The Vols Win!
We can rejoice on Rocky Top in Knoxville, Tennessee this week. It’s a miracle! The fans have been disappointed over and over the last several years. Going back to when we won that National Championship back in 1998, our coaches, after Phillip Fulmer, have been Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and Butch Jones. Now we get to watch Jeremy Pruitt in his second year. Still, fans were still seemingly losing faith in the Tennessee football program. Imagine that, it’s become easy to be negative in Knoxville. Even with Fulmer back as Athletics Director of the University. That was his Alma Mater and he not only coached in Football here but was a player himself. No doubt his reputation speaks for itself in College Football, as one of the greats. There was some excitement knowing Phil was coming back to Rocky Top as an AD and even some excitement with the hiring of Pruitt.
Now in his second season at the helm for Tennessee as Coach, Pruitt is looking to change the culture at Tennessee. He is a former Defensive Coordinator at Alabama, Georgia and Florida State. He recruited Jim Cheney, a former Tennessee Offensive Coordinator, in to call his offense and brought in former Vols quarterback Tee Martin. Martin is currently the wide receivers coach and Coach Chris Weinke has been helping with running backs this season after previously being an offensive analyst for the Vols last season. So all the coaching talent was there.
Wide receivers Marquez Callaway and Jauan Jennings, running back Ty Chandler and offensive lineman Trey Smith returned to Rocky Top. Add in star defender, Nigel Warrior, on defense, fans were given names they were familiar with. Add in some with up and coming recruits created additional excitement.
Tennessee opened up the 2019 season against Georgia State at Home in Knoxville. They would lose in an upset to Georgia State, the final score being 38-30. The initial thoughts from fans and students was here we go again. Local sports media as well as the National Sports Media were surprised and talking about how this loss was a shock. Fans took to social media upset stating that this is not Tennessee Football. There were calls asking for Pruitt to be Fired, haven’t we heard this somewhere before?
This takes us to the Volunteers Second game, facing BYU at home. Of course, they were favorites again and lost in a heartbreaker in Overtime. The final was 29- 26 and led to more fans becoming disgruntled and unsatisfied. The next game, Tennessee dominated Chattanooga to the tune of 45- 0. The next letdown came when the Vols played hated rival, 7th ranked Florida. The Vols, of course, fell to the gators in Gainesville, at the Swamp. 34- 3. Then the gauntlet continued when Tennessee played the 3rd ranked Georgia Bulldogs in Knoxville. Jarrett Guarantano had been the Vols QB up to this point. We then saw OB Brian Maurer get the start against the Bulldogs. The Volunteers needed a spark and they seemed to have gotten that withMaurer running the offense. Tennessee put up 14 on Georgia but in the end, Georgia was just too much. The Bulldogs ended up winning the game 43-14. QB Brett Maurer would continue to start as it was the Volunteers vs the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
We have to say going back to the Tennessee vs Georgia Game, the players showed more emotion and energy. This is something that had been lacking in previous games and that same energy and emotion would go on to help the Vols win and defeat the Bulldogs, 20-10. Now I know the Bulldogs of Mississippi State have struggled coming off a brutal beating at Auburn the previous week, but still for Tennessee to beat an SEC team this season is still a big and important win. This win will help their confidence going forward this year. They now have a total of 2 wins so far this season. Running Back Tim Jordan scored a Touchdown for the Vols and Wide Receiver Tyler Byrd had the other Tennessee Touchdown. Kicker Brent Cimaglia kicked two field goals and had 2 extra points.
Hey let’s look at the positives but know that Tennessee still has a long way to go. Let’s have some patience and faith and sing Rocky Top in victory as the Vols win.