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We asked Aerobab to bring food. He
brought uniforms. Those things are hot
when the sun shines. Just sayin'.
Photo by zorilla
  • It's reigning confusion! The first play featured a bomb from Jonathan Crompton in a green jersey, taking a snap from an orange-jerseyed center and heaving the ball down the field to an orange No. 6, who was covered by a white No. 6. Six points were put on the board -- for the White Team. Conversation in the stands:

    Aerobab: Who's No. 6?

    Joel, looking at his e-roster: It says Denarius Moore.

    OrangeNinja: On defense?

    Joel: No, the guy who caught the ball. No. 6, right? For the White Team?

    Hooper: That was an Orange Team touchdown.

    Joel: I think it was the White Team.

    Aerobab: No, it was orange. But who's No. 6?

    Joel: It says Denarius Moore, and he's in orange.

    Aerobab: No, I mean defense. White.

    Joel: Denarius Moore is a receiver. Why's he playing defense?

    OrangeNinja: There were two No. 6s. It was an Orange TD.

    Group, turning to look at the scoreboard: Why'd they give the points to the White team?

    Group: Um, look! Gerald Jones!

  • No. 6. Whoever the mysterious No. 6 on defense and dressed in white was, he was like that extra guy in Star Trek. You know, the guy you'd never seen before beaming down to some unexplored planet with Kirk and Spock? The one who always met an immediate death? Yeah, him. He got burned over and over again. Sacrificed for the plot. He was very popular post game.
  • Quarterbacks. This team is in good hands with Jonathan Crompton as the leader. Yeah, he played well, going 13 of 20 for 266 yards and three touchdowns and only one interception, but he's also got the control of the team. As much as I loved Erik Ainge, I was often really disappointed to see his response to throwing a touchdown pass, which was too often to hold both arms in the air and run toward the sideline. Not so with Crompton. Crompton sprints to the end zone to hook up and share congratulations with the receivers and linemen and whoever else gets down there. He was even the first one to the group celebration when Gerald Jones threw a TD pass out of the G-Gun to Denarius Moore (he's No. 6, by the way -- I think), and he wasn't even involved in the play. Nick Stephens, by the way, has an almost perfect throwing motion. And strength. And an unnerving tendency to look at only one receiver after the ball is snapped.
  • More Chemistry. The JumboTron showed someone from FoxSports South interviewing Crompton late in the game. During the interview, some offensive lineman was pestering him, and Crompton was visibly trying not to crack up on camera. When the interviewer released him, he turned and threw a cup of something at the culprit. After the game, I watched Crompton seek out Eric Berry, Demetrice Morley, and some others to smack them on the helmet. Small things, these, but it's evidence of a brewing chemistry among the team members, something stronger than what we've seen in awhile.
  • Gerald Jones. Wooooo, G! No sooner were the words "single wing" out of hooper's mouth than Gerald Jones was running to the right, pulling up, and popping a pass into Denarius Moore's (No. 6. Right?) waiting hands in the end zone. Hooper said "single wing" again. My contribution to the analysis: "Gerald Jones passed the ball! Woooo!" But no, we didn't see Eric Berry on offense.
  • I'm special. Tennessee announced a new DVD and invited me, yes ME!, to purchase one. It's called Perfection, with the i and the o made out to look like a 10, which makes you think of a Perfect Ten, which is odd because we won thirteen games that season. Of course, the 10 is supposed to remind us that it's been ten years, which is odd, because reminding Tennessee fans of that fact is not the smartest way to market that thing, I don't think. Anyway, they had a bunch of the 1998 team at midfield to honor them and to drum up nostalgia in hopes that I will accept my personal invitation to buy a DVD. Will I buy one? Of course.
  • Eric Berry and Demetrice Morley. If quarterbacks and receivers are not afraid of these guys yet, they will be. They are as apt to separate you from your head as they are to separate the offense from possession of the ball. Berry had one interception and a nice return, and Morley did essentially the same thing later on in the game.
  • Running backs. I think Arian Foster ran the ball once. He's good and ready. Lennon Creer got the bulk of the snaps, though, and he's also good and ready. Perhaps better and ready. He rushed ten times for 59 yards and a TD.
  • No. 25. Before we finally heard this diminutive guy's name announced over the loudspeaker, we were all convinced that it was Shannon Bobbitt in a football uniform. But no, 5'5" 160 pound Justin Wright is a junior from South Carolina. Dude's quick, too.
  • Omedetoo gozaimasu! Do we have college football's first Japanese player? Takayuki Koyano kicked a field goal or two. My first thought was that we'd lured another Polynesian from Hawaii, and wooo! But yeah, his name certainly sounds Japanese. There's no picture, but his profile says he's from Maryville, which reminds me of the ten minute conversation I had with a Japanese friend one time. I'd asked him where he lived,  and he said, "Medibidu." Maryville. They have no sound for Rs. Or Vs. Or Ls. So they move to Maryville for the practice. Oh, and Koyano did a wonderful job.
  • Receivers. Jones was terrific. With Lucas Taylor and Austin Rogers out, it looked like Jones, Paige, Hancock, and Briscoe were getting most of the plays. I love Taylor, but we've got to find a way to make room for Jones and Ahmad Paige. You know, during The Season of Which We Do Not Speak, we played something like 27 receivers, rotating them around, you know, for freshness, and it worked quite well to develop chemistry and timing with our two rotating quarterbacks. The next year, we figured that maybe this wasn't the best idea, and we cut the rotation to basically three, you know for chemistry and timing. The whole timing thing wasn't quite working the fourth quarter for some reason, say, maybe fatigue. Dave Clawson wants a balance of five, maybe six receivers, to get our best players on the field and to get them rest so they're fresh in the fourth. So there's room for these guys.
  • Defensive tackles. Demonte Bolden and Dan Williams look to be improved, and, um, hoping that's the case. Could use some depth as well, because the second team defense really didn't look much like the first.

Well, time's up this morning. What did you see? And who's No. 6?