First I want to thank those who have read my past blogs, and I also want to encourage those who read this to comment and let me know what you think.
Now! To the game. What a great start, and I want to congratulate the kickoff team on a great game. South Carolina may not have the returning threats of some schools, but the coverage was still great. Even the first kickoff, that wasn't exactly killed, was covered well enough not to give them a great starting position. As far as field goals, the first one was blocked (making it 3 blocked fgs in a row), but it was his first field goal in a SEC game. And he was also able to keep his head up and come in later and make a fairly long mid range field goal. So seeing that was another boost for our special teams.
All in all, coming out with the great energy we started with is what won the game. It may have been the black jerseys, or a great speech, but whatever it was it worked. Something lit a fire under these kids and they were not going to lose at any cost. They blew South Carolina up right out of the gates, which was even more crucial in a less than par 3rd quarter. I'm not sure if South Carolina had butter on their hands, or bad luck on their side, or if the defense just planned on forcing fumbles, but they did, and gave to offense the ball in great position to score. And the offense for 3 1/2 games now, has continued to play better. This was not their strongest game, but they were able to find the checkerboard, and that's what wins games.
I had said that this was the toughest game left, and while I'm not sure what happened to South Carolina, we won! And that is all that I am concerned with. We now have Memphis, and while they are worse this year than they have been in a few years, they still do not need to be overlooked. They gave Ole Miss, our next opponent, a pretty tough battle in the season opener. I think we will win this game, but it won't be a huge blowout. I look for the Vols to try some new packages and plays on both sides of the ball. And hopefully the new schemes will work and we will crush the tigers. That could be a tremendous boost as we make the drive to Oxford Mississippi to play the Rebels. But like always, lets get through this week, and take it from there.
I also want to add that we have made the top 25 in the legends poll, which, while not a huge deal, it is nice to be moving in the right direction.
Also, as for the black jerseys, I have heard several people complain about them. Here's what I think, it's a jersey! And if giving them black jerseys and something new makes them excited to play, DO IT! Who cares, you are not just playing for orange or white, you're playing for the T on the helmet, and Im pretty sure that was still there. The colors didn't change anything. I was glad to see them do something for these kids to enjoy, and if that means a special edition black jersey, let it be. Stop wasting time arguing over clothes, lets just play the game.
Also have to give some credit to my Indianapolis Colts who managed to remain undefeated through their worst offensive performance yet. If they can win on a day like that it can be a good year for them.