Mark Wiedmer: Jones' leadership looking better and better

Tennessee placekicker Michael Palardy (1) hugs Tennessee head coach Butch Jones after Tennessee beat South Carolina 23-21 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee placekicker Michael Palardy (1) hugs Tennessee head coach Butch Jones after Tennessee beat South Carolina 23-21 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Butch Jones comments UT's 23-21 win over South Carolina

KNOXVILLE — There stood Butch Jones. Atop a metal ladder. Waving his arms like Leonard Bernstein. Leading the University of Tennessee marching band, which is currently in need of a permanent leader, but probably can't afford Jones after the new football coach's team shocked No. 11 South Carolina 23-21 inside Neyland Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"Rocky Top," Jones said of his song of choice as the brief conductor of the Pride of the Southland Band. "That's the greatest song in the world."

This was the easily the greatest day in the world of UT football since the 2009 Volunteers beat the Gamecocks on Halloween night. Over the next three-plus seasons 19 straight ranked opponents had beat the Big Orange, often by wide margins.

And it certainly appeared as if such disappointment would visit the Vols again after South Carolina turned a 17-7 halftime deficit into a 21-17 lead before the third quarter ended. It was beginning to look like the painful finish of the Georgia overtime loss two weeks ago. So close ... so far ... so predictable.

Continue reading at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Comments » 3

asleep#212036 writes:

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!!!

VOLinMAHWAH writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

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!!!

Great comment 'asleep'!!

TommyJack writes:

The team has bought in. They know if they listen to the staff, they have a chance to compete in every game.

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