99 weeks or 693 days; We Have Risen
There won't be much time to celebrate. Auburn is a dwindling team on a downward trend. The Vols hadn't won an SEC game in 11 games, 99 weeks, or 693 days. We are still going to lose to Alabama this upcoming week. We are still trash. We got lucky. We are losers.
All of these are things I've read involving the game, but none of those things matter to us Volunteer fans. We have ended the streak, the first step in my opinion to a turn around. We looked good. Tyson Helton called a smooth game. Jarrett Guarantano had the best game of his career going 21-32 (65.3& CMP%) 328 yards 2 TD and 0 INT. Jauan (Clutch Time) Jennings was back in full effect and the team chemistry never looked greater.
It was a great day to be a Volunteer at a time when we needed it the most. With this win the talk of Post Season Bowl Games are back. Talk of a winning record is back. And the Vols seem to have found some light in the dimmest time in UT Football history. Not by just beating a team to end the losing streak but a Top 25 team at that.
To those Vol fans still here, still standing tall, strong, and proud I commend you. There are no fans more loyal and greater than us Volunteers. We all keep believing no matter who is at the helm. There is a lot to be said about a person and their pride for East Tennessee, and the Tennessee Volunteers. It falls second to none. So for every Vols fan reading this I want to personally thank you for being here at a time when the program needs you the most.
All we can do now is put the losing streak in the past and take each week one step at a time. Nothing will be given this season. There are no guaranteed victories left (except Charlotte) so I recommend taking each victory as if it was your first and basking it in from week to week.
I don't want to make this into a prediction article, but I will tell you this, none of this will be easy. At the chance of having Kentucky and Vanderbilt lengthen their winning streaks against of, is nothing but more hurt that no Vols fan wants to hear, but it very well could happen. Our best case scenario after the Alabama game is that we can end our win-less streak vs Will Muschamp coached teams by defeating South Carolina. That would give us a 2 game winning streak, and confidence, going into the Kentucky vs Tennessee game (which is at home). It's hard to believe if we ran the table that we could be 8-4 going into bowl season. It would be an amazing first year for Jeremy Pruitt and his Vols. Tho its not in the most likely scenario, it is still a very real possibility and that's what Volunteer fans need the most. Hope. Something that has seemed to evade us these past two years. A belief in things getting better. Hope in victory, Hope in improvement.
This season won't be remembered as one of the greatest in Tennessee history. It won't have a banner hung up for years to come so people can remember the legacy it left behind. It's not a season we will brag about to opposing SEC and football fans in the work place, but maybe this season can have a special feeling to it if we allow it.
Maybe this will be the season that we allow ourselves to see the writing between the scores. Look a bit deeper than record to see improvement. To see the re-implementation of a winning culture at a historically dominate program. Pruitt is the man who can bring us back and this season is proof sometimes recovery isn't beautiful, but nothing about being a Volunteer usually is. Being a Volunteer is etched into our license plates and our souls. It's a sign of the warriors that live and call this state home. When the time calls there are no braver, no stronger, no tougher group of people than the residents of the wonderful state of Tennessee. We pack a stadium week in and week out with 100,000 plus fans ready for battle every given Saturday.
We are passionate winners who are willing to give all of our heart and devotion when we truly love something. So buckle up folks, the battle is upon us, and we aren't going down without a fight.