Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 SEC) almost snuck up on the 12th ranked LSU Bayou Bengals (5-0, 3-0 SEC), but fell short by two points/extra players on the field.
Thirteen men on the field. Not 10, like we had on the field at the end of the UAB game. Not 11, the correct number of players, you would think they’d know.
At least Tennessee has some players that are enthusiastic to get on the field
Losing 16-14 is hard to swallow, especially after you just celebrated a win. But I think the game came down to essentially two plays, both fourth downs.
Tennessee’s fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter, and fourth-and-14 on LSU’s following drive.
With Daniel Lincoln out with a groin injury, it was up to freshman Michael Palardy to handle the kicking duties. He missed his first attempt from 45 yards, so Dooley wasn’t confident in his leg, or at least not confident enough.
Fourth-and-one, from the 31-yard line, it would be a 48-yard field goal to put Tennessee up by a touchdown. Apparently, that’s not worth a shot for coach Dooley.
If Tauren Poole had made it past the sticks, you would hopefully be reading a completely different article right about now, and we would all be singing Dooley’s praises right now.
Still, I understand his thinking, Tennessee would’ve had a much better chance of winning if they make the first down, as opposed to a FG try, but I still do not agree.
After LSU picked up the ball from there, they moved it down the field, until they were put in an awfully sticky situation by the Tennessee defense, a fourth-and-14 for the game. Remember how I said last week that Tennessee’s secondary was a little bit too suspect for LSU not to take advantage of?
If you give up a fourth-and-14 conversion when it matters MOST, which the Vols did, you don’t deserve to win.
Tennessee just came up a few plays too short. Which is understandable for a very young team. That being said, there are some positives to build on.
The Vols were able to hang with a top 15 team, away, even when the defense gave up 434 total yards, a large chunk of those yards came from Jordan Jefferson’s 83-yard touchdown run.
Dooley and his coaching staff have some really good film to look at this week, before what is looking like a favorable contest against the 1-4 Georgia Bulldogs.
Brett Parisi is the head sports columnist for knoxvilleman.com, a contributor to bleacher report
and covers University of Tennessee Football and whatever else he finds interesting, questions or upset emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org