On Oklahoma's opening drive against Tennessee, after a week fueled by seven years of waiting and Bob Stoops' take on volume, Todd Kelly Jr. intercepted a deflected Baker Mayfield pass. As we mentioned at the time, you can't really rank the loudest moments at Neyland. There are just times when it goes to that place, where the noise reaches dangerous levels and you can't hear your own words coming out of your mouth. And when Kelly made this play, this was one of those moments:
Tennessee's ensuing drive ultimately disappointed, as the Vols were stuffed on third and goal from the one yard line before electing to kick a field goal. And this day ultimately disappointed, with Oklahoma coming back from the 17-0 lead the Vols would eventually build. But this moment and the lead to come are vivid memories for me, with this particular play standing as the loudest cry that Tennessee was finally "back". The Vols would spend all year figuring out what it means to be back and how much it can hurt when you flirt with it. This play was that idea in its best, loudest form...perhaps something to look forward to more often next season.