[ED Bumped from the Diaries . . . .]
Wow...that's all I can really say about this past weekend's game against the USAFA. Per Joel's request (get better soon, buddy...I've been there too!) I'm going to prove that I do, indeed, have the cajones to make a "diary" entry. (Is there any way to change the name of that? Maybe something a lil' bit more manly such as "journal" or "workbook"?) I have no fantastic stories to tell of and am certainly not a talented writer (or English major) by any stretch of the imagination. So in that sense, I'd just like to discuss several points that I noticed from Saturday.
1.) Tennessee Fans - I'm going to divide this into two discussions.
A.) There was much discussion last week about what type of treatment the Vol faithful would give to the AFA. Would they boo, heckle, and cause general mayhem for the opposing team (as is done with all opponents; although there is nothing morally wrong with booing the opposing team, even if it is a service academy), or would they stand-up, cheer, and show full respect for our future protectors of American values? Needless to say the latter held true. It was a beautiful thing to watch the "sea of orange" standing and cheering for the boys in blue (technically white) during their entrance AND EXIT of the field. Particularly, I'd like to thank all of the Vol fans in the northeast sections who hung around post-game and watched the AFA players line up in front of their band/fans. I got the "warm and fuzzies" as we all stood there and cheered and hooped and hollered for these great servicemen.
B.)I'm glad that we, the fans, have officially become the 12th man on the field. I've been to many UT games over the years, and the electricity is always there. However, this year the noise generation and the activeness/interaction of the fans is just unbelievable. Traditionally, Sect. BB has been a "Down in Front! You're blocking our view!" type of section. I can't say that anymore. Anytime there was action on the field, the fans in that section were on their feet. Thanks to all!
2.) Flyover - I can't say that I'd ever seen a flyover (let alone a double flyover) at Neyland. The trio of F-16s and the lone B-52 were just beautiful! I did notice that the deep bowl shape of the stadium was not conducive to such flyovers, but the screech and rumble of the fighters and bomber, respectively, just added to the excitement and anticipation of the game.
3.) Triple Option vs. Tenn. D - Let's hope Mr. Chavis and the UT "D" never have to face this type of offense again. The Triple O is just a beautiful, beautiful machine when everybody knows their roles. (Especially when played on the Xbox!) Not only does it feature multiple points of attack, but it eats the bejesus out of the clock. I haven't seen the final T.O.P. numbers, but I'd guess it was probably around 40:20 or even 45:15 in favor of AFA...exactly what Coach DeBerry had schemed. [see note below] Certainly Coach Chavis knows more about defensive schemes than I, but I was really surprised at the general scheme that allowed the option-man to run so freely. A big reason they had such success was their wide-out blocking. Those receivers laid out every single DB on nearly every single play. Good thing we won't see that again this year!
4.) HUGE Props on the 2-Pt. Conversion Call - Here was my thought process as AFA scored their final touchdown: "Oh, No!!...How did we squander our 14 pt lead?...Looks like overtime...wait...where's the kicking team?! OMG, the offense that we haven't stopped all night is only 2.5 yds away from taking the lead with 1:36 remaining?!?! Good thing Ainge has been Mr. Accuracy tonight; plenty of time to at least get in FG position (assuming we recover the onsides kick!)...here's the snap...HORRAY!! FAILED ATTEMPT!!" Looking back at it, if my team could have a moment of glory by going for a win when I was a 20+ point underdog in a totally hostile environment, I'd have done the same thing...no questions asked. I love to see guts on the field.
Anyways, I've rambled enough. If you've made it this far, thank for hanging in there. If you fell off a long time ago, then you really shouldn't be reading this anyway! Ya'll take care. I'm out. Update [2006-9-11 12:6:49 by Aerobab]: So I checked into the T.O.P. thing. Man was I wrong. AFA = 30:31 UT = 29:29.