Posted: 7:54 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
By Joel Hollingsworth
The Tennessee Volunteers fell in overtime to the 6th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs this evening in overtime. Pig Howard's stretch for the end zone on the Vols' opening possession in overtime was correctly ruled a fumble just inches before the ball broke the plane, setting the stage for Georgia to win the game with a field goal. Georgia won 34-31.
This is your celebration/commiseration thread, and honestly, I expect that we'll all indulge in both.
Before we get to Tennessee, hats off to Georgia, especially Aaron Murray, who had what I believe was a Heisman performance to survive the injuries to multiple teammates and to come from behind to tie the game with just seconds remaining. Good game, kid. Happy graduation.
Now for the Vols. Pain and pride. This hurts much like the LSU game in 2010 that we won and then lost immediately afterwards. To go from celebrating a called touchdown on the first possession of overtime to realizing we'd be giving the ball to Georgia having scored no points whatsoever just because an effort play resulted in a fumble just shy of the end zone plane, well, that's a real gut punch.
But look at what the guys did. The Vols were given almost no shot to win this game, and they even got down early. But they roared back, found some offense, found some defense, and even went ahead with a little under two minutes remaining. And the drive they put together to do it was brilliant, with multiple well-called and well-executed fourth down conversions and several key completions by Justin Worley, who seemed to come into his own today.
And yet it's a loss, so there's pain.
And yet it's progress, so there's pride. Butch Jones has obviously made his players believers to keep fighting through a rough early season to play like they did today, and I'm betting that he's also made some new believers out of fans today.