Well that was just disgusting.
I’m really upset over this one.
If we don’t lose that fumble in the first quarter on the goal line and instead score to go ahead 14-o then I honestly believe that we would have won this game.
The offense moved the ball very well. Randall and Derrick got their touches and made plays but both had costly fumbles. Mike Hartline got his numbers as well but took unnecessary sacks and was two La’Rod King overthrows away from changing that game. His interception was costly toward the end but I put that on Chris Matthews just as much for not making an effort to make a play on the ball. We consistently picked up yards but we just had difficulty finishing drives, by turnover or missed field goal, and Tyladcka was not punting the ball as well as he was earlier in the year so Tennessee often had good field position.
The defense was the typical defense. We got a couple picks on poor passes but Tennessee was having their way with our secondary. Despite the ludicrous success of their throwing attack, I was baffled when Tennessee kept throwing the ball. It seemed like they lost their scouting report. You know, the scouting report that lists our rush defense as the worst of all time. However, Tyler Bray and his receivers were able to assume some of the gaudiest stats I’ve seen in a while. On paper our pass defense always had good numbers but that was mainly due to the fact that our rush defense was even worse. Tennessee remembered our porous front line when they needed to ice the game, though.
If I had to name someone who I was pleasantly surprised by on defense though, I would name Ronnie Sneed. A guy who was given the starting spot based on his status as a senior this year and maintained it after the injury to Qua Huzzie, Sneed stepped up today and took advantage of the opportunities he had to hit Bray. He had a couple sacks and a couple more punishing hits on blitzes. I would have like to see a lot more of that out of our defense today because Bray really showed his inexperience when we blitzed.
If I had to name someone who I am never surprised with because his play his consistently terrible, it would be Winston Guy. Winston cannot cover anyone. He can’t cover tight ends, running backs, full backs or wide receivers. I get physically sick when commentators praise him for his tackling stats and laud him as a difference maker in our secondary. He’s a difference maker but rarely in a positive fashion. His missed tackles and poor coverage coupled with Mychal Bailey doing much of the same gets me very excited for the arrival of Glen Faulkner next year.
I thought Joker and Randy Sanders were playing the game a bit too conservatively. We’re playing a team we haven’t beaten in 25 years. If the coaches had decided to go for it on every short to mid-yardage fourth down then I would have fully supported it. Let’s do some crazy stuff.
All in all it was a depressing affair for Wildcat fans, many of whom were expecting to leave Knoxville with a W.
I think Joker has us on the right track and we’ve got a bowl game to look forward to next month.
Let’s just start praying that Randall and Danny decide they want to beat Tennessee at Commonwealth Stadium next year and return for their senior seasons.
Go Cats! There’s always next year…