'It's time,' all right

Shortly after he was hired as Tennessee's head football coach, Lane Kiffin adopted the catchy slogan "It's time" as his mantra. Well, the "time" has arrived, and it's called October.

On the heels of a 2-2 September, the Vols face four Southeastern Conference teams in October who boast a combined 14-2 record - Auburn (4-0) on Oct. 3, Georgia (3-1) on Oct. 10, Alabama (4-0) on Oct. 24 and South Carolina (3-1) on Oct. 31.

How's that for a daunting task?

Still, there are two positive notes to consider:

One, all but the Alabama game will be played at home.

Two, the Vols get an open date between Georgia and Bama.

Still, October shapes up as a brutal month for the Big Orange. If this season is going to turn around ... well, IT'S TIME.

That said, here's a quick recap of how Tennessee's future foes fared last weekend:

- Auburn (this Saturday in Knoxville) got 287 passing yards and five touchdowns from Chris Todd in a 54-30 drubbing of Ball State. Terrell Zachery caught TD passes of 46 and 65 yards in the romp. The Tigers are now 4-0.

- Georgia (Oct. 10 in Knoxville) needed a huge day from A.J. Green to subdue Arizona State 20-17 in Athens. Green caught eight passes for 153 yards and blocked a potential go-ahead Sun Devil field goal in the final minutes. Blair Walsh booted the game-winning 37-yard on the final play. The Dawgs now stand 3-1.

- Alabama (Oct. 24 in Tuscaloosa) got another great effort from QB Greg McElroy, who completed 17 of 24 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-7 trouncing of Arkansas. The Tide limited NCAA pass-efficiency leader Ryan Mallett to 12 completions in 35 attempts for 160 yards, sacked him three times and intercepted him once. The third-ranked Tide improved to 4-0.

- South Carolina (Oct. 31 in Knoxville) stunned No. 4 Ole Miss 16-10 last Thursday as its defense limited Jevan Snead to 7 completions in 21 attempts for 107 yards. The Gamecocks rushed for a mere 65 yards but got just enough help from Stephen Garcia, who completed 16 of 34 passes for 220 yards. Carolina now stands 3-1.

- Memphis (Nov. 7 in Knoxville) was led by Tyler Bass in both rushing (14 for 64 yards) and passing (17 of 34 for 232 yards) but couldn't stop Marshall's Darius Marshall (203 rushing yards, 3 TDs) in a 27-16 loss to the Thundering Herd. Tommy West's Tigers dropped to 1-3.

- Ole Miss (Nov. 14 in Oxford) managed just 248 total yards and converted on just 1 of 13 third-down tries in a 16-10 loss at South Carolina. The Rebels, now 2-1, have lost their SEC opener six years in a row.

- Vanderbilt (Nov. 21 in Knoxville) piled up 216 rushing yards in a 36-17 victory at Rice just one week after being limited to 33 rushing yards in a home-field loss to Mississippi State. Warren Norman averaged nearly 11 yards per carry (119 yards on 11 attempts) as the Commodores improved to 2-2.

- Kentucky (Nov. 28 in Lexington) fell behind visiting Florida 31-0 after one quarter and never recovered en route to a 41-7 setback. The Wildcats managed just 93 passing yards, 86 rushing yards and converted on just 3 of 16 third-down tries. The Big Blue now stands 2-1.


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