Few things are more deflating for a passionate fan base than a season opening home loss to a lowly regarded non conference opponent – especially when expectations are on the ascend. This defined Tennessee’s forgettable start to 2019 as they dropped a decision to Georgia State. Such a loss can drape a dark fog over the remainder of the season, leaving a gloomy residue on every pregame tailgate and every playing of the fight song. But, the Volunteers didn’t allow their eventual 1-4 start to dictate the remainder of the schedule. We were fortunate to stroll into Knoxville with Tennessee on a four game win streak and the orange and white faithful infused with a resurgent spirit.Continue reading “Game 300: Vanderbilt @ Tennessee”
Built up as the “Brain Bowl” or “S.A.T Bowl,” Vanderbilt and Northwestern is a budding rivalry that produced a rare September showdown between the SEC and Big Ten. Today would also mark the second annual College Football Tour Northwestern tailgate. Thirty of us gathered on a gorgeous day in Evanston – the kind of early autumn afternoon that still is clinging to summer with all its might. Whether by el train or car, our group converged on a spot not far from Ryan Field to toss the football, toss a few bean bags, and banter about our favorite teams and conference supremacy. For half of the Big Ten, today would be a B1G disaster on the gridiron. However, this game provided the conference something to gloat about. Fireworks lit up the evening sky as the Wildcats emerged from the tunnel ready to prove that their thrilling victory over Syracuse a week earlier was a harbinger for even greater action to come. The “N” on both the Northwestern helmets and at midfield were decorated in stars and stripes to honor 9/11. Honoring military and country has been a major point of emphasis at NU and they have executed this quite well.
Set away from downtown Nashville, the campus of Vanderbilt is quaint and cozy. The same can be said for Vanderbilt Stadium, which certainly does not pose an intimidating threat. Beautifully set amongst the buildings on campus, the stadium does not possess the capacity power of its SEC brethren, but its fanbase is definitely loud and loyal.
This game was over as soon as it was scheduled. In fact, after the 35-0 halftime score, I thought ESPN might switch their broadcast to the national knitting competition. But, they stayed to watch the carnage in the second half, as well. Although, heisman trophy winner, Tim Tebow, did not play much of the second half. He was responsible for all five touchdowns that occurred in the first half of play…