Knoxville, Tennessee, October 8, 2005
Play starts at about 1:07; apologies for the "Rammer Jammer" stuff.
T 4-3 T08 Britton Colquitt punt 46 yards to the UGA46, Thomas Flowers return 54 yards to the UT0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 08:50.
Brandon Coutu kick attempt good.
GEORGIA 20, TENNESSEE 7
. . . and you don't kick to Thomas Flowers.
I had to miss part of this game, too, because a co-worker of mine was getting married in Anniston that afternoon; I couldn't get too mad at him, though, because it was the first time in at least a decade that both Alabama and Auburn had a bye on the same weekend, so everybody in Alabama and his brother was getting married that day. I watched the first half at a bar in Anniston and hightailed it to the wedding, which -- being a Baptist wedding -- ended just in time for me to go inside for the reception and catch up with the game on the big-screen with a couple minutes left in the third quarter.
It was a nerve-wracking few minutes after that -- Shockley fumbled right as we were getting into Tennessee's red zone, Rick Clausen completed a pass to near midfield only to have his receiver cough it up, Georgia went nowhere on their next possession -- but Gordon Ely-Kelso's punt pinned Tennessee back at their own 1, and after a three-and-out, Britton Colquitt punted it into the waiting arms of Thomas Flowers. Tommy streaked right up the gut, leaving a host of bewildered Tennessee cover guys in his dust, then broke right, juking right between Tennessee's last two guys; I held my breath wondering which one of them was going to be the one to pull him down just short of the goal line. The first guy managed to get a piece of his jersey, the second guy managed to get him by the shoelaces, but it was too late -- Flowers tumbled forward into the end zone, and the Dawgs had doubled their lead.
I had been jawing back and forth with a woman at the wedding named Ann whose daughter was a close friend of the bride's and a Tennessee alum; she kept cheering for the Vols even after the Flowers touchdown, but the look on her face told me that she didn't really expect anything to come of it. Toward the end of the game, I asked her if her daughter had been one of the bridesmaids, and she said, "Oh, she's not even here -- she's at the game. When she found out that Ashley had picked today as her wedding date, she said, 'I'm sorry, but this is one of the biggest games of the year, I'm not missing it.' "
Cool lady. She still asks about me sometimes.
Anyway, the cachet of this win dwindled considerably when Tennessee finished the season 5-6 and bowl-less for the first time in 17 years, but I think the Tennessee team we faced at the beginning of October was considerably different from the one we would've faced had we played them in November, i.e. when they clearly had already packed it in for the season. Going up to Knoxville and getting a win is a difficult thing regardless -- just ask the guys who went up there this year -- and whipping the Vols gave us plenty of momentum as we headed toward our second SEC title in four years.