Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 17, 2013

We've got to step it up several notches

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — After what I had hoped was a successful meeting with the defense that will lead to much better play, the road continues to be bumpy, as the Commodores seek their first SEC win of the season. I felt a little better about the Vandy performance against Missouri after seeing what the Tigers did to Georgia in Athens.

The bad part of the big Missouri upset is that the 'Dawgs probably want to really show off against the 'Dores. I'm fairly confident though, even with Gurley expected to be back in the Georgia lineup, that Vandy will be up to the task. It all depends on the pressure they can put on Aaron Murray. The Tigers stayed in his face all day.

Missouri will have a little rougher row to hold for the next few weeks with their outstanding quarterback James Franklin sidelined. Maybe he will be back for the Tennessee game? I for one, surely hope so. He pretty well had his way with Mark Richt's bunch.

It's time to find out how Butch Jones can fare against the 'Old Ball Coach' as the Volunteers will be hosting the Gamecocks. Steve Spurrier has just about always had good fortune in this one. This year's edition of the Gamecocks is quite unpredictable as was shown by the Vanderbilt game. South Carolina and Vandy each won half of that one. I give Tennessee a pretty fair shot at winning this one primarily because it is being played in Knoxville.

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw has the ability to control a game and much of this outcome depends on him. The other unknown factor here is the health and attitude of Jadeveon Clowney. Hopefully he will be on his game for this game.

I heard from my good friend and part-time nemesis Bob Mitchell this past week, and as usual, I enjoyed conversing with him. Anyone who married his sweetheart from Celina has to be a fairly good guy. We tried to resolve the government shutdown, but finally decided to just talk football. We can't agree on either subject, but we do respect each other's opinion, I think. With his daily visitor Tom Looney, that's a whole different story. There's a lot of orange in the closets of that duo.

It was good to see Celina and Cookeville native Mack Brown pull the stunner against the Sooners. Sportswriters were writing him off just as they did Lane. Kiffin. Speaking of Lane Kiffin, where will he land next?

Let's all have another good weekend of yelling and screaming and just plain old enjoying ourselves. Somebody is going to win and that always means that someone else has to get the short end. The sun, I believe will rise on Sunday regardless.

Enjoy.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

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