October 10, 2011
Knoxville, TN….. There are a wide variety of metaphors that one could use describing a football game. Watching the Bulldogs come to Neyland stadium incited many emotions as well as commonly used metaphors. For instance: 3rd and 57 could indicate the number of point the Tennessee Vols have allowed SEC opponents to score during the 3rd quarter! “Adjustments” is a loose term at halftime for the Tennessee Vols as the team’s 3rd quarter efforts would appear that no or little adjustments were made letting the Georgia Bulldogs score 2 touchdowns with ease. The offense not appearing any more prepared for the second half as players looked as if they were surprised to be on the field along with the loss of Tyler Bray to a broken thumb.
3rd and 57 could mean the field position of a team. Although highly unlikely, it was true this game as second half efforts by both Tennessee and Georgia looked more like a foot race to see which team could be more inept rather than a football game. Yellow flags and reviews were enough to take a 30 minute half seem like a 4 hour horror marathon. Georgia made so many mistakes that the team actually faced a 3rd and 57 from penalties in the 3rd quarter of this game. What is even more surprising is the Vols allowed them to get a first down! You may be asking yourself…… Seriously? Yes, you would be correct. Any team that is so grossly undisciplined as to put themselves in a 3rd and 57 certainly deserves the loss that would shortly be handed to them. However, in this game, that team won! Because the Tennessee Vols were outplayed and outcoached from start to finish. The Vols resembled a unorganized Div. 1-AA team coming in for their yearly beating by a top 25 team.
Although most Vol fans lie to your face by stating that they agree it will take time for Coach Derek Dooley to rebuild this program, their secret expectations are that he should of already turned it around. In the SEC, you are either part of the Upper Class or part of the Lower Class, a middle class does not really exist and Vol fans were expecting only 1 year of dumpster diving. What they didn’t expect is that the 2nd year would seem to indicate that we have taken a step back rather than forward. Granted we have lost 2 key impact players but great SEC teams have depth, something the Vols don’t seem to have. Even if depth exists in the Vols rosters, the coaching seems to be unable to identify and work with that depth.
My thoughts on a 3rd and 57 is this…. I believe that it will be sometime in the 3rd year when we will know whether or not this team will turn around. Maybe it will be :57 seconds into the 3rd game of the year, usually reserved for the Florida Gators. Maybe it will be the 57th play during the 3rd year that we finally see a spark from the Vols offense. Obviously we will just have to wait and see, clearly the second year in the Derek Dooley era is proving to be just as tough if not tougher than the first year.