By: Lee Ramsey
Some things in life and sports just don’t change. For the University of Tennessee beating Vanderbilt is one of them. The Big Orange has lost to Vanderbilt only once in 29 years.
Last Saturday was no exception as the Vols beat the Commodores by a score of 27-21.
Earlier in the week Vandy was favored by 1 point. That is extremely rare. Based on both teams’ results this season, however there seemed to be a good chance that Vandy might win again. After all, even a broken clock is right twice a day so why not twice in almost 30 years. Thanks to quarterback Tyler Bray returning and some key Tennessee players, that didn’t happen.
The play of the game was by Eric Gordon as he intercepted Jordan Roger’s pass on the Tennessee 10 in overtime and sealed the win for the Volunteers going 90 yards on a run that had to be reviewed. The referee initially said his knee was down but the replay showed that wasn’t even close to being right.
By beating the Commodores, Tennessee keeps their bowl hopes alive by posting a 5-6 record. A team must have a .500 record to be bowl eligible. To do so, Tennessee must beat Kentucky next Saturday at Lexington.
Although Tennessee did a lot to earn the win, they also got a lot of breaks courtesy of Vanderbilt. Throughout the game and at the end you could help but think about the saying “Winners find a way to win and losers find a way to lose.”
In the first half Vandy place kicker Ryan fowler missed two field goals of 34 and 44 yards. Rodgers threw three interceptions and had one fumble. Rodgers is the brother of Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
Tennessee spotted Vandy 14 points with 2 interceptions thrown by their own quarterback Bray; but even on an off night Bray made a huge difference in this Tennessee team. The last 6 weeks without him has not been fun for the Volunteers. Bray is a play maker. The offense always feels more confident when he is in. This game showed how much Bray is need on this team.
Unlike the LSU and North Carolina games last season, this one ended up in Tennessee’s favor as again the final play of the game was controversial.
“That dark cloud over Knoxville has finally moved on and the sun is shining,” said Tennessee Head Football Coach Derrick Dooley. “We got the breaks tonight. It was the first time I feel like we had good luck on our side.”
At least some things in this world today are still constant. Tennessee is still beating Vanderbilt in football.
What a Difference a Bray Makes
By: Lee Ramsey