In the regular season finale of Coach Duggs’ 2nd season in Knoxville, #2 Tennessee hosted #24 Kentucky, with a spot in the SEC title game on the line for the Volunteers.
Luckily for Duggs, star running back Rico Burgerton was back for the game from his dislocated ankle injury.
Muj and Billy Football were back on the sideline for strategic and moral support for Duggs.
Jazz Owens opened the game with a 40 yard return continuing his special teams dominance.
Rico got back to his ways in the early going, picking up chunk yardage on his runs.
Duggs was screaming, “Rico’s back, Rico’s back!”
Tennessee’s opening drive was, as usual, defined by, “4 yards and a Cloud of Duggs.”
Owens ran in a TD from around 10 yards out to put the Volunteers up 7-0.
Star running back Larue Hart picked up a 16 yard run on Kentucky’s first play.
Kentucky has one of the most exsplosive offenses in the league led by Hart and Heisman candidate star quarterback Luis Parker.
Parker showed off his dual threat capabilities with a 16 yard scramble to bring Kentucky into the red zone on their first drive.
Parker tossed a 9 yard slant to Antonio Green to tie the game at 7.
Duggs went for it on 4th and 3 on his own 18 and converted with a 15 yard reception to Burgerton.
What a ballsy call.
Later in the drive Tennessee had a 4th and 1 around the 30 yard line and Rico barelllyyy converted on a short run.
Duggs said, “I’m playing like shit” multiple times even as Tennessee was moving the ball down the field as the 2nd quarter wound down.
He said, “I’m not feeling good about this game … I’m feeling like shit about this game.”
Cheah threw a pass that was intercepted at the goal-line on 3rd and 11.
Duggs started to veer towards MeltdownMode and ComposureCat was slipping away.
Halftime came at the perfect time for Duggs and Tennessee.
Kentucky got the ball out of half and Tennessee’s defense forced a quick 3-and-out.
Rico gained the first 38 yards of Tennessee’s next drive with 1 catch and 3 runs.
Cheah ran in an 18 yard TD untouched to make it 14-7.
Tennessee’s defense got a huge sack on 3rd and 3 to force Kentucky into a punt on their next drive.
The game was a lot less fireworks than expected considering each of the team’s prolific offenses.
Most of this was due to Duggs and Tennessee draining the clock with run after run after run after run after run.
Cheah got his 2nd rushing TD of the day with a 9 yard dash into the end zone to make it 21-7 Tennessee.
Tennessee forced Kentucky into a turnover on downs and took over possession with 1:57 left in the 4th.
Rico capped off Tennessee’s emphatic victory with an 8 yard TD run.
Kentucky drove down the field for a meaningless scoring drive with Parker completing a 5 yard TD to some guy whose name I missed.
And with that, Duggs and Tennessee have punched their ticket to the SEC title game against LSU.
So #2 Tennessee vs #6 LSU later tonight.
A win and Duggs is probably back in the National title game with a chance to avenge last year’s loss.