The Vols have just completed a stunning upset of the Gamecocks, kicking a field goal to win as time expired, 23-21. Marquez North set up the field goal for the Vols with an amazing catch downfield against Ahmad Christian. Christian played the pass perfectly, but North came down with the ball against the odds. Michael Palardy did the rest. Congrats to the Vols on the first big win of the Butch Jones era.
Unfortunately, the Gamecocks have little to blame but themselves for this loss. Poor offensive execution by QB Connor Shaw and our receivers and poor timeout management by Spurrier gave the Vols their chance to win the game. Carolina had multiple chances to put the game away over the course of the fourth quarter, but our receivers couldn't make plays and Shaw reverted to his old habit of not getting the ball out quickly enough. You can also question Spurrier for only giving Mike Davis one carry in the fourth quarter, but considering that UT was stacking the line late, perhaps the blame goes to the passing game for not executing. In any event, Spurrier outdid himself by wasting two timeouts while considering whether to go for it on fourth down late inside our own thirty. To add insult to injury, Shaw suffered what looked like a serious knee injury on one of those plays where he held the ball too long. Keep your fingers crossed, but I'm not going to be surprised at all if he's done for the year. It was called a "strain" by the trainers, but that's often code for possible ligament tear that will have to be confirmed by the MRI.
After the offense has carried this team for several weeks, we should tip our hats to the defense for keeping us in this game while our offense failed to put it away. It got two great stops late in the game prior to the final drive, and it very well would have gotten the final stop if not for North's highlight-reel grab, which was one of those plays where you really can't fault the defense too much. Jadeveon Clowney had his best game of the year. As far as I'm concerned, they have nothing to be ashamed of, although certainly, there are issues to continue trying to address going forward.
As if you don't have enough reasons to hate life at the moment, Vandy has just pulled off the upset against UGA. We just played our way out of the East title just as things were looking our way. Not that we're not going to get crushed by Mizzou next week, anyways.