redriver.jpg3:30 PM Holly: The half-open eyes of a belligerently drunk nation turn now to Dallas and the Red River Shootout, to the Longhorns and the Land Thieves, but I only have eyes for Neyland. If the last week of football didn't convince you that no one watching has a shred of a clue what's going to happen tonight, turn back the clock to the last meeting of the Vols and Dawgs. Tennessee, down by ten at the half, scored thirty-seven points in two quarters to win 51-33, only the second team to hang more than fifty between the hedges. "Expect the unexpected" will be the rule. That, and "We're giving up at least two punt returns for touchdowns." Take it to the bank.

3:33 PM Holly: ohgod. ohnonono. Steve Beuerlein just pointed out that "Tennessee is always in the game with Erik Ainge at quarterback." DO NOT TEMPT THE FOOTBALL GODS, BLAZER BOY. If Ainge goes down in this game I'm coming for your entrails.

3:44 PM Barstoolio: Oh, for fuck's sake. Perhaps focusing on "finishing" over the last two weeks in practice could have included some "starting." Miami's 27-point second half wasn't enough to overcome the flat first half and the loss of two starters to injury. Purdue and NC State, I trust that you understand the only thing that can salvage this day is the utter destruction of Tressel and Bowden, and should that not happen, I will burn your states to the ground. I want the ground spongy with their blood and their towns laid to waste. Time to drink the pain away.

3:46 PM Holly: TOUCHDOWN, ARIAN MOTHERFUCKING FOSTER. ...and the glee is supplanted immediately by apprehension, because here comes our defense.

3:56 PM Holly: ...and they appear to be both alert and here to play football. I know this isn't how livebloggery works, but I'm a little hesitant to do anything but report the facts of this game and make fun of ugly Athens coeds in the stands, for fear of jinxing our chance at a conference win.

3:59 PM Holly: Whoa. Clicked over to Texas-OU to find John Chiles in at QB. Didn't expect to see that this early.

4:01 PM Barstoolio: I am working with the options of NC State/FSU and Iowa/Penn State. Either way, the unmistakable odor of tapioca and mothballs is wafting from the television.

4:03 PM Holly: Arian Foster's name means "water bearer" and "holder of knowledge". Honey, you just hold on to the damn ball this week and leave the heavy thinking for Sundays.

4:04 PM Holly: ...all right, that came out wrong. Arian, we love you. But you understand why were a little surprised to see you breaking tackles and with positive yards next to your name, right? Keep it up. You're doing great. Text message from hetero lifemate at Neyland: "Arian, I only yell because THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU."

4:07 PM Holly: But as delightfully strange as that is, it can't compare to seeing our defenders knocking down opposing players. That's kinda like glancing around in traffic and glimpsing a duck driving a car.

4:09 PM Holly: Haven't Texas and Oklahoma both suffered enough in the last seven days? What sins could they possibly have commmitted in the intervening week to deserve the dulcet tones of Paul Maguire?

4:13 PM Holly: Just a disgusting late hit on Colt McCoy. Lovely, Sooners. And here's Maguire, trying to excuse it. McCoy follows up with a pretty pass to Sweed. Shake it off, kid.

4:15 PM Holly: LUCAS TAYLOR (not our QB) to Coker for a 56 yard TD. I take it back. Seeing trick plays from this team? THAT'S like watching a duck driving a car. If you need me for the next few minutes, I'll be blowing kisses in the general direction of Coach Cutcliffe.

4:21 PM Barstoolio: Happy Valley has got to be the dumbest location name in college football. How do they even get excited? It's like trying to get pumped to play in Skippy Kid Ridge or Rainbow Fun Hill.

4:22 PM Holly: WE JUST BLOCKED A PUNT. We are Tennessee. Tennessee does not block punts. I clapped a hand over my mouth to muffle my shriek with such force that I cut my lip. Holy hell, this could be something. (Yes, followed with 30 yards in penalties, just so we know it's still the Vols playing.)

4:26 PM Holly: A Georgia defender just streaked straight through the line to Ainge with terrifying speed. Too bad he'd already completed a bullet train of a pass to Austin Rogers for the first down.

4:27 PM Barstoolio: Holy shit. FSU's kicker is like a giant sandy redneck bear. He's terrifying.

4:26 PM Holly: I can't believe this. Touchdown Hardesty. Extra point up and good, and our new kicker's on the longest perfect start streak of any UT kicker, ever. 21-0 Vols. It feels like time has sped up. This isn't easy to articulate or to snark about, but...they're playing like Tennessee, all of a sudden. These are the boys we know. Just in time for the balance of our conference schedule. (Still: Caution. Remember last year, and remember last week. This is far, far from over.)

4:31 PM Holly: LOLZ!!1 There's a little corner window over on ABC with Bob Stoops talking in it, but the angle's distorted and his head looks like a perfect trapezoid.

4:40 PM Holly: Ainge took the guard off his broken finger for today's game, and he's back, baby. 110 yards passing in a quarter and a half, the latest to freshman WR Moore for 45 yards. Over on ABC, Texas leapfrogs ahead, 14-7.

4:43 PM Holly: Aaaand...touchdown. Arian Foster, all is forgiven. 22 yards, not a finger laid on him. Time to start drinking and Photoshopping. HOLY SHIT MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON, y'all.

4:43 PM Holly: Hypothetically, while I've got to the place to myself, how many different ways would Swindle come up with to kill me if I embedded a Rocky Top mp3 in this post? Discuss.

5:01 PM Holly: Giggly stat from CBS: In the last four quarters of meeting, Tennessee has scored 65 points to Georgia's nine. And that'll take us to halftime. Was it good for you? Me, I need a cigarette.

5:07 PM Holly: All right, halftime. Let's review.

  • Texas hanging in with OU, 14-14 at the half.
  • Alabama, up a suspiciousy slight 16 points on Houston in the 3rd.
  • Iowa, down 13-0 to Penn State at halftime, which ain't that bad considering their season to date--that defense is still doing its thing and doing it well.
  • 'Noles tied with NC State, 10-10.
  • South Florida...tied 7-7 with Florida Atlantic?
  • Michigan manages to scrape a win against mighty Eastern Michigan, 33-22.
  • West Fuckin' By-God Virginia juices Syracuse, 55-14.
  • [TEAM REDACTED] over Wisconsin, 31-26.
  • Kansas and PeteJayHawk over KState, 30-24.
  • Auburn over Vandy, 35-7.
  • Wake over Duke, 41-36.
  • DaCoachO over La Tech, 24-0
  • Maryland defeats Georgia Tech 28-26. The Turtle can't help you, Chan Gailey.

....and in Knoxville, the Tennessee Volunteers lead the Georgia Bulldogs, 28-0 with two quarters to play.

5:20 PM Barstoolio: Howard Schnellenberger is old (Seriously, I was under the assumption he was interred under the Orange Bowl at midfield or something) but has managed live long enough to be tied with USF at the half. The rabid Bulls fans in Tampa are preparing torches. Hose down your children!

5:23 PM Holly: We're back, and Ainge is promptly sacked. That's rare for this line, but two things we need to not not NOT do right now: Get lazy, and try to stuff the ball up the middle on every play. Let's finish this thing. (And I mean "finish" in the Mortal Kombat sense, boyos--I wanna see some spinal columns.)

5:28 PM Barstoolio: I wonder if anyone's tried to go over Niagara Falls in Joe Pa's chest?

5:32 PM Holly: Touchdown, Georgia, on what you have to call a beautiful catch by Goodman. He basically snatched it right out of Vinson's face. Vinson landed funny on his wrist but hops up fast enough. 28-7. Over in Dallas, Nate Jones just made a nifty catch for the Lonhorns. McCoy follows up with a pass to a TE whose number I didn't catch--shades of last season. They're in the red zone and driving. Still 14-14.

5:39 Holly: Seeing is believing--we're throwing the damn ball. And it's working. Ainge is being allowed to run this thing his way, and it's a credit to our coaching staff (I know!) that they're going with what works rather than shoving Foster into the middle of the line every play.

5:46 Holly: Daddy calls from the game to confirm that yes, in fact, that was Tennessee that just went for it on fourth and short...and converted. The sky has turned to sackcloth.

5:51 PM Holly: Foster's THIRD touchdown of the night, once again inducing apparent narcolepsy in the Georgia front seven the second the ball's in his grasp. 37-7 Tennessee.

6:02 PM Holly: Georgia gets off a 66-yard punt. Impressive...problem is, that means they just gave it back to Erik Ainge.

6:10 PM Holly: Young John Chavis' hair FTW!

6:11 PM Holly: Texas and OU are all tied up as the 4th quarter begins, 21-21. Someone in the metro Chicago area kindly find Texy and PB, shoot them full of adrenaline, and set them loose in the nearest bar.

6:16 PM Barstoolio: FSU/NC State on lightning delay gets me to Dallas just in time to see Colonel Mustard sideline reporting with a shaky cam. That was...disconcerting.

6:16 PM Holly: At least you didn't get the motherfucker in the boater hat.

6:26 PM Holly: Meanwhile in Dallas: OU's up 28-21, and Colt McCoy just got picked off...right as Stafford's intercepted in the endzone by Marsalous Johnson. There's an exTREMEly suspicious pass interference call, and Georgia moved up to the 2. Touchdown to a wide open Tripp Chandler, made all the more loathsome by virtue of being named Tripp Chandler.

6:32 PM Holly: Text from brother at Neyland: "Dear sociopath in black shirt: I'm sorry your team sucks. Please sit down." If I know him, he's sneaking up behind the guy to get a look at his cell so he can send this message to him personally. If this turns out to be the last post, I had to go take care of his bail.

6:40 PM Holly: Matthew Stafford, intercepted out of his own endzone. Fulmer's covered in Gatorade and capering about in a manner more suited to a man a third of his size. ROCKY TOP, BABY.

6:51 PM Holly: Your final score: Tennessee 35, Georgia 14. Fuck and yes. Now, to sweat out the last two minutes of the Red River Shootout. Texas down by seven with two minutes to play.

6:56 PM Holly: Update from LSUJoshua: "We were walking down to see the band and Mike the Tiger and caught these two girls peeing on bushes. We asked them how it was going, and they said "Pissalicious". " Hey, like Georgia's pass defense!

6:57 PM J-Money: I'm back! I just turned on the Clemson-Virginia Tech game in time to hear one of Clemson's players being referred to as "lightly used", which is the same way a friend of mine refers to his former wife. I'm not making either piece of that up.

6:58 PM Holly: It's not gonna happen for the Longhorns, and that's so painful. Trash prevails: OU 28, Texas 21.

7:05 PM J-Money: I didn't expect Duke to play like that... most of the time, their games would have exactly the same outcome if none of their players had any arms. It was 34-9 in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Final score? Wake 41, Duke 36. I cursed at a woman wearing a bonnet.

7:07 PM Holly: And that's naptime...see y'all back for the night games thread in an hour or so. GOVAWLS!!

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