After heading into the locker room at halftime up 24-7, the Tennessee Volunteers barely held on against scrappy upstart South Alabama to win 31-24. UT's rushing attack racked up 278 yards, but once again the passing attack was wildly inconsistent and nearly cost the Vols the game. Quarterback Justin Worley went the whole way and did have a period in the first half where he looked very good, throwing two TDs and even keeping on the option for positive yards to thunderous applause from fans, but he also threw three interceptions and stalled out drives with multiple inaccurate throws.
This may not be the best time to write a post game, because honestly I was thinking Bad Thoughts through most of the 4th quarter as the Jaguars mounted their comeback attempt. As the announcers kept reminding us (and by the way, is Andre Ware the worst announcer ever?), South Alabama has only been playing organized football since 2009. That's a year after we decided that firing Phillip Fulmer was a plausible move because things couldn't conceivably get any worse. Regardless of whether you want to peg the date the slide started as 2001, 2005, 2008, or 2009, we've been attempting to climb out of the grave we dug ourselves for longer than the South Alabama football has existed. Like I said, Bad Thoughts. But perhaps that's a lesson that it'ts easier to start from scratch than it is to change the course of something huge.
Fortunately, the Vols did in fact come away with the win in the end, and their record is still right where most folks presumed it would be at this time of the season. Whether today's performance brings into question all of the remaining games, well that's a question we'll likely be talking about a lot this week. But for today, the team has another win, and looking at the bright side, the team held on and came through when the game was really on the line.