Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 27, 2013

ALL IN THE GAME: It may never happen again

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — That headline could go for a lot of things during this Commodore football season. Beating Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the same season is certainly a first. Beating Tennessee two years in a row is surely not a common occurrence. Having a talented wide receiver reach several SEC records is just icing on the cake. A win over Wake Forest would sure make for a good regular season finish.

I'm sure that both sides will agree that Saturday night's encounter wasn't a very pretty sight. Turnovers were killer for both sides as scoring chances were squandered. Vanderbilt's only offense of the second half came on the game-winning drive as Jonathan Krause and Jordan Matthews came up with big receptions on the 92-yard drive.

As I watched the game with my UT fan son, Jonathan, I only lost my composure once, and, of course, that was when they marked Austyn Carta-Samuels short on the quarterback sneak for a first down. Even my son commented that it was a terrible spot. A talk show host in Nashville commented Monday that from the way the official was walking to his left to spot the ball he thought that he might have an inner ear infection. Thank goodness for the review process as the first down was clearly achieved.

Hopefully, we can get some of our defensive backfield back to play against Wake Forest; though, I can't really complain much about the performance of the backups. The secondary has been a strong part of the Commodore defense this season and to lose all four starters hurts, as it would for any team.

Speaking of Samuels, someone should help Tim Priest with his enunciation/pronunciation. If it is spelled Carta, it isn't pronounced Catrer. I'm fairly certain that the improper pronunciation wasn't all unintentional. His error was brought up by someone else as I certainly can't listen to him. Bob Kesling is nothing but class and does a great job, but his cohort is a different story.

The evening was truly a special one for Jordan Matthews as he made 13 catches for a total of 133 yards. I was hoping that his fumble was a bad call but the review again led to a proper reversal though the defense stepped up big after the turnover.

Well, Frank, I've let you off easy again by not placing some inane wager, but I really don't mind and I'm tickled that you won't be able to give me grief for some time to come. Maybe team number 118 will be better for you. Apparently recruiting has gone well for you, but you must remember that even when you get four- and five-star signees you must still continue to coach them up. Remember that before you start laying bricks you should have a solid footer poured.

I'm sure that Coach Butch Jones is the answer for UT, if he is given just a little time to get it done.

Let's all end the regular season on a positive note Saturday after some really good Thanksgiving 'vittles.' We have so much to be thankful for. It goes way beyond a football game.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)