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Tennessee-Alabama: post-game awards

Worst pre-game study: Bernie Lundquist and Harry Daniels, who called Tennessee wide receiver Josh Briscoe "Biscoe," fullback Cory Anderson "Corbin," and James Wilhoit "Jamie" during the telecast.

Best role reversal: Ainge in Orange (my new favorite nickname for him), who as QB on offense threw a terrible interception to Alabama's Simeon Castille and then instantly morphed into a defensive free safety speedster, taking the angle and racing Castille to the corner of the end zone in hopes of beating him there and keeping him out.  Ainge ended up chasing him out of bounds at the eight yard line and saving a touchdown.  The defense held the damage to a three-point field goal.

Best sight for sore eyes, I: The end zone.  Neither team scored a touchdown in last year's contest.  The Vols had not scored a touchdown against Alabama since the second quarter of the game two years ago.  By the time running back Arian Foster leapt over a pile and fell into the checkerboard in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, it had been nine quarters, or 153 minutes and 12 seconds of game time, since the Vols had found the end zone against the Tide.

Best sight for sore eyes, II: A punt returner.  Jonathan Hefney brought some life to a facet of the game long dead for UT, returning six punts for 104 yards, including an electrifying 40-yarder that would have gone for six had Lucas Taylor not whiffed on his block on the punter.

Best memory: The Tennessee defense.  Last year, the game was tied when Alabama hit a huge play with time winding down that enabled them to get into field goal range to kick the game-winner.  This year, with the Tide down by three and the clock ticking away, the Volunteer defense responded to defensive coordinator John Chavis' not so gentle reminder of last year's game-losing defensive lapse.  With Alabama threatening to move into field goal range, defensive end Antonio Reynolds made a sweet spin move to shake loose from his blocker and sacked Tide QB John Parker Wilson.  Two plays later, linebacker Jerod Mayo sealed the deal with another sack.

Best impression of fingernails on chalkboard: Gary Danielson, who said not once but twice that the Vols got favorable rulings from the officials primarily because the play occurred on the Tennessee sideline instead of the Alabama sideline.

Worst second-guess: The official who properly threw a flag for pass interference against an Alabama defender in the second half and then picked it up, saying he'd thought better of it.  Must have been standing next to the Alabama bench.

Worst Math and Grammar, all rolled into one:  Three interceptions + approximately 50 yards passing in the first half + five penalties for 30 valuable yards, + 57 total yards rushing + 53 minutes of bewilderment + game winning drive = Beat 'Bama.

Best execution of game plan: The Tennessee defensive front seven, whose goal was to shut down Tide feature running back Ken Darby.  Darby finished with 14 carries for 26 yards, an average of 1.9 yards per carry.  You get three if you stand on the scrimmage line and simply fall forward.

Best dramatic quote: Tennessee wide receiver Robert Meachem:

When you walked in the huddle and you saw those o-linemen's eyes . . . and then you see those tight ends' and running backs' eyes . . . you see Bret Smith and Lucas Taylor and Josh Briscoe.  When you looked at those eyes, everyone was ready.  Then the captain came and controlled the game.  Erik came in the huddle and said, "Here's what we're going to do.  We're going to score."

That's a great quote, despite the fact that there were apparently 14 men in the huddle at the time.

Most emotional image: Wide receiver and game captain Jayson Swain walking out to the coin toss, his arm draped over the torn shoulder of honorary game captain Inky Johnson.  Inky, we love you, man.  Stay strong.