Sunday, October 27, 2013



Tuscaloosa, Alabama (HOUSEOFNEYLAND) After posting a signature SEC win for first year Volunteer coach Butch Jones last week over South Carolina, the Tennessee Volunteers tasted a big dose of reality yesterday afternoon here in Tuscaloosa falling to the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide by a score of 10 to 45.

Adding insult to injury, literally, the VOLS quarterback Justin Worley had to leave the game due to a thumb injury and safety Brian Randolph left early in the contest also due to injury. 

On the plus side, however, freshman quarterback Josh Dobbs finished the game for Worley demonstrating skills that have the Volunteer faithful hopeful for better days ahead.

The VOLS will travel to Missouri next Saturday to face a team that lost in overtime to Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks yesterday.

Now, I want to reflect on the TENNESSEE vs. ALABAMA series.  

These two SEC teams have met 95 times since 1901.  ALABAMA has 50 wins, the VOLS have 38.  There have been 7 ties.

Over the past 7 seasons, since 2006, TENNESSEE has been on the losing end of the stick.  In fact, in the last 4 games UT has been outscored 39 to 167.    In the last 3 games, the UT offense converted on just 7 of 39 3rd down opportunities.

This rivalry game has turned into not so much of a rivalry.

That fact proved to be all too true yesterday in the beating applied to the VOLS by the #1 team in the Nation.

But there is hope for the BIG ORANGE because we have "owned" ALABAMA before...and with Butch Jones and Company that very well could happen again.

Remember Coach Philip Fulmer.  From 1995 through 2006, TENNESSEE's record against BAMA was 10 WINS and just 2 LOSSES.  The last time UT beat the Tide was Fulmer's 16-13 victory at Neyland in 2006.

From 1938 to 1970, UT's record against the RED team was 13-5.

In my freshman year at UT (1966), our new coach Doug Dickey had a chance to defeat Bear Bryant at Neyland but missed on a last second field goal that went just wide of the right post.

During my sophomore, junior and senior years (1967-1970) Dickey led the VOLS to 3 straight victories over BAMA and added a fourth in 1971.

From 1971 to 1981, the TIDE ran their winning streak over the VOLS to 11 when Coach Johnny Majors upset the Bear 35-28 at Neyland.  I was there and will never forget that great day!

TENNESSEE ran a streak of their own winning 7 straight from 1995 to 2001.

Football fans all across the country know the bottom line to winning is having a great head coach who can recruit the best players....coaches like General Robert R. Neyland, Paul 'Bear' Bryant, Johnny Majors and Nick Saban.

ALABAMA had not been winning for quite a while until Saban showed up in Tuscaloosa and brought the best players in the Nation to the TIDE program.

TENNESSEE has been down because, since Coach Fulmer, we have struggled to find a winning coach and the best players have gone elsewhere.

Despite the VOLS loss yesterday, Coach Butch Jones has already turned the program around.  The players have bought in...the fans have bought in...and more great players are on their way to Knoxville.

We must tip our hat to ALABAMA.  

You are deserving of your #1  ranking.  We don't hate you any less, and we are looking forward to that day, which surely will come, that it will be the TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS who are back on TOP!


Shields-Watkins Field
South End
circa 1930s-40s

Sunday, October 6, 2013



Knoxville, Tennessee  (HOUSEOFNEYLAND) Neyland Stadium turned "smokey gray" yesterday afternoon as the VOLS wore their new gray uniforms in a nationally televised football game against the 6th ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

Tennessee On Offense
October 5, 2013
Photo by John White

The underdog VOLS  were down 3 to 17 at the end of the 1st half but we can always hope for a turnaround.

In the second half, the "smokey grays" came out smoking.  UT scored on a dazzling 19 yard touchdown catch by Marquez North in the corner of the end zone.  The perfect pass was thrown by quarterback Justin Worley.

Touchdown Tennessee
Worley to North
October 5, 2013
Photo by John White

With the score 10 to 17, Jalen Reeves-Maybin blocked a Georgia punt and Devaun Swafford returned it for a TD.  Score UT 17, UGA 17.

Georgia answered in a 4 play, 75 yard drive culminating in a 3 yard TD run by Brendan Douglas. Score UT 17, UGA 24.

But TENNESSEE responded with their own drive of 9 plays, 75 yards.  Rajion Neal put the VOLS back into a tie at 24-24.

The score came after a 4th and 1 at the VOL 34 yard line with Neal scampering 43 yards to set up the TD.

Then, after holding the DOGS, UT marched 80 yards in 13 plays and Neal scored again with less than 2 minutes remaining.  SCORE:  UT 31, UGA 24.

But this Georgia team is tough and quarterback Aaron Murray, one of the best around, then directed a 10 play 75 yard drive resulting in a TD.  


UT 31, UGA 31.


John Adams describes what happened next.

"This one slipped agonizingly out of (UT's) grasp when wide receiver Pig Howard lost the football as he launched himself for the pylon on the first possession of the overtime.

The scoreboard briefly read:  UT 37, GA 31.  Then came a review--and an eraser--after officials ruled correctly that Howard had lost the ball before he reached the pylon.

The Vols lost the touchdown and the ball."

So Georgia got the victory on Marshall Morgan's 42 yard field goal.  


But take heart VOL fans, this game, despite the loss, may well be considered on down the road as the turning point in the TENNESSEE program.

Neyland Stadium was alive for 4 quarters + 1 overtime for the 1st time in a long time.  The VOL bench was energized.  We had the #6 team in the nation on the ropes.

The News-Sentinel graded the VOLS with a well-deserved  "A" and SPECIAL TEAMS, thanks to the kicking of Michael Palardy and the blocked punt, got an "A+".

The performance of the VOLS and the coaching staff led by BUTCH JONES on a smokey gray day was outstanding.  

We may not be quite there yet, but we are closer than we have been in a long, long time.


View from North End Zone
Running Thru the "T"
October 5, 2013
Photo by John White


The Knoxville News-Sentinel, "Good Gray-Cious, GO VOLS,"