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Best Plays of 2010: Hey, Nice Read vs. Stars and Checkerboards

Hey, Nice Read -- LaMarcus Thompson's end zone interception against LSU

So the Vols were 2-2 with wins over FCS UT-Martin and in overtime against lowly UAB. LSU at Death Valley would be a nightmare, right?

Well, yeah, but not in the way anyone imagined. LSU drove the nail deep on the first play, going 83 yards right up the gut for a TD, but they wouldn't see the end zone again until after the game was over the first time. No, Tennessee tied the game before the first quarter concluded, then the teams happily traded punts for the rest of the half.

Tennessee punted to begin the third, and then LSU tossed an interception to Nick Reveiz. We missed a FG, they punted, we punted, they hit a FG, and we kicked off the 4th quarter with another TD. And looky here, the game's in the 4th quarter, and the Good Guys in Orange are up 14-10.

But LSU was on the move. On the wings of a 47-yard pass, the Tigers were sitting at the nine yard line, poised to take at least the lead and probably the game. Luckily, LaMarcus Thompson recognized a wheel route and broke that thing:

And we all lived happily ever after. Tennessee went on to win the game and rid the world of hate and war. Or, you know, this.

Stars and Checkerboards -- Eric Gordon's pick six and Chris Walker's HELLO! against Jeremiah Masoli and Ole Miss

The Accidental Touchdown may have ignited the 52-14 rout against Ole Miss, but there were several other terrific plays on the way there, including this one, which is really a buy-one-get-one-free bonus deal, thanks to Chris Walker:

I wish we had better video of that, but here's essentially what happened. Poor Jeremiah Masoli took the snap and looked right, but his target was covered. So was his target to the left, so he decided to dump it off to the outlet because after all, the defender was five yards away from the guy. But Gordon closed, picked it off, and weaved his way to the end zone outrunning everybody.

But perhaps the best part was that the only guy who might have had a chance to get him was Masoli, who was trying to force Gordon to the sideline. Instead, Gordon cut in and forced Masoli to turn in an attempt to prevent the TD. When he did, all he saw was a huge, furious, and fast Chris Walker bearing down on him at full speed. Wham. NAILED. Checkerboards for Gordon, stars for Masoli.