To preface this article, I'd like to begin by saying I was one of the attendees of the contentious Ole Miss - Tennessee face-off that garnered national recognition. Granted, the attention wasn't due to the gameplay or... we'll call it peculiar number of injuries sustained by Mississippi's defense or the questionably poor officiating, but rather the conduct and inexcusable behavior of around 300-400 or so fans in Neyland Stadium.
That said, it's now been a few days after the fact, and I've decided on rewatching a recording of the game to try and set the record straight of the events of that night in an (hopefully, though not likely) unbiased perspective. Many in the media assumed the onslaught of debris entering the field was solely based on a 4th and 24 play where the ball was spotted unfavorably for the Vols (even though I'm in the minority of fans who believe he was short of the line to gain). No. This is much more than that. It deals with the culmination of the curse laid upon Tennessee athletics since Lane Kiffin's appearance here as head coach, specifically being indefinitely on the receiving end of historically improbable and laughably unfortunate referee decisions and downright unlucky plays, as well as the downward spiral of the football program due to complete ineptitude of former Tennessee Athletic Director regimes (well, as well as other decision makers and boosters with too much input/power). But most importantly, last Saturday - where we didn't have our best running back, lost our best lineman on our first series of the night on a play that didn't even count, were down to walk ons playing significant minutes, and battling an unprecedented number of âinjuriesâ to Ole Miss defenders during our offensive drives... Again, despite all of that, we still should have and could have come out of that game victorious. And then, with 54 seconds left, the tension boiled over and chaos ensued.
With all of that, this article will only focus on A FEW OF the questionable calls in favor of Ole Miss, but more importantly I will be documenting all of the injuries sustained to Lane Kiffin's team (as well as time left, the result of the play, and whether the player returned to the game). Without further ado, let's dive in.