Throughout a football season, every team will take a bye week. The bye week serves as a chance for teams to recover mentally and rest physically for the remaining games ahead. This week the Tiger Shirt Tour is on a bye week, and I’ll be heading to north Louisiana for an engagement party. Much like a typical football team’s bye week, it’s strategically placed close to the midway point. It’s been whirlwind through the first six weeks of the Tiger Shirt Tour. I’ve witnessed thrilling football games at nearly every stop. Last second wins, chaotic comebacks, wild finishes – you name it, and already I’ve seen it occur firsthand during the first half of my trek through the Southeastern Conference this fall (By the way, if you’re not following me on Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat or Facebook, you’re missing out on some great #TigerShirtTour photos).
Let’s recap the first six games of the Tiger Shirt Tour:
The No. 9 ranked Volunteers trailed App State (a Sun Belt opponent) for nearly three and a half quarters until quarterback Joshua Dobbs finally completed a touchdown pass to force overtime. In overtime, Tennessee recovered one of the luckiest fumbles I’ve ever seen to ultimately survive the Mountaineers and remain unbeaten…
Kentucky proved once again why it will never be more than a basketball school with its epic second half collapse against Southern Miss. In his first game as an FBS head coach, Jay Hopson led the Golden Eagles into Lexington and emerged with the school’s first victory over an SEC opponent since 2000, ripping off 34 unanswered points en route to a 44-35 victory. #MustardBuzzards
September 10 – Eastern Michigan vs. Missouri – This game was not chaotic, just a good old fashioned rent-a-win beat down by the Tigers.
The Gamecocks posted 17 first quarter points, but won on the shoulders of a stubborn defense that forced the Pirates to settle for field goals most of the evening. ECU struck late to make it a 20-15 one score game, but failed to convert the ensuing onside kick, allowing the USCe fans relish in “Sandstorm” all night long.
The Battle on the Plains did not disappoint, as the Tigers vs. Tigers slugfest produced another SEC thriller. LSU thought it had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last second touchdown pass from Danny Etling to DJ Chark. Alas, LSU was a second short of victory, as the Tigers failed to get the snap off in time to legally run the final play. Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson scored all 18 of the Tigers’ points on six field goals, while LSU failed to score a fourth-quarter point for fourth straight game in 2016. The clock management woes finally caught up with LSU coach Les Miles, and he was fired the next day, ushering in the Ed Orgeron era in Baton Rouge. And the Toomer’s Corner tree was lit on fire following the game.
The Tennessee – Georgia clash will go down in the history books as one of the most thrilling finishes in SEC football history. The final three minutes were an absolute roller-coaster of emotional lunacy. The Vols grabbed their first lead (28-24) in the game with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter after recovering UGA freshman quarterback Jacob Eason’s fumble in the end zone. On the ensuing Bulldog drive, Eason throws an interception. All hope seems lost for the Dawgs, but Georgia’s defense forces a UT punt. Exhibiting the poise of a veteran signal caller, Eason orchestrates a comeback drive, hitting Riley Ridley for a 47-yard touchdown with 10 seconds to play. Sanford Stadium is an absolute madhouse, but not so fast my friend. The Vols have time for one more play following a solid kick return and favorable field position in Georgia territory. UT quarterback Joshua Dobbs heaves a 43-yard hail mary to the end zone and the seconds seem to crawl by as the ball soars through the air. Touchdown! The Vols remain unbeaten in thrilling fashion…
By far the wildest college football game ending I’ve ever witnessed in person. Will one of the remaining nine games of the Tiger Shirt Tour top the UT-UGA clash in terms of pure excitement? I sure hope so.
Have a great weekend everyone!