The Tennessee Volunteers are reelin' in the years

Your everlasting summer
You can see it fading fast
So you grab a piece of something
That you think is gonna last
You wouldn't know a diamond
If you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious
I can't understand

Are you Reelin' In The Years?
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears?
Have you had enough of mine?

You been tellin' me you're a genius
Since you were seventeen
In all the time I've known you
I still don't know what you mean
The weekend at the college
Didn't turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge
I can't understand

 

Reelin' in the Years -- Steely Dan

Yeah. I don't get it. This whole latching on to something shiny and new to preserve our youth ain't really turning out the way we thought it might.

Shoot, even the Tennessee stats guy must have given up on the season, as nobody's uploaded the drive chart information to the NCAA yet. It's just as well, as I can't imagine it would look very pretty. The words sure aren't:

On the Vols' first drive, Nick Stephens hit on an excellent, anticipation-building 25-yard strike to Gerald Jones. Three plays later he was sacked on third down, and we punted. Georgia promptly went 79 yards in five minutes for a TD.

Okay, okay. Do over. On the Vols' next drive, we gave the ball to Manterio (keeping that typo because I like it) Hardesty, who went for seven yards. Two incomplete passes later, we punted, and Georgia got an even three minutes and a field goal.

Well, then. Let's try No. 3 on the third drive. Maybe we can get some numerology happening or something. No gain, two yards, sack. Punt. And just like that, the first quarter was gone. Oh, and three minutes into the second quarter, the Bulldogs had another field goal. The defense was keeping Georgia out of the end zone but letting them stay on the field.

All right, so how about Arian Foster? Eleven yards, three yards, incomplete, complete but short, punt. Georgia munched five minutes and then one of the good things happened. Robert Ayers intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass while Georgia was in its red zone. Yeehaw.

Momentum is a funny thing. Hardesty rushed for a first down on Tennessee's ensuing drive just before Stephens threw a 60-yard bomb to Denarius Moore, who really needs to get the ball more often. Stephens then tossed a quick two-yard TD to Gerald Jones, and we were in bizznass.

Especially since Georgia blew the kickoff and started its next possession on its own three yard line. They went two yards and then no yards and then called a timeout with something like two minutes left on the clock. If we could have forced a punt, we'd have had good field position and time to score again to really make it a game. Of course, it was third down, and Georgia instead converted with a 14-yard pass to Knowshon Moreno. Two personal fouls and 97 yards later, and Georgia was taking momentum and a 20-7 lead into the locker room.

We forced a punt to begin the second half, so woo. But then we punted and piled on another personal foul. All right. No big deal, because although Georgia once again was driving toward its end zone, this time Stafford made the mistake of throwing in Eric Berry's direction. Berry intercepted the thing and took it 54 yards in the other direction. The man is now first in Tennessee history in interception return yards. As a sophomore. Anyway, the offense rode that spark into the end zone again, and it was a game again.

Just not for long. The Bulldogs ate another 5:36 and hit a field goal. We helped with yet another personal foul.

Us? Punt.

Them? An astounding 10:55 drive and a field goal, which leads to an observation. "Bend" may result in more threes than sixes and sevens, but it sure does take a lot of time, and time too often leads to "break." I don't understand.

The ending: punt, punt, time. Game.

Georgia had the ball for 42:04 of the sixty minute game. Our offense was on the field for less than seven minutes in the second half.

They had 81 plays. We had 45.

They converted 9 of 17 third downs and had 10 rushing, 15 passing, and four penalty first downs. We had ten first downs total.

We rushed for one yard, probably because they knew which way we were going to run the ball 80% of the time. We gave them nearly 100 yards in penalties.

This season hasn't turned out at all like we planned. We had a solid, experienced offensive line and a stable of good to great running backs. We turned them into the Incredible Flipping O-Line and gained one yard on Saturday. We have what has been heralded as one of the greatest secondaries in Tennessee history, yet we play deep zone coverage with relatively few blitzes in a bend-but-don't-break scheme, and allow an opposing offense to stay on the field for nearly three-quarters of a game.

The things that pass for knowledge . . . well, do you understand?

 

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