Best description of the Tennessee offense. "Nip and Tuck," courtesy of CBS' Gary Danielson, although today I'm thinking it's less a description of what we ran yesterday and more a description of what scores of thousands of Vol fans are clamoring for this morning: surgery to remove signs of aging from the face of the Tennessee football program.
Worst early decision. Britton Colquitt or whichever coach told him to punt to Florida's Brandon James, who took the thing 83 yards to the house. We should have learned from last year, when his punt return for a touchdown was called back due to a penalty. We should have learned from the Cal game, when DeSean Jackson took one 77 yards to the end zone. Newsflash: we can't cover kicks or punts and we can't tackle fast, dynamic players. Play keep away.
Best response to an early bad decision. LaMarcus Coker, who returned the ensuiing kickoff 74 yards. Newsflash: Coker is a fast, dynamic player. Aren't there some more like him on the bench?
Worst fan. The Florida fan who, when the television camera turned its attention to him, shot Vol fans the bird.
Best insight into the impact of new rule. Gary Danielson again, who said that he thought an unintended consequence of the rule change moving kickoffs back five yards, was that it seems to have expanded the fourth down territory zone. If you kick a field goal, you'll get your three, but chances are your opponent will get the ball back at about the same spot. You used to get the three and the benefit of your opponent starting at the 20; now, you get three, but your opponent gets better field position. The impact may be marginal, but it does factor into the decision.
Best huh? Tony Joiner kissing Tim Tebow around the earlobe after one of Tebow's scores. Huh is really the only thing I can come up with here.
Worst idea. Running speedy receiver Brent Vinson into the game for a reverse, which didn't fool the Gators at all, as Tennessee lost 13 yards on the play. It may have worked if he spent more time in the actual receiver rotation, but since he doesn't, the defense can yell, "Hey, they've put a burner in! Watch for the reverse!"
Best shoutout.: Verne Lundquist, who mentioned Every Day Should be Saturday, "a very popular website," during the telecast. One small acknowledgement for Verne, a giant leap for the blogosphere.
Best play. Eric Berry, who thwarted an imminent Florida score early in the second half and seized momentum by intercepting Tebow and returning it 95 yards for a touchdown.
Worst squandering of momentum. Erik Ainge and Arian Foster, although I think it was primarily Ainge trying to adapt to his broken pinky. With the momentum captured by Berry's pick six, Ainge began the next drive by attempting to hand off to Foster with his off hand. The two of them muffed the exchange and fumbled, and Florida returned it for a TD. Tennessee never recovered.
Worst nerves. LaMarcus Coker fumbled on the kickoff right after the Ainge/Foster fumble. Florida's Brandon James then muffed the next kickoff.
Best football-can-be-a-job job, I. Whomever's in charge of selecting the Five Best Plays for the Phillip Fulmer Show. When two of the five are a field goal and a pass for a first down, you know it's been a bad day.
Best football-can-be-a-job job, II. Anybody doing the post-game radio show, especially John Wilkerson and Will Overstreet, who fielded rant after rant after rant from irate Vol fans calling for Phillip Fulmer's head with awe-inspiring decorum and aplomb.
Best defense. Linebacker Ryan Karl, who batted a ball away while covering Percy Harvin of all people.
Worst number. 26. As in 26 yards rushing for Tennessee. In two years. At Tennessee.
Worst introduction to the SEC. DeAngelo Willingham, who had Percy Harvin covered on one of Tebow's one-man play action passes and was in perfect position for an interception. Unfortunately, despite having his body between the receiver and the ball, Willingham basically could only watch as Harvin reached around Willingham's body, batted the ball to himself, and made good on yet another long reception.
Worst gamesmanship. Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators, for keeping the starters in, throwing bombs, and calling time outs, all with a 49-20 lead and only ten minutes left to play.
Best impersonation of a bowling pin. Dennis Rogan, who was emphatically knocked over and sent spinning by backup Florida QB Cameron Newton.
Worst betrayal, I. Kenny Chesney, shown wearing a Gator helmet and singing on stage with Tim Tebow. And what sideline was he being interviewed on, could anyone tell?
Worst betrayal, II. My Tivo, which, when I finally turned off the game, was auto-recording the Florida Gator Postgame show. Et tu, Tivo?
Worst adding of insult to injury. Doug Flutie, who, during the USC-Nebraska game, couldn't even remember which team Florida pounded to a pulp. To be honest, he really can't be blamed, as the entire broadcast was seemingly devoted to the exaltation of the University of Florida.
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