The Mother of All Salvages!
I’ve gone from high to low about Vanderbilt football this season. I watched them start 4-0 and then lose six straight, including last-minute one score losses to Middle Tennessee (blocked field goal), South Carolina (turnover on downs), and Florida (in overtime). After falling behind 48-14 at home to the likes of Kentucky, then scoring four unanswered touchdowns only to lose narrowly at the end I’d finally written them off. I assumed even a moral victory at then end wouldn’t cheer me up.
I was wrong.
In dramatic fashion, Vanderbilt snapped a 22-game losing streak to Tennessee by mounting a dramatic goal line stand with one second left to defeat the Vols in Knoxville for the first time since 1975. For more glorious celebration:
Vandy Stands Tall on Rocky Top
Vandy Bowls over Vols
Big Orange Red-Faces; Only Three Discuss Loss
Johnson’s Decisions Defended
QB Cutler, Bennett Connect
Vanderbilt Report Card
Tennessee Report Card
Vanderbilt snaps 22-game skid to Vols with late TD pass
Vanderbilt-Tennessee Box Score
To put it in perspective, the seniors on the team weren’t born the last time Vanderbilt beat Tennessee. It was the second-longest active losing streak to a single team (behind Notre Dame over Navy).
Predictions: Vanderbilt WR Earl Bennett will be SEC Freshman of the Year and QB Jay Cutler will be SEC Player of the Year.
And now, of “infamous” Vanderbilt football streaks only one remains: 23 years since its last bowl eligibility, currently the longest in the nation. And as Vanderbilt fans know, there’s always hope for next year!
[Update 11/25/05: Here’s a few more game articles:
You know, the more people I talk to the more I realize something about this victory. It means a lot, and I mean a lot to Vanderbilt fans to beat UT, but not as much as it means to UT fans to lose to Vanderbilt. Why? Because Vandy fans have spent the last 22 years convincing themselves that they have more than football, while UT fans have spent the last 50 years convincing themselves that little else matters as long as they have football. There’s a moral here involving eggs and a basket….]