In 2009, there had been no glaring social media revelation in the days leading up to the game.
Instead, when the South Carolina No.22 came to Neyland Stadium on Halloween 12 years ago, rumors of another black jersey seemed to be put to bed when Tennessee was on Shields-Watkins Field. working out before the game in their traditional orange jerseys.
Corn Kiffin Lane knew what his players wanted. And he found a way to give it to them.
“It’s a game of players, and our players have been begging them for a while,” Kiffin said at his post-match press conference.
The jerseys were rushed into production on match week – this was Tennessee’s first time wearing black since 1922 – then donned by the Vols as they exited the locker room and crossed the “T” formed by Pride. of the Southland Band just before kick-off.
The new look worked as expected. Tennessee took a 21-0 lead over the ranked Gamecocks and walked away with a 31-13 victory on a rainy, dark Halloween night in Knoxville.
“I think it gave us energy,” Kiffin said. “I think you saw it in the way they came out and played early.”
Jonathan crompton completed 12 of 24 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns and Montario Hardesty worn 23 times for 121 yards and two other scores. Austin Johnson hit a 38-yard touchdown and Rico mccoy forced two fumbles in victory.
It was 14-0 after just four minutes of play and was 21-0 by the time the second quarter was four minutes old. The lead was 28-6 at the end of the third quarter, when Hardesty added his second touchdown of the night.
Chad Cunningham added a 39-yard field goal with 4:23 left in the fourth quarter.
Hardesty and All-American defensive back Eric Berry, the captains of Tennessee, would have approached the sporting director Mike Hamilton on the Wednesday before the game asking to wear a black uniform.
Although an adidas logo was affixed to the black jersey, they were produced by a local Knoxville company. The players also wanted black pants, but they couldn’t be produced so quickly. The traditional white helmet, with the orange stripe and the Power T, was worn with the black jersey and orange pants.
“The guys were excited and I think it gave us a little more excitement and got us ready to play,” said the Tennessee defensive tackle. Dan Williams said after.
South Carolina, eliminated from the SEC East title race with loss, returned the ball four times and finished 4 for 15 on the third down.
“Like I told the guys, if we’re going to win some of these games against good teams, we have to play well,” said the South Carolina coach at the time. Steve spurrier noted. “We had turnovers, a recalled punt return, had a few opportunities here and there, but we didn’t execute.”
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Tennessee announced Wednesday that the Vols will wear black again on Saturday against South Carolina, when the Vols (3-2, 1-1 SEC) host the Gamecocks (3-2, 0-2) for a kick. dispatch at noon Eastern Time (TV: ESPN2) to Neyland Stadium.
The alternative Nike “Dark Mode” uniform consists of black jerseys with orange numbers, black pants with two orange stripes and white helmets with a black mask and a black border on the orange stripe of the helmet and an orange Power T.