Looked the Part: DA'RICK ROGERS, TAUREN POOLE, PRENTISS WAGGNER, AUSTIN JOHNSON, ERIC GORDON, MALIK JACKSON
Lay off me!! We haven't won a game in decades, and it's impossible for me to pick just one from the group above. Rogers made the two touchdown catches including an otherworldly one for the game-tying touchdown. Poole really saw holes open up through the Pistol and ran for 107 yards, striking a balance. Swagg got the huge, overshadowed interception at the end of regulation that kept Vanderbilt from attempting a game-winning field goal in regulation. Johnson and Jackson had terrific games defensively, wreaking havoc in different facets of the game all night. And Gordon had the game-clincher that included a terrific break on the ball and sent the Vols to a win. We've not gotten to celebrate a ton this year, and all of these guys deserve recognition, among others.
Bless His Heart: MYCHAL RIVERA
The Vols really needed another weapon in the passing game, and Rivera had provided that before Bray got injured. In this one, he had just one catch for 11 yards and really wasn't a factor. Then, when UT needed him to come up with a big touchdown catch on the drive where we got the break on the field goal and Rogers bailed us out with the game-tying touchdown, he let a bullet pass that should have been caught glance off his hands at the goal line. We have to have our tight end make that play. This is really a stretch because most of the Vols had good games, but I expected Rivera to make the crucial play, and he didn't. That's been plaguing the Vols all season, not having players make the clutch plays. We saw that, after that point, there were some orange-clad heroes, though. This is being really picky, but I couldn't find any other candidates. Alex Bullard had the awful snap but played a pretty stellar game besides. Tyler Bray had two awful throws, but just his presence in the huddle and in the passing game boosted UT. Michael Palardy, well, he isn't great, but it wasn't completely his fault that the field goal was blocked. It did frustrate me that he booted the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, but it didn't hurt us. So, we'll go with Rivera. But I don't have to like the choice, and I don't.