As you can imagine, it was a mixed bag of emotions for Tennessee fans as they watch their team fall to the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night. Their defense played lights out against an OU offense that was deemed to be superior long before the game ever kicked off, and their offense kept picking themselves up and coming back at a Sooner defense that is just plain nasty. So you can also imagine that it was also a wide variety of comments made by Vols fans as well.
For a small sampling of Saturday night's internet chatter we visited our friends at VolNation and here's what they were saying.
In the appropriately named thread, "Look at all those freshman. Future is bright." you get a lot of enthusiasm about the youngsters clad in Tennessee orange. I gotta say that I agree with the enthusiasm as well. Oh...wait...that's not what it was about at all. The thread was laced with sarcasm!
"We have been breaking records for playing freshman for 5 years now. I am so sick of waiting for the future & in the meantime getting continually embarrassed in games I used to look forward to.
I am very proud of the effort our team gave tonight. They played their hearts out. But, I watch a ton of football, and I have never seen so many players, coaches, refs, etc, over such an extended period of time, fail to make the plays that could be the difference between getting blown out and staying in it.
Whether it's too many players on the field; dropped passes; int's in the endzone; fumbles going into the endzone; awful play calling in crucial situations; questionable penalties; questionable play reviews; we just don't ever seem to make, get, or create the plays needed to turn this thing around.
Tonight is a perfect example of what we have gone through as a program over the last decade. Literally 3 plays are the difference between a blow out and a potential monumental, program changing victory.
1) Refs review of OU fumble goes to OU
2) Croom let's a TD pass go through his hands for an int in the endzone
3) Worley throws an int in the endzone. Returned for a TD, on an awful play call.
This is a program that deserves a freaking break, and I for one can't wait until we catch one." - CA_Vol
As you can imagine some Tennessee fans strongly disagreed with this line of thinking
theres a difference in these freshman and the ones dooley brought in. if you dont like it, go find a new team. - RiseToTheTop
There's always those glass is half full guys as well and...seriously...I do agree with this comment at the top of the"Premature Meltdown" thread.
"This may not be thread-worthy, but I'm doing it anyways. NB4 thread police.
It seems as if we are already experiencing a minor meltdown. A few things to keep in mind:
Before the season started, when predictions were being made, I didn't see one person who seriously predicted an undefeated season. As a matter of fact, I RARELY saw a prediction of 9 wins or more. My point? Before the season we ALL marked this game as an "L."
The final score didn't reflect how close the game actually was. We were 4 big plays from contending. By comparison, Bama got blown out by OU last year way worse than we did, and they weren't even in Norman.
We played really well on Defense. Aside from UGA, we will not see another offense this good the rest of the way.
We might see 2-3 defenses this good, but we were very close to putting up 20+ tonight.
Florida looks beatable after going to 3OT with KY at home.
Point is, we are in good shape and on track to fulfill the majority of our pre-season predictions. We might even win an extra game or 2!
I do think Worley needs to keep the ball more or be replaced by someone who will. That's my only gripe with him. A run threat at QB would do wonders for this offense.
I am predicting 7 wins still and hoping for 8 or 9. So RELAX, those of you whom are panicking tonight! It's a long season and we haven't even played our first SEC game!
Go Vols! GBO! V,B! VFL" - peyton4heisman
Then you have that percentage of the fan base that disagrees with the play calling. Yes, VolNation has an entire thread dedicated to that. How about those fans that blame everything on the officials. We know there is a strong contingent of them among the OU fan base but what about Tennessee? Yup, they've got them as well.
From the Officials tonight were crowd pleasers thread
"Can we coach our WRs to grab hold of DBs and move them side to side like Oklahoma was able to do our DBs tonight on running plays to the outside? They just grabbed their shirts and pulled them away from the running lanes of their QB and RBs. We need to teach this technique for future sec officiated games.
But, hey, these sec officials were plainly determined they would not offend this Big 12 team or its' head coach who were hosting the contest. I'm surprised they even let us play with 11 guys. I bet they considered having us kick off to Oklahoma after an Oklahoma TD. I wouldn't have been surprised. Did you see the play where the OK lineman applied a choke hold from behind on our defender. I considered this might not be called "holding" since it was more of a "wrestling maneuver", and I reckon that's how the officials saw it because they called no penalty." - LibertyVolance
Overall, with the exception of one bad Twitter incident, my interaction with Tennessee fans before, during, and after the game were quite cordial. They remind me a lot of OU fans in 1999. We were a proud group who had supported our historic program through some dark times and were looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not sure if Vols fans found that light tonight but I certainly believe their program is on the upswing. Like Oklahoma, their fans are very loyal. They stayed late, cheered for their team as they left the field, and told us that they'd see us in Knoxville next year. I, like they are, am expecting that game to be much closer.