Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

A Refreshing Knapp – Winning can make life sweet (Oct. 28, 2015 issue)

This game started off different from the last 3 games with the Vols only managing a measly 3 points during the first quarter to Georgia’s 21. In the 3 previous games Tennessee had jumped out to a good lead during the first half then squandered it in the fourth quarter, losing each of those games. I was there when they turned things around on the 10th of October.
Ranked 19th in the SEC, Georgia came roaring into Neyland Stadium ready to stomp the Volunteers into the ground after being embarrassed by Alabama in a 10 to 38 loss the previous Saturday. Someone setting close by was expecting the worst. “The Dawgs have beaten us 6 years in a row,” he stated woefully.
I knew their rivalry had been going on since the Civil War, or at least back to 1899 when records were first kept. During that time the Volunteers have a slight edge. The series is 22- 21-2 Tennessee; counting the latest win. But this season they were ranked 42nd in the SEC and definite underdogs against Georgia according to all odd makers. After the 1st quarter it appeared Georgia was going to do what they had come for.
After a spluttering start, being down 21 to 3 going towards the end of the 2nd quarter, you could tell Tennessee fans were more than worried, but quickly sensed things were about to turn around when Dobbs zipped a quick slant pass to Josh Smith who took it to the end zone during the final minute of the half. I really liked the Vols quarterback, Joshua Dobbs, he’s sneaky; running when you think he’s going to pass and vice versa. In this game he ran for 118 yards and passed for 312.
If you haven’t been in a crowd of 102,455 fans rooting for their team, you’ve missed out. This was my first time to go to a college football game. The energy, excitement, and emotion of the crowd are just palpable; entirely different than watching a game on TV. They have a noise meter on the Jumbo Tron that would spike towards max decibels whenever the Volunteers made a good play – especially when this first touchdown occurred.
Georgia couldn’t believe it when Tennessee got past them in the last quarter and led by 2 touchdowns. I will give the Bulldogs credit; they tried hard for a come-back. In the waning seconds of the game, down by 7, Greyson Lambert, Georgia’s quarterback fired a line drive towards the end zone, which if caught, may have tied the game. It was deflected by a talented Tennessee defender. For a second or two there was dead silence. Then as the game clock ticked down to zero a roar from the Tennessee fans rocketed the sound meter to its max reading. After a long, standing ovation, with a lot of people running jubilantly onto the field, it appeared everyone still left in the stands, rooting for either team were briefly shocked into silence, as if they were just now realizing the VOLS had actually whipped Georgia 38 – 31. Me and my stepson, Scotty, stood with them, not moving or saying a word.
Finally Scotty said, “Are we leaving, or just going to stand here?” I guess people seeing us going up the steps, stirred them out of their stupor and 102,453 fans followed us out of the stadium giving one another high fives, and hurling light-hearted insults at Georgia fans. I don’t know how all of them managed to get ahead of us goofing around like that. But they did. It took us a good 2 hours to get back on the road to Erwin.
Winning a game isn’t everything, but for a moment it makes life sweet. The taste of victory is better than ice cream on a hot day.
Now about that Alabama/Tennessee game played on the 24th of October; we will talk about that another day.