I have to admit that I've been a little bit giddy ever since the game. My UT fanhood began when I walked onto campus as a freshmen in 1998, and at no time during my dozen years of fanhood have I had this good a feeling about my team's quarterback. It would be silly to start tossing out names of past quarterbacks, comparing and contrasting strengths and weaknesses, and speculating about whether young Tyler Bray could potentially have a better career than this guy or that guy.
And that isn't where my giddy feeling comes from or what it's about. To the contrary, said giddy feeling (a) comes from qualitative observations (the eyeball test, so to speak), and (b) very much wishes to remain in the present tense. Let me try that again in a less convoluted way: (1) I have never seen* a University of Tennessee quarterback do the things that Tyler Bray can do, and (2) Not only do I want to watch this weekend's game against Ole Miss because my team happens to be playing, I also want to watch it because I want to see Tyler Bray throw the football. And that last part -- I've never said anything like that before about the quarterback of my team. This feeling is new to me.
And I'm actually not the only one who thinks Mr. Bray might have a little something extra -- a little bit of that "it" factor that you can't really articulate. Let Gerald Jones take a stab at it:
"I don’t want to speak too soon, but I probably haven’t played with a quarterback who can throw the ball like he has. Ever," "The guy can throw it. That's his forte, that’s what he does."
"He made it easy for us. We didn't have to make a hard catch or anything. It was easy," He kind of makes me wish that I could start my whole Tennessee career over again. Be a freshman and playing with him for four whole years. He's going to be a really good player here as long as he keeps up with what he's doing. Those receivers should be very happy to have him."
"I don't want to say this, but I don't think Tyler reads a lot. It's just, 'Hey, you're open. I'm going to get you the ball,'" "But man, sometimes like when the tight end is going down the seam and he's not open, he'll just back-shoulder him. NFL-type throws, man. The guy can throw, there's no question about that."
And why wouldn't Gerald Jones be a huge fan of Tyler Bray? I mean the Tyler Bray legend began with him for goodness sakes. This quote is from Bray, but has been Jones-approved:
We actually went to the sideline at one point in time, and I actually asked G Jones if he had gotten a touchdown yet," "He said no. I said OK, we're going to get you one. Sure enough that next play was a touchdown to G Jones."
- Luke Stocker: concussion (day-to-day).
- Zach Fulton: sprained ankle (doubtful).
- Cody Pope: insufficient meat in diet (terrible terrible joke).
*I probably saw Peyton Manning play a handful of times in college, but I wasn't a fan at the time, and so I have literally zero recollection of any of his performances while wearing orange. So I am leaving Peyton Manning out of this.