KNOXVILLE — The Florida disaster was one thing.
But last night, Tennessee's football team was pushed into the fourth quarter by Rutgers.
Vols wake up in second half - Sunday, 09/29/02
With a sour taste of Gator still lingering in their mouths since the drenching loss to Florida, University of Tennessee football fans on Saturday looked to feast on good thoughts, good food and a victory on the field. Pre-game camaraderie and tailgating barbecues offered the main course; Rutgers was the dessert. The latter proved harder to swallow.
Jones receives Big East Honors
PISCATAWAY, NJ – Nathan Jones of Rutgers has been named Special Teams "Player of the Week" by the BIG EAST Conference, it was announced today. Jones, who hails from Scotch Plains, N.J., set the tone for the Scarlet Knights' game at Tennessee when he returned the opening kickoff of the game 100 yards for a touchdown in RU's 35-14 loss in Knoxville. The junior defensive back recorded the longest kickoff return in school history, and also tied five other players as the best in the BIG EAST record book. Jones finished the game with two returns for 114 yards.
Jones Receives BIG EAST Football Weekly Honors
Fan Feedback on Tennessee
From a fan who made it to the game:
Well, I just got back from Knoxville. Probably the most fun I've had at a road loss in a long time.
I still can not reconcile the team we have seen in the last three games and the one in the first two.
103,900 people can make a lot of noise. But for the first half those of us in the Rutgers section were pretty close to delirious. I think only about 103,000 of that number wore something orange. Neyland Stadium and that crowd is a sight and sound to experience.
At the end of the game most of the UT fans seemed a little to happy after squeezing the win out. Wait till they face Miami. But on my way out of the stadium a bunch of teen age Vols gave me high-fives and said Rutgers was a gutty team. A little old lady said our boys put up a good fight.
I can't imagine why anyone would go to Knoxville other than for a football game, the town was pretty sleepy.
From another fan who made it to Knoxville
It was a great effort by Rutgers as we absolutely dominated the first half. Depsite being jobbed by the refs on more than one occasion, we held it together the entire night.
It was a sweet sound to hear 103,000 people booing at the end of the first half.
Cubit played well, but it was obvious he didn't have the arm strength as I don't recall him going downfield too many times. Clarence Pittman was awesome and the offensive line did a great job opening holes for him in the first half.
The defense was stellar in the first half, causing all kinds of havoc and stuffing the run. There were some questionable coverages in the second half, but I had to give credit to the Tenn. coaches for making the adjustments to get Washington open.
Talk about it on the Bulletin Boards:
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC