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3 Thoughts and a Cloud of Dust: Georgia Predictions Reviewed

Well, if I knew all we needed was a little homerism, I'd started on this sooner. On Friday, I predicted...

1. Georgia gets zero punt return yards Saturday -- This was more of a hope than prediction, but I was thrilled to see Britton Colquitt keep the ball away from UGa's Mikey Henderson. Fulmer credited Colquitt's hangtime:

We'd been hanging it 3.6 or 3.7 (seconds) and he kicks it up there 4.1 or 4.2 and where we need it to be kicked. We didn't coach it any better or any worse. The player made the difference.
and Kurt Roper credits that funky new punt formation the Vols were using, which allows guys to get down the field in their coverage lanes. Whatever it was, keep it up, because the Vols' 118th-ranked punt coverage unit held Henderson and his 14.77-yard average in September to just two returns for a total of 11 yards on Saturday.

2. LaMarcus Coker gains over 150 total yards -- Sometimes, I'm happy to get a prediction wrong. This is one of those times. Coker was not even close to 150 yards (he did finish with 89 yards of total offense), but he didn't need to be. I, like much of Vol nation, was ready to write Arian Foster off. I was convinced that the only way for UT to gain meaningful chunks of yards was to get the ball in the hands of Coker and some of the younger players. But Foster showed us all that he's not done yet, averaging nearly six yards per carry and scoring three TDs. Kudos also to the offensive line, which for the first time this year, got consistent movement at the point of attack and opened lanes for all of the running backs to work in.

3. Jonathan Hefney plays like Jonathan Hefney -- Through four games this year, I had a growing fear that when Jon Hefney lined up for the "last tackle" drill on the final day of practice at the end of the year, he'd whiff on the dummy. Hef did not lead the team in tackles on Saturday. In fact, other than his late-game interception, he was fairly inconspicuous. In fact, of Tennessee's top ten tacklers from Saturday, only two were DBs. That's good. That means there plays being made by the front seven on defense. And that's what we want. Like I said on Friday, Hefney doesn't need to make every play, he just needs to make his plays.

Finally, I was close on the Vols' point total when I called for a Vols win 34-31, but totally underestimated the defense's ability to stop Georgia's running game. The truth is that this game was never close, and Tennessee could have scored in the 50s had they not gone into just-get-it-over-with mode at 35-7. In all, it remains to be seen if this team can continue this level of play for the rest of the year, but it was a nearly perfect afternoon in Knoxville.

Go Vols!
On a totally unrelated note, I've got a postgame award to add to Joel's list. It's the Worst Power Trip award, and it goes to UTPD/KPD for the completely unreasonable and ego-driven behavior I saw from some of Knoxville's "finest" on Saturday. Starting with the officer whose last name I won't mention (though if you don't want a clue, don't click here) who made me pour out an entire case of beer, one by one, despite the fact that I was not drinking beer, nor were any of the beers open (or even cold), because UT is a "dry campus." Of course it's a dry campus... nearly every college campus is dry. But I've been going to Tennessee football games for more than half my life -- including four and a half years as a UT student -- and know as well as anybody that on gameday, it's a wink wink "dry campus."

But the fact that I had to dispose of my beer would not have bothered my nearly as much if there had not been, standing ten yards away from me and officer-shall-remain-nameless, a man drinking from an open beer can, whom the good officer refused to say anything to because the man was not in the officer's "area." Literally, the conversation went like this: Me: You know everybody in that parking lot over there has alcohol, right? Officer: That's not my area. My wife: But look at that guy right there, on the other side of the street, he's drinking a beer! Are you going to say anything to him? Officer: He's not in my area.

Dang my luck for being in this jerkwater's area. Also for having the audacity to try and cross a street with no traffic without a crossing guard's blessing, for which I and several other people were screamed at, then forced to wait on imaginary traffic until the traffic cop felt like letting us go.

This is probably a good time to point out that the above comments are those of Andy Katzer (who may be reached at cornfromajar -at- gmail -dot- com) and not those of Joel Hollingsworth or Rocky Top Talk as an entity. Also that most law enforcement officials do a dang fine job, but the few with a lot of pent-up frustration should probably do something for a living that doesn't involve interaction with people and carrying a firearm.

And again, Go Vols!