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EARLY SHIFT LIVE BLOG: OUTBACK BOWL

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It will be a truly, truly epic day of bowl watching. Remember to hydrate well and stretch.


Hydrate well.

We begin with the Outback Bowl, which like all games we'll be liveblogging today. TAMPA RULZ, BABEEE!!! If you squint, you can almost smell the Franzia through the screen.

11:06: Morelli's been turned loose against Tennessee. They're doing the Monday Night Football thing where they allow a defensive player to introduce the starting lineup. He refers to the Tennessee defense as "the REAL UT defense." Take that, Texas: we want your acronym.

Field goal wide. Unlike Bobby Bowden, he does not have to be told what just happened as he slams his fist down on the table in the booth.

11:18: Penn State's got some juju working today--Tony Hunt's running nine yard seams through the Tennessee defense. Are we supposed to be WOO SEC partisans here? Rusty does not describe the way they look today, especially on defense.

11:21: And yet, Penn State punt punt punt. Screw that Capital One commercial; as a kid we would have loved to have flown to Orlando on a crop duster driven by a drunk, toothless madman. These people are not Vikings.

11:25: Jayson Swain jukes and shimmies for a long gain on an otherwise innocuous-looking short curl. It's the first pass play of any real significance. Ainge must have died after last season and was replaced by an android, because this is not the same player.

11:34 (Stranko) Happy New Year Orson! I think that guy in the crowd stole your fake Elvis hair mask.

11:36: The same to you and yours, Stranko. Tennessee's Inevitably Accurate Kicker (James Wilhoit in this case) puts them up 3.

ESPN's gone Google Earth Mad lately. We so want them to zoom in on the flaming wreck of Glen Mason's house in Minneapolis. That little black spot in the snow is Mason, weeping.

11:40 (Stranko): Fair catch at the 4. That's a Knoxville Education for you.

11:42 (Stranko): By the way. I finally took the plunge and am watching this bowl season in spectacular High Definition. It is soo wonderful it may make Florida's offense look good. I may never leave my coach again. Although I will say Jenkins does not belong in HD

11:46: Holly Rowe on the sidelines is piping in Vol offensive planning. If JoePa watched tv, this might help Penn State.

And in the middle of a Cutcliffe Classic drive, Tennessee gets too cute on an end-around, fumbles, and gives the moribund Penn State offense field position.

11:49: (Stranko). I wasn't sure you saw that play since I found out the tournament of Roses parade is on like 15 different channels. I thought it was TCOAN getting some revenge on you.

11:50 (Stranko): By the way, are you thinking about getting a hot tub? I have a strange urge to watch Bowl games in hot ass soup for some reason.

11:54 (Stranko): Off to go eat Pizza at the folks house (with Football on of course). Check ya later.

11:56: Penn State scores on a field goal after Turk McBride in effect ends the drive by popping through unblocked and swallowing Tony Hunt on a run. 3 all--feel the vibration!

12:08: Announcing foul on Blackledge, who despite having the poise to mock his 1982 12 hair mustache commits an unpardonable when he refers to an end-around as "a reverse." Boo.

12:12: After nifty fullback screen and mansome Tony Hunt runs, Anthony Morelli unleashes a very un-Uncle Ricoish pass down the sideline to put the Lions on the three.

12:14. Second down and goal is the new first down and goal. We blame Charlie Weis for the fad, but Galen Hall's been stealing everyone's stuff lately: Morelli skies a play-action pass to the tight end to put Penn State up 10-3 over Tennessee, who is playing patently dumb football right now.