COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Three weeks ago to the day the Tennessee Volunteer football team ran into the Peyton Manning Locker Room for the halftime of the Florida game to a sea of deafening boos from the 102,455 in attendance. That crowd on that day did not know Team 120's character but after the game in College Station it was clear that Tennessee fans everywhere have come to appreciate the Vols in a unique way.
Sure the comeback from 21-0 down to Florida won over many of the fans that were most vocal about coach Butch Jones and his troubles winning big games in 2015. The Georgia miracle finish won over many more, but the game at Kyle Field seemed to reach out and grab even the most loyal of Volunteers on a deeper level. Perhaps it was the overcoming of another 21-point deficit, or fighting through injury after injury, or more importantly doing those things all the while committing seven turnovers. Nonetheless the fans in attendance and watching throughout the nation were captivated even in just falling short in double overtime.
Many VFLs took to twitter as the game approached the fourth quarter.
Even the former coach of the Vols, Phillip Fulmer was impressed with the character shown in this game.
This Tennessee team has plenty of issues to improve on. After the game Jones harped on the team to start paying attention to "details" and used the word "dumbfounded" when asked for reasons such a veteran team is having trouble valuing the football.
The injuries are an issue as they are mounting at an avalanche pace. Jones clearly is growing weary of all the injury talk as he said after the game that "there will be no more talk of injuries".
Tennessee fans sold out their allotment of tickets to Kyle Field and gobbled up thousands more with a solid smattering of orange throughout the entire stadium. Those fans and those watching on CBS, saw full well this team is far from a perfect one. They saw a team with all its blemishes on full display but they were still won over in a loss by a team that also had on full display a toughness, next man up, never give up attitude. As those men walked off that field, fans cheering loudly in pride proved they know a team of character when they see one.