By: Lee Ramsey
The Tennessee Volunteer football team came away from last Saturday’s game against the Kentucky Wildcats with exactly what they deserve; a bowl bid.
The Vols defeated the Wildcats by a score of 24-14, extending their winning streak to 26. The last time Kentucky beat Tennessee in football, there were no cell phones, no internet and Ronald Reagan was President.
After finishing October without a win, the Vols finished November undefeated with the longest win streak in the SEC East Division.
The Big Orange finished with a 6-6 overall record and 3-5 in the SEC. The 6-6 record qualifies them for a bowl game. At this point it appears to be the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville, and if not, it will be the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Dec. 31.
“It’s hard to describe how proud I am of this football team,” said First year Head Tennessee football Coach Derick Dooley. “They have focused on the process and worked hard; a bowl game will be a treat.”
On a cold clear day, typical weather for a Kentucky game, and Senior Day with 101,170 in the stands, the Big Blue started as if they would dominate the game.
“I wondered at one time if we were ever going to stop them,” Dooley said.
Kentucky scored first with 9:50 left in the first quarter as Derrick Locke ran the ball 17 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good and the Wildcats led 7-0.
It didn’t take the Vols long to answer as Gerald Jones was the recipient of a Tyler Bray pass for an 11 yard touchdown with 13:53 left in the first half.
Three minutes later Tennessee scored again on another pass from the gun slinger Bray to Denarius Moore for a 12 yard touchdown. The score stood 14-7 after the PAT by Daniel Lincoln.
Kentucky wasted no time as they scored on a 2 yard TD pass from quarterback Mike Hartline to Tyler Robinson. After the PAT the score was tied at 14-14.
With only 50 seconds to go in the third quarter, the Vols Tauren Poole scored on a 2 yard TD run. After Lincoln’s PAT the score stood 21-14.
Tennessee kicker Lincoln added 3 insurance points with 9:19 in the game on a 36 yard field goal making the final score Tennessee 24, Kentucky 14.
Dooley said, “We played a great second half against a good football team.”
Kentucky brought to town probably the most talented team they have had since their last win over Tennessee.
The Vols 26 year domination over the Wildcats was discussed by both coaches.
Kentucky’s Coach Phillips said, “They’re all bitter. This one is the worst because it’s the present.”
Dooley added, “The previous 25 didn’t help us win today. I’m just glad in my first year we didn’t snap that thing. Nobody would have been happy.”
Well everyone wearing orange was happy and they have been happy for over a quarter of a century.
Vols Defeat the Wildcats
By: Lee Ramsey