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Meet the new ball coach

utfootballIt was easy to forget prior to kick-off a football game was being played on Halloween night. Not only was Lane Kiffin keeping in the headlines with his comments regarding the officiating at the Alabama game, the fan base was distracting itself with a fashion controversy. Were the Vols going to appear in black jerseys? More importantly, should they? After all, black is not a traditional Tennessee color, and UT is nothing if not a school grounded in tradition.

Another UT tradition is losing to Steve Spurrier. Stretching back to his first job as a head coach at Duke, the Vols have a 5-13 record against him. Philip Fulmer had a particularly dismal 3-8 record against the Old Ball Coach.

Old Ball Coach, meet the New Ball Coach.

Vol fans got a slight scare when offensive production stalled after leaping ahead of the Gamecocks 21-0, but most of the night was pure treat. Last night’s victory was the largest point differential against a Spurrier coached team since Johnny Majors beat Duke team by twenty-six points in 1989. Furthermore, the formerly hapless Jonathan Crompton, who is rumored to be the least effective quarterback in school history, played his second game without throwing an interception. He now has double the touchdown passes Tim Tebow does. Berry and Hardesty continued to be stand-out players, Rico McCoy forced two fumbles,  and Chad Cunningham, replacing Daniel Lincoln, scored a field goal for the Vols- the first one in the past five attempts.

Legends claim that on Halloween the border between the living and the dead thins. Last night, Kiffin crossed the border between the Volunteer’s recent past of ugly wins and wearisome losses to a Volunteer future restoring the excitement and success of seasons past. The black jerseys nicely encapsulated the spirit of that bridging; unbeknownst to may in Vol Country, black was the color of choice before the adoption of orange in 1922.

Kiffin has pleaded ignorance regarding Tennessee traditions. But his final comment of the night proved to Rocky Top he’s determined to revive the most important one. Wearing his characteristic mask of latent frustration he promised, “We’re building a championship team.”

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis recently moved to Clarksville from Knoxville, TN where she covered the Entertainment Beat for the Daily Beacon.


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