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One thing I notice about Butch is his unwavering confidence on the sidelines. I think the guy can flat out coach but even if he wasn't the greatest of tacticians/teachers (think Les Miles or Lane Kiffin) that confidence is contagious. Butch inherited a proud, downtrodden program that is hindered by the following: several players short of a full load of scholarship athletes, not a single player on the team part of a recruiting class ranked higher than 13th (Kiffin's #7 class disintegrated within a year), a season removed from the worst UT defense in the era of the forward pass, having to replace their QB and all of their receivers from the previous season, their 4th coach (and new staff) and thus their 4th new system in 5 years, 3 consecutive losing seasons, an increasingly frustrated fan base with the expected decrease in season tickets and donations, a brutal schedule in the ever tougher SEC plus Oregon, NCAA probation, and athletic dept financial woes. And in all that, Butch has these guys believing they can play with the best and win. And it starts with his believing in them. They see it and it shows.
It's been evolving and the team certainly didn't have that confidence in Eugene earlier this season, but Butch did. Think about yesterday - we scored only 6 points in the second half, and won. We held SC to 12 yards of total offense in the 4th quarter and two weeks in a row actually outplayed a superior team in the 4th quarter...anyone care to think back just one year in the Dooley nightmare? We punted and forced a three and out in crunch time against a Spurrier team. We came from behind two weeks in a row under circumstances that one would have to go all the way back to the Clausen years under Fulmer to find similar grit and will to win. I'm a big fan of Butch Jones, loved the hire from day one OVER Strong or Gundy, and I'm glad to see that so far, Hart was right - this was the guy we needed. Go Vols!!!
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