What a differing pair of Saturday’s it was for two of the Southeastern Conference’s traditional powers. Georgia and Tennessee square off at 3:30 Saturday afternoon on CBS. The prime game for the mightiest league in the land for so many years.
Georgia ran into the perfect storm, and was blistered by Ole Miss in Oxford 45-14. The Bulldogs played poorly and the Rebels great. For the Dogs, the solution, push it out the window and realize that every other goal save a perfect 15-0 record is still within reach.
Meanwhile in Knoxville … the Volunteer faithful are gleeful to say the least.
Tennessee had lost 11 straight to Florida; the last two were in particular painful. The Volunteers led 9-0 and 27-14 in the fourth quarters of both and lost by a point in each. It was 21-0 Gators and it smelled so much like a 12th successive Gator victory in the series. Just to note, the last time Tennessee beat Florida, it was Phil Fulmer over Ron Zook in 2004, the year prior to Urban Meyer’s arrival in Gainesville.
With so much of Butch Jones’ coaching career in Knoxville, his fourth season at the helm of steady progress, coming to a head for the big showdown with the Gators, things looked bleak as Florida raced to a 21-0 first half lead.
Then, in the grand history of Tennessee football, the Volunteers put together a comeback for the ages, scoring 38 successive points, including a late third and early fourth quarter performance that will go down in Tennessee lore.
A year ago in Knoxville, the Bulldogs were leading 24-3 late in the second quarter. It was 24-17 at the half, and Tennessee controlled the rest of the game, winning 38-31 to end a five game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
College football, and this season, through just one month, is a prime example, that every week anything can change on a singular Saturday.
Both teams are in the midst of the Southeastern Conference grind. Following this mega-showdown, the Volunteers go to Texas A&M and then host ancient rival Alabama. So at 4-0, 1-0 in the league, the Vols try and take it week-by-week as the clear cut, and predicted favorite in the SEC East.
Georgia must now emerge from the perfect storm and pull off the upset in Athens to be in position for a great season in 2016. There are special days for the Bulldogs in the Kirby Smart era. For this team to fight its way to a win over Tech and SEC Championship Game berth, a special season … a victory over the Volunteers is essential.
Maybe, just maybe, the team that lost by 31 can capitalize on a raucous, underdog crowd against the team that got the win they have been waiting on for over a decade.