>Vols 25, Vandy 24

>Watching UT’s win over Vanderbilt this afternoon was a microcosm of our season. Some moments where everything worked and we looked like world-beaters, some moments were we couldn’t get out of our own way fast enough. And there was the bad pattern of not playing a complete game–instead only playing one good half. Thankfully, this good half came in the first quarter and then the final quarter and a half when Vandy remembered they’re Vandy and self-destructed.

It’s only fair, really, that our usually reliable kicker would miss a field-goal early the game and that Vandy would miss one late.

As for the end of the game, I don’t understand why Bobby Johnson was calling time-outs when his team had clearly lost. Was he hoping to postpone the inevitable? Or was he just being a poor loser? Or was he savoring his last few moments as a college coach? I guess we’ll never know.

It’s not like there weren’t some coaching moves I wasn’t questioning on our sideline. For example, the first two drives Arian Foster is a machine running the ball…and then we go to a five-wide out set and pass 14 times in a row. Why did we abandon the run? I heard the explanation giving by the coaching staff was they thought this was a weakness they could exploit and went with this formation. But, you’re dominating by running the ball, so why don’t you keep “dancing with the one that brought you”? And looking at the game, our passing game was far more effective when it fed off the play-action.

But, hey…the big-point is that UT won the game. A win is a win is a win. We’ve still got a big task next week to punch a ticket to Atlanta. And if we play like we did today, it could be a long day.

But I won’t worry about that for now. Instead, I’ll savor that for the next 366 days we have bragging rights for football here in the state of Tennessee.

And on that note, let me kick Vandy while they’re down. Ummmmmmmmmm, you guys couldn’t bring your band three hours east for the game? That seemed a little strange to me. And don’t get me started mocking your inflatable mascot guy….can’t you afford a real mascot and not one that doubles as an air-mattress?!? I swear, it looked like bobble-head Commodore man. I kept waiting for a good gust of wind to knock him over.

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