Saturday, November 19, 2011
Vols win on late interception
By Chris Low
Tennessee picked up its first SEC win of the season Saturday, although the Vols' 27-21 victory over Vanderbilt was not without controversy.
Eric Gordon returned a Jordan Rodgers interception 90 yards for a touchdown on the first possession of overtime. Initially, the officials on the field ruled that Gordon's knee was down, which would have ended Vanderbilt's possession and given the ball to Tennessee on the Commodores' 25.
The play was reviewed, though, and several different replays clearly showed that neither of his knees touched the ground, only his hand.
However, a whistle could also clearly be heard, even though head referee Marc Curles said in announcing that the play was being reviewed that it had not been blown dead on the field.
Again, though, if you go back and watch it, it certainly looks like an official is running up to mark the play dead, and there's no mistaking the whistle.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was incensed. He ripped off his headset and went storming across the field.
Both teams were guilty of critical errors.
Rodgers was intercepted three times. The Commodores missed two field goals, and a long pass play to the Tennessee 1-yard line was called back because of a clip way behind the play on Vanderbilt offensive lineman Josh Jelesky.
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, returning to action after missing the last five games with a broken thumb, was intercepted twice by Archibald Barnes. He returned his second pick 100 yards for a touchdown. That's after returning his first pick 28 yards to the Vols' 6-yard line, setting up the Commodores' first touchdown.
Both teams need to win next week to become bowl eligible. Tennessee travels to Kentucky, while Vanderbilt goes to Wake Forest.