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Best Plays of 2008: There Goes Lennon Creer

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At stake: As badly as Vol fans felt after blowing the UCLA game to open the season, it was only a non-conference game. The all-important SEC season was yet to kick off, and Tennessee had an opportunity to work out the kinks in the Clawfense against UAB, which was a variety bag full of bad.

In-game context: This game made it feel like maybe the Clawfense might could possibly sorta kinda work. Jonathan Crompton threw two touchdown passes for Gerald Jones for a 14-0 first quarter lead. After a scoreless second quarter, the third quarter featured a field goal by UAB and a six-yard rushing touchdown by Montario Hardesty. And with 1:41 left in the third, Lennon Creer got into the action:

 

Impact: That TD by Creer gave the Vols a 28-3 lead, and Creer would make it 35-3 before the game was over. The win over UAB allowed Tennessee to tweak the Clawfense to perfection and gave the team the confidence it needed to forget the UCLA loss, beat the Gators the following week, and run the table for the rest of the season, finishing in the National Championship game in January against the Oklahoma Sooners. Or maybe it was a fluke against a bad team and the season ended up in the septic tank. I can't remember which.