Older UT Fans Mixed Over Big Loss

Knoxville (WVLT) -- UT's 59-20 loss against Florida marks Philip Fulmer's worst in his 16 seasons as head coach of the Vols.

Tennessee's all-time biggest loss came against Georgia in 1981 by a score of 44-0 under the leadership of head coach Johnny Majors.

Today we talked to some older Tennessee fans who were around for that last loss.

They told us about who's to blame, and what it could mean for the rest of the season.

There was somewhat of a somber feeling around East Tennessee on Sunday after the Vols were decimated by the Florida Gators.

"I was really sad," said Sandy Evans. "I was really sad to see them just get slaughtered like they did."

Touchdown after touchdown, fans of the Big Orange painfully watched Florida score over and over again.

"I really was hoping Tennessee would've had better poise in being able to execute plays and look better as a team," said Greg Blakenship.

Greg is still trying to figure out what went wrong for the Orange and White.

"I don't know if it was bad coaching," he said. "The players didn't seem like they really were up for the game."

And he is one of many fans blaming the big loss on Coach Fulmer.

"I really think it is his responsibility for how the team performs and how they play," he said.

Others argue that Fulmer can only do so much.

"I think he's doing his best and I think he'll pull it out," Sandy said.

Florida fan Roy Meador is visiting Knoxville for the first time this weekend and says he will leave happier than ever.

"It was a little bit surprising," Roy said. "I didn't think Florida would take them on that much, but I was happy with the ending."

And some residents of East Tennessee bucked the trend.

"I was absolutely elated that they lost," said Gary Bowen.

Gary is not a Gator fan, he is just sick of UT Football.

He has lived in Big Orange Country for nine years and says he could care less about the Vol.

"I hope it knocks them down a notch and maybe the city will wake up a little bit and quit running around slapping each other on the butt singing Rocky Top all the time," he said.

That isn't likely as true Tennessee fans say they won't stop singing Rocky Top, no matter what the score is.

"I still love the Vols and will still root for them," said Sandy.

"I really think we have a great fan base here and I think Tennessee will continue doing well," said Greg. "And I think the fans will be right there behind them."

All the fans we spoke with say they're confident the Vols will win most of their remaining games this season, starting with Arkansas State on Saturday.


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  • by clide Location: knoxville on Sep 18, 2007 at 07:01 AM
    Like it or not, Gary is right. For nearly 32 years, I've watched the Vols run the same pattern. Their play-calling is the most predictable in the SEC. Most any second-string defense could stop the Vols. The coaches have always been conservative and seem to be afraid to mix it up and run the big plays like Florida and Georgia. When you run 2 out of 3 plays up the middle consistently (until you get behind), the cheerleaders could set up a defense. Mike Hamilton played typical UT politics when he stopped with the Randy Sanders deal. Fulmer and his staff have got their money, noww it's time to leave. Perhaps Hamilton needs to leave on the next bus also. Nothing will change until these fans cut off the money.
  • by Vol FAN Location: Knoxville on Sep 17, 2007 at 06:59 PM
    "I was absolutely elated that they lost," said Gary Bowen. Gary is not a Gator fan, he is just sick of UT Football. He has lived in Big Orange Country for nine years and says he could care less about the Vol. "I hope it knocks them down a notch and maybe the city will wake up a little bit and quit running around slapping each other on the butt singing Rocky Top all the time," he said. Every college town loves their team just like we love the Vols. If you can't depend on your hometown to cheer for you, who can you depend on? Maybe, Mr. Bowen should move elsewhere. No one is stopping him! Also, obviously, he does care or he wouldn't have had a comment.
  • by The Uncle Location: Rocky Top on Sep 17, 2007 at 01:55 PM
    It's Time To Take Control Of This Please Fire Coach Fulmer If You Agree Visit www.firefulmer.net

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