessee / Kentucky snooze-fest after the first quarter. The rest was due to the fact that I was sick as a dog. I had caught a cold as a result of the frigid temperatures at the contest against the Arkansas Razorbacks the previous week in Little Rock (that one was played at War Memorial Stadium). Over the week, Purchase Celebrex, I had done what any normal college student does—I completely ignored the fact that I was sick. I would repeat this same routine during the week after the Kentucky game. As a result, immediately after marching my final home game as a member of the Pride of the Southland the following week versus the Vanderbilt Commodores, I got to make a lovely visit to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I guess that is why I had such a hard time hitting the high notes in “March on Mighty Vols, Celebrex coupon,” or maybe I was just a really crappy trombone player.
After kickoff, Celebrex interactions, Kentucky scored on their opening possession on a 37-yard pass from Tim Couch to Derek Homer, but the Vols responded with 17 unanswered points in the form of a field goal by Jeff Hall, and two passing touchdowns from Peyton Manning—the first to Marcus Nash and the second Andy McCullough. Advantage to the Big Orange.
Then, Celebrex use, in the second quarter, Discount Celebrex, the Wildcats came battling back scoring two more touchdowns. The first came in the form of a short pass from Tim Couch to Kio Sanford who proceeded to trot 87-yards to paydirt—then the second-longest play in Kentucky history. The second was a rushing touchdown—that’s right, I said rushing touchdown—by Anthony White (of course it was only a 3-yard run, but hey, Celebrex wiki, that was a lot for them back then). Meanwhile, Celebrex treatment, Tennessee only managed one, this time in the form of a 66-yard pass from Manning to Nash. At halftime, the score was annoyingly close from my perspective with Tennessee leading 24-21.
Still, Celebrex trusted pharmacy reviews, in my oxygen deprived mind (See discussion of pneumonia above) I imagined that the Vols would come out and score quickly in the third quarter. At that point I presumed things would follow their normal course: 35, Celebrex overnight, 000 Kentucky fans would unceremoniously leave the stadium about four minutes into the second half, and the Wildcats would start putting more serious effort into losing. Mainly, I was beginning to question whether the Great Punkin had been drinking some of Mumme’s Kool Aid, where can i buy cheapest Celebrex online, opting not to field a defense. While the offensive fireworks for the Vols had been impressive, Online Celebrex without a prescription, the defense had been less than outstanding. More than anything, I just wanted the Vols to put the game away.
The Vols, in fact were apparently tired of all of this mucking about in the cold and finally decided to take charge. Led by Peyton Manning (as if it would have been anyone else at that point in Tennessee history), Celebrex recreational, the Vols started running on all cylinders. First, Comprar en línea Celebrex, comprar Celebrex baratos, Jamal Lewis snagged a short pass out of the backfield and went chooglin’ down a wide-open sideline 50 yards for a touchdown. Hal Mumme, however was undeterred—that defense stuff was little more than a trifling thing.
After all, the score was only 31-21…for the moment.
Less than eight minutes later, doses Celebrex work, Lewis again scampered into the endzone on a one-yard run. Tennessee 38, Buy Celebrex without a prescription, Kentucky 21. Still, Mumme, his pretty hair, and his trademark towel around the neck laughed at the Vols and their silly win by having more points when time expired theory. Thus, with just under 2:30 minutes to go in the quarter Manning fired a 31-yard pass to Marcus Nash who made a beautiful over the shoulder grab to give the Vols yet another score. Tennessee’s 21 point onslaught in the third quarter was met with Kentucky’s lone field goal.
End of the third: Tennessee 45, Kentucky 24.
At that point, I figured the show was over and everyone would start settling back to ride out the clock. Once again, I was wrong.
Tennessee would add two more touchdowns—both credited to Jamal Lewis—in the final period of the game, mainly—I believe—to give Kentucky the back of the hand after the Wildcats managed another trip into the endzone late in the game. When the proverbial fat lady sang, the scoreboard spoke loudly:
Final score: Tennessee 59, Kentucky 31.
What the scoreboard could not convey, however, was the sense that at all times during the game, it seemed that Kentucky might just steal the game away—yes, including when Tennessee stretched the lead to 28 points. There are “wide-open” games and then there are “free-for-alls.” This game falls under the latter category. For folks who like watching high-powered offenses do their thing, there could hardly have been a better game to watch. For fans of the defensive game … well … I think there may have been a special on humpback whales on PBS that afternoon.
You don’t have to take my word for it, though, the stats speak volumes.
Peyton Manning threw for five touchdowns and 545 yards—an all-time record at Tennessee—while Tim Couch threw for 476 yards. That is a total of 1,021 yards passing—which is simply unbelievable. The most telling statistic, however, lies in the interceptions column: Manning 0, Couch 3. Without those takeaways, Tennessee likely ends up in a much closer contest fighting down to the wire. Especially considering that the Vols fumbled the ball twice.
Of course, Manning was not the only person with a banner day. In fact, he was but one of many. Marcus Nash had seven receptions for 195 yards (which still ranks in the top-10 single game performances) and three touchdowns, while Jamal Lewis had 21 carries for 128 yards (avg. of 6 yards per carry), three receptions for 96 yards (avg. of 32 yards per reception) and scored four touchdowns. Hell, even Jermaine Copeland had seven receptions for 72 yards.
In the end, about every offensive record possible was tested that day by the Vols. The defensive side of the game—with the exception of the three interceptions and four sacks—however, was far less memorable.
Still, in the end, this game was an offensive clinic by both Tennessee and Kentucky. The final score really does not do the game justice. It was anything but the “typical” Kentucky game and—all things considered—made sitting through a detestably cold rain with a burgeoning case of the plague worth it, at least for me.
Exciting, it was, thus it’s one of my great games…
Hal Mumme Image Courtesy of: Smart Football.
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To many of you and to many Vols fans, Saturday afternoon is just another basketball game. Sure it's a big one: national TV, against a cross-state rival who's reloading after nearly winning a national title last season with a coach who's easy to dislike. But for me, it's different. It's the Memphis game. Probably the single game I want to win this season.
So why is Saturday afternoon not just another Tennessee basketball game, you ask? What is the big deal with Memphis? Well for one, as you may know I'm from the great city of Memphis. I grew up in the Memphis/Shelby County area and have been around that university and athletic program and their fans my entire life. That's the easy answer.
But it's more than that. Sure, I could now go into my reasons for really really not liking the Tigers (and almost did), but they don't get a post like Alabama did. You see, Memphis (the university) and I have a history. We go way back. To 1996...[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="The first time I saw Tennessee lose a game in person..."][/caption]
...on a cold gray day, my family and I sat in Liberty Bowl Stadium, me watching halfway in horror and halfway not really sure what was going on as it happened. Memphis scored a late TD to go up on Tennessee and Peyton Manning. Peyton tried to mount a saving drive, but ran out of time, and I stood there, watching throngs of blue pour onto the Liberty Bowl Stadium turf and swallowing up both goalposts.
I don't vividly remember crying, but I might have been, as I asked whoever would listen, "Can they do that?" I was a mere eight years old, and it was the first time I had seen Tennessee lose a game in person. That loss in no way scars me like some losses - LSU '01, Auburn '04, Vandy '05, Florida/Bama '07 - but it was simply the beginning.
While Memphis has only beaten Tennessee that one time (they have come close), the basketball rivalry is much diffrent. Honestly, I barely remember much of the games from the late 90s and early 2000s. I know there was minor scuffle in a game Tennessee won in Knoxville, and I remember Ron Slay nearly winning a game at the Pyramid himself. And to be honest, I'm not sure how much of a rivalry it really even was.
Until John Calipari and Bruce Pearl became coaches at each school and Tennessee threatened to stop playing the Tigers in football. However, these two are primarily responsible for knocking the Memphis-Tennessee feelings of dislike up a notch or two. The constant verbal sparring in the media - over if to play it, where to play, and the games themselves - has been a huge part of it, and there's no way the two like each other. I'm sure there's different arenas of thought as to why, but that's not for here.
I did go to the first game in the series between these two back in January 2006, when I was a senior in high school. In a week similar to this one Tennessee was about to embark on, the Vols were coming off a loss at LSU and hosting Florida - sandwiching a trip to Memphis.
Enter Dane Bradshaw. A Memphis native, he might have hiked up the anger of the Memphis faithful himself. In the Memphis paper, he was quoted as saying that he was more afraid of "a Memphis gangbanger in the stands than an LSU frat boy" or something to that effect. The game before, Dane had been the target of the LSU students' ridicule (when Bruce checked him late in the game, he walked the scorers' table and raised his arm like he won a boxing match), as he was everywhere - remember Florida's students and their pictures of Dane's sister?
Well most of the Memphis fans and students took it as a shot to them, and that he was calling them gang bangers. Boy, did those students have it out for Dane. The hate was pretty strong, most of the signs were directed at Dane, the "Memphis reject" chants loud and proud, and he was booed every time he touched the ball.
Truth is, Dane played at White Station High School in Memphis. His quote was seriously misinterpreted, as he played at a number of high schools in Memphis that were pretty rough - especially for a white boy. I know I'd probably have been scared playing there too, not gonna lie.[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Making him angry is so much fun!"][/caption]
That was just the beginning of the Tennessee hate, and my first real experience with the growing Tennessee hatred. I had one guy turn around and stare me down after each time I cheered for my Vols. There was a verbal spar near the end of the game.. Seriously, the non-Memphis Tennessee fans might be the only ones who know how much Memphis fans on the whole (not everyone obviously) hate UT, the orange, Bruce Pearl, Memphians playing for the Vols (J.P.), Knoxville, and so on.
Maybe I was too young or naive, but I can't remember it being this way prior to that game or prior to Bruce Pearl's arrival. But it's a part of it now. I don't know if it stems from Calipari's public and obvious disdain and disliking of Tennessee, or what. But the animosity in the matchup is much more severe from the side in blue. Tennessee fans? On the whole don't care for or about Memphis. It's just the "little brother" school on down I-40 a ways.
Not for the Memphis fans. Not for me. You see, basketball is their sport. Their support and fervor for the team is incredible - boy, do they love their Tigers. And there might be the answer to the reason for the hate question: Tennessee, the football school, has beaten the Tigers at their sport two straight years. And they weren't your typical wins.
The game in Knoxville two years ago was Chris Lofton's coming-out party. He absolutely schooled Memphis that night, and I'm near convinced it's because the team came down my aisle that December night. I touched Chris' hand, and he scored 34. None of the Tigers could guard him. You're welcome.
As fun as that was, it couldn't touch last season. I had the privilege of going to the game to cover it for the UT student radio station (WUTK), as I was on the staff for the sports show that was on every weeknight. I got to sit on press row, go to the media room, free food, drinks - all in a fresh-looking suit. There was just one problem: as a member of the media, I had to be professional. I had to be an objective observer.
Honestly, I did better than I thought I would. But damn, was it hard. That game was, without an inkling of doubt, was the best, most electric, most heaated atmosphere for a basketball game that I've ever been to - by far. Yes, better than the big homes game in Knoxville. Keeping contained during the fast first 10 minutes was impossible.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="The phone picture from my press row seat last February"][/caption]
Was it the beautiful FedEx Forum? Was it the #2 vs. #1 matchup? ESPN GameDay in the house? Peyton and Priscilla there too? Yes, all of that. But the kicker to me was the angst and absolute desire from the Memphis fans for their guys to beat the ever-living crap out of the visitors in orange. The Vols? Bruce and the team had said it all week leading up to the game, and I know they meant it: winning the SEC was the main and primary goal.
After Chris Douglas-Roberts scored on a transition lay-up with a couple minutes left, the Tiger fans could feel it. It hadn't been pretty, but they had sent their hated visitors back home. Or so they had thought. But then Tyler Smith scored. And Memphis couldn't capitalize on three offensive rebounds. Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey fought themselves to the ground over a rebound - that's a travel. Tyler scored again over Dozier for the lead. Antonio Anderson was off on a driving shot in the lane.
And then the kicker: J.P. Prince, one of their own, a Memphian, from the same high school as Dane, the guy who had single-handedly led a spurt that put the Vols on top midway through the second half, amidst trash talk from Dorsey, hit two free throws. A 40% shooter with a bum shoulder. I was sitting with a couple Tennessee-affiliated guys on press row. None of thought he'd even make one.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="J.P. punked his hometown team last year"][/caption]
You know the rest. That place got real real quiet. From so much excitement to sheer silence. Me, trying to contain myself, found one of my roommates in the stands below me and smiled at him as he was leaving in the sea of blue. As the team ran to and through the tunnel to the locker room below me, I could only raise a fist in the air with a huge grin on my face.
The hate's probably at a whole other level now.
I know they went on and had even more heartbreak with the title game with the free throw fails, not fouling when up three and Mario Chalmers (thank you Mario, by the way), but what was their only other loss? Tennessee. Don't think for a second the Memphis fans, players and coach don't remember that February night.
So why do I want to win so much more Saturday afternoon? Why is beating Memphis at their game so much sweeter for me than the majority of Vols fans?
Simple. I know how much it kills them to lose to Tennessee. I know how much they'll hate it when I fly my orange T flags when I go home. Don't lie - it's fun being hated. Besides, if you're hated, you must be doing something right...
And all of that, my friends, is why the sweetness of a win Saturday will be much more for me.
Images Courtesy of: Univ. of Memphis Magazine • Wade Payne / AP (Daylife) • Bleacher Report
Post-Auburn Thoughts: Coming Upon the Unknown[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="The view from Section 37, Row 62 of Jordan-Hare Stadium"][/caption]
I honestly think a blow out would have been a better way to lose.
Going into this game, I had very low expectations for the Vols. With all the negativity and Auburn coming off a home loss, I wasn't liking to Vols' chances Saturday afternoon. A number of really good friends of mine from high school go to Auburn, so I was more or less looking forward to that aspect of my trip down to The Plains, and not-so-much to the game. However...
To be blunt, this loss really really hurt(s).
More than UCLA. Probably even more than Florida to be honest. I can't really explain why, either. A road win at a place like Auburn - no matter how ugly - could have potentially changed some things. And you can't tell me Tennessee should NOT have won that game. Matter of fact, the Vols did everything BUT win the damn thing. Maybe that's why.
A first down would have done it. Hell, eight yards on a couple drives would have gotten Tennessee into Daniel Lincoln's range. Does Auburn's defense deserve credit? Sure, but it's no secret as to why Tennessee lost Saturday.
I'm not the type that likes to single out players, but you almost have to pin Saturday's loss on Jonathan Crompton. A botched handoff (he's GOT to put the ball in Arian Foster's chest). Throws 15 yards out-of-bounds when he's got time to find somebody open. Missed receivers (hello, Josh Briscoe in the corner of the end zone on the two-point conversion). High throws to guys that are open. Miscommunications with receivers. Utter incompetence.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="325" caption="The offensive struggles for Tennessee are no fault of the dangerous Jones"][/caption]
OK, I've criticized Crompton. Now for the only positive I can see that he brings - the guy can take a hit or twenty and he always pops right back up. That run on third-and-long on the TD drive comes to mind. He gets hit a lot, but the guy ain't afraid of getting the crap knocked out of him. That doesn't help your team win ballgames though, apparently.
Once again, the offense has enough talent to win games - especially one in which the defense and special teams played out of their minds (more on them coming). Dave Clawson isn't an idiot. This loss? I'm putting it all on Crompton. I don't dislike the guy as much as Ghost over at 3SIB, but it's getting closer.
The "receivers aren't getting separation" argument is garbage. We know Gerald Jones is a stud. You can't tell me Lucas Taylor isn't an SEC receiver. Josh Briscoe is a very good slot-type receiver.
The coaches said afterwards they discussed putting Nick Stephens in - THEY SHOULD HAVE. Average QB play wins that game Saturday - likely by a couple scores as well, to be honest. Stephens now gets his chance, and honestly Coach Fulmer would be continuing to dig his own grave if Crompton starts/gets many snaps Saturday night against Northern Illinois.The only other offensive change that needs to be made for me? Montario Hardesty and Lennon Creer need to get more touches. I like Arian Foster and he's had a great career, but I don't hold my breath that he's going to break a long one. With #2 and #3, I do, simply because they have that ability. We know about Hardesty's power, and we saw his speed on the sweep he scored on. Creer doesn't fear hitting the hole. He don't dance. On one play in the fourth quarter, he dragged four Auburn players about four yards. GET THESE GUYS THE BALL! [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Give Hardesty and Creer more touches PLEASE"][/caption]
One word describes the defensive effort Saturday: swarming. Granted Auburn's offense is terribly bad and obviously predictable, but the defense dominated. Dan Williams was huge. The young DEs Chris Walker and Ben Martin played very, very well. Ellix Wilson may be the most important player to this defense, including Eric Berry. Wilson's injury status is still up-in-the-air as far as I know, but the play didn't look so good on TV when I watched the game replay. We even adjusted to Kodi Burns when Auburn foolishly threw him out there (everyone and their mother knew he wasn't throwing).
Gerald Williams finally saw the field and made his presence known. I know he had a personal foul penalty, but the guy needs to be out there. You can in no way blame the defense at all for Saturday's loss. Much like '05, you give up 7 points, you should win that game. I know that one last stop on third down would have been ideal, but seriously, they did that all day and the offense blew it over and over again.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="No, Adam Myers-White, there is nothing more you and the Tennessee defense could have done for a W..."][/caption]
Even our special teams won the day. Chad Cunningham must have been threatened with death at halftime, because he was ridiculously good in the second half, after a pitiful first half. As I've said before, Gerald Jones has big-play ability and almost took one back for six.
Honestly, I'm more optimistic now than I was this time last week, even after this hurtful loss. Tennessee could very, VERY easily be 3-1. For some reason, Nick Stephens gives me hope. I can't explain why. Maybe it's because there isn't any with Jonathan Crompton running this offense. He may not even start, but the unknown he brings and the possibility he even might has me hopeful. Do I think Tennessee beats Georgia and/or Alabama? Not really, but that potential unknown with Stephens/no more Crompton makes me wonder. I don't expect Stephens to be the next Peyton Manning or anything remotely close, but can anybody really be worse than what Tennessee
has had now?
The past two Auburn games I've attended have been wins for the Warring TigerEagles (Tennessee in '03 and Florida in '06), so I've seen that campus after a W. No I didn't go to Toomer's Corner to see them roll a tree, but you would not have thought the Tigers had won Saturday. The mood was somber (I heard almost no "War Eagle!"s). Whether it was because they knew Tennessee should have won or that they have a plethora of issues themselves (or maybe they had just woken up from getting put to sleep...), I don't know.
But walking around the campus after the game, I was proud to be a Vol fan Saturday night. Amidst all the negativity around Tennessee football, the players came out and played emotional, inspired football. They left it all out there. They played well enough to win - it just didn't happen. As they headed to the tunnel to the locker room below me, I applauded them. Why? They deserved it. Hopefully they will be able to put it all together and win a big game or two and finish out the season respectfully. We all may want Coach Fulmer gone, but we certainly don't want to see Tennessee lose.
Do I still think Tennessee needs a coaching change? Of course. But it wasn't the coaching staff's fault Saturday. I know you can say they should have benched Crompton, but honestly, you expect even him to be able to get you a first down when that's about all you need to win the game. You could have put me at QB and even might have been to go through my progressions and make a throw on target to my receiver to get a first down
I say let the Nick Stephens era BEGIN!!
Images Courtesy of: Butch Dill / AP (Daylife)
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="115" caption="Tee Martin vs. Florida State"][/caption]
This Saturday, the University of Tennessee will kickoff its celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Vols' 1998 National Championship. As part of that celebration, immediately prior to this week's game against UAB, the Tennessee Volunteers will honor the first in a series of former Vol footballers who played a role in that championship -- quarterback Tee Martin.
Martin was truly one of the unsung heroes of the 1998 squd, who deserves far more credit than he ever received. I found a really great piece by Marvin West which looks at all of the comparisons that were made between Martin and Peyton Manning, which concludes that Martin deserves all the praise he gets this weekend. West writes:
Peyton was the quintessential quarterback, a genuine thoroughbred, great arm, marvelous reads and checks, flawless form. If you look up quarterback in my dictionary, Manning’s mug shot is the illustration.
Tee was just a winner. He wasn't a perfect passer. He was a fine leader but never glorified as a great strategist or field general. What he did was good enough. Effective.
His ring says national champion.
I sincerely hope that all the Vol-faithful will show up to Neyland Stadium a few minutes early, take a moment to remember the "lunch-bucket brigade" that was the 1998 Tennessee Volunteers, and send a big thank you to one of the great players who made the magic of that season possible.
Image Courtesy of: AthlonSports.com Marvin West writes for the Knoxville Shopper-News and is the author of “Legends of the Tennessee Vols”
This Week's Roundtable is hosted by: Fulmer's Belly
The Off-Season is a Conspiracy
This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Fulmer's Belly who has offered questions of real substance -- questions which seek insight and analysis. That pretty much means I'll be bringing up the rear. Thus, it would probably be best if you just skipped my responses and clicked on the links to the other roundtablers below.
If you are nonetheless determined to waste your time reading my prattling -- losing moments of your life, your lunch, and perhaps your will to live -- here are my thoughts for the week
(Questions in Sort-o-Teal-like color)
1) Knock on wood before answering this question, but let’s assume that Jonathan Crompton goes out with a season ending injury in the 1st half of the first game of the season. Should we just pack it up and wait until next season, or is there a glimmer of hope in any of the young backups?
First of all, I don't want to hear any more of this Communist "injury" talk. I'm having questions about your loyalty ...
That said, assuming the awful were to happen, I agree with the collective brain trust, that losing a single player does not mean that it is time to give up on the 2008 season. Even the loss of a quarterback doesn't necessarily spell disaster.
If you remember, back in 1994 the Vols lost starting senior quarterback Jerry Colquitt on the seventh play of the season versus UCLA. The only other quarterbacks on the squad that year were two true freshmen -- Branndon Stewart and some guy named Manning.
Of course, despite his stellar career at Tennessee, even Peyton only managed a 8-4 (SEC 5-3) season. Still, there was a lot of fight left in the 1994 Vols after the loss of Colquitt.
Similarly, we wouldn't currently have any idea what Jonathan Crompton is capable of had it not been for him standing in for Erik Ainge during the 2006 season.
I feel certain that the Vols would manage to finish strong and do everyone proud without Crompton, after all -- on paper -- neither B.J. Coleman nor Nick Stephens are exactly slouches. Furthermore, unlike Manning in 1994, both have had some time to actually learn the offense.
Bearing all of that in mind, I think the loss of Crompton early in the season would likely result in losses at both Florida and Auburn simply due to the need for the new quarterback to get up to speed.
So, I guess my answer is that the Vols would be "okay" but would probably not put up numbers for the record book.
2) Does Erik Ainge have a future in the NFL?
With no disrespect to Ainge, I have never really seen him as a successful NFL quarterback. I simply don't think that Ainge has the flexibility that a quarterback is required to demonstrate to combat the defenses of the NFL. He is a reasonably solid pocket passer, but has limited mobility -- which is not necessarily a killer with most teams in the NFL. He does, however, have the good sense to get rid of the ball when there is no one to throw to -- a fact borne out by the NCAA record of only 4 sacks over the course of the season.
In the end, after getting injured versus Notre Dame, Ainge never really seemed to have the spark that made him seem so great during his freshman year. After that point, Ainge seemed to be a basically an average above-average quarterback. He was efficient, he was capable, he was reliable -- he was not exceptional. Unfortunately, that exceptional ability is usually required to compete in NFL.
3) Why in the hell did you decide to blog about Tennessee football? Aren’t there already enough Tennessee blogs?
Well, that's a tough question to answer considering that I more or less started the Gate on a whim. I had previously tried a little blogging on other more "serious" topics, but none of those ever amounted to anything because they required intelligent thought and at least a limited amount of skill. Thus, I started this little project mainly because I figured it would be a good way to waste time, besides it was cheaper than drugs.
As for why I blog about Tennessee? Well, the reality is that Tennessee is the only team I really follow in any meaningful way. I also live in the bowels of ACC country, which is ... well ... sickening, and blogging about Tennessee and the SEC helps control the nausea.
I suppose I could start a blog on animal husbandry, navel lint, or really stupid things I've done in life. I suppose I could even write one of those "life blogs" where I tell the entire world about my daily life, but I am really a boring person and who the hell really cares how many times I went to the bathroom today and all of the people I'd like to kill.
I have no intention of ever trying to be a "stats" guy because I can barely add -- that is why I am a lawyer. I also have no desire to try and be a "traditional" sports writer. First of all, I live nearly seven hours from the home of the team I write about, which makes it a little difficult for me to actually report on a game I didn't even attend. Besides that's what all the mainstream media types already have a near monopoly on. Thus, all I can really do is offer my own peculiar observations on the world of sports from an orange-tinted perspective and make fun of the more humorous side of the sports world.
Oh, and when I can't think of anything worth writing, I've found that posting juvenile, semi-offensive, poorly doctored, photos will often suffice.
On a personal note, if I had a chance to breathe lately, at least I would have been able to post a little something of substance every now and then. I really hate it when my job interferes with my asinine hobbies. That part is frustrating -- almost as frustrating as Tennessee's 2005 football season ... but not quite. I suppose in the perfect world I'd be able to spend all my days writing for this rag so everyone could ignore it.
In the end, I suppose the main reason I write is because I am a lawyer and, by default, a blowhard who likes to hear himself talk (or write as the case may be). I guess I write about sports because I really lack any real ability to write about anything of real substance. It's funny, I've been doing this for a while now, and I'm still not sure what I am doing.
I'm sure both of my readers would agree ...
4) If you could be one player in one game in Tennessee history, which player and which game would you pick? Why?
This is a tough one. There are so many great choices which would be on my short-list. Here are a few (in no particular order)[caption id="" align="alignright" width="118" caption="George "Bad News" Cafego"][/caption]
Dale Jones vs. Miami -- 1985
Condredge Holloway vs. Clemson -- 1974
Peyton Manning vs. Alabama -- 1995
Al Wilson vs. Florida -- 1998
Peerless Price vs. Florida State -- 1998
Heath Shuler vs. Florida -- 1992
George Cafego vs. Anybody -- 1938/39
These are but a few -- this one is just too tough to call.
5) Which is your favorite rivalry and why? (Not necessarily limited to Tennessee teams)?
Well, I pretty much said it all about this one a few weeks back when it comes to Tennessee rivalries.
I hate to lose to Alabama, I absolutely loathe Florida.
For me, the key to a true rivalry is respect. I have no respect for Florida, so -- predictably -- it's Bama for me.
In terms of other rivalries ... umm ... I would probably list the following:
The Memphis Tigers vs. "The Crazy UAB Fan"
The Chicago Cubs vs. Cold Hard Reality;
The Philadelphia Eagles vs. The Eagles Hoodlums Fans;
The People of the State of Florida vs. All Current and Former Members of the University of Miami Football Team, and John Doe, co-conspirator, et. al, Criminal Docket No. 07 CVS...;
Ron Artest vs. the Crowd.
Yeah, I know, not much in terms of effort on my part...
Bonus) Who will win the national title this year? And by how many points will Tennessee win?
Two answers -- my hope, and my head:
Hope: Tennessee 28 - USC 14
Head: Florida 21 - Clemson (Yeah that's right, Clemson) 10
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on my largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):
- 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- Fulmer’s Belly
- Loser With Socks
- Rocky Top Talk
- SouthEastern Sports Blog
- The View From the Hill