Were you cussing out loud after Tennessee turned a first-and-goal from inside the one-yard-line into an epic meltdown in The Swamp Saturday evening?
You weren’t alone.
Vol Network color commentator Tim Priest was so incensed that he yelled “damn it!” on the air after junior quarterback Quinten Dormady tossed an interception on third down.
WBIR TV’s Luke Slabaugh brings us the audio recap:
Here’s Tim’s descent into madness as it unfolds over the series. 1:35 is the swelling “Dammit!” pic.twitter.com/ashCOKobGV
— Luke Slabaugh (@LukeWBIR) September 17, 2017
Priest, who is play-by-play chief Bob Kesling’s right-hand man in the broadcast booth, is an affiliate of the University of Tennessee in a round-about way. While he’s actually employed and compensated by IMG, which holds the broadcast rights for the University of Tennessee, the employees of the Vol Network — including Kesling and Priest — are approved by the university.
But Priest, an attorney who played defensive back at Tennessee in the 1960s, is known by listeners as a passionate observer of Tennessee football who wears his feelings on his sleeve and does not shy away from criticism when it is warranted.
Priest, a native of Huntingdon, Tenn., was an All-SEC defensive back and a team captain as a senior in 1970. He holds the school record for career interceptions, with 18. He married a former UT cheerleader, Betsy Minnis, and his son, Adam, played baseball at Tennessee. He joined the Vol Network team in 1999, following the retirement of John Ward and Bill Anderson.
As Tennessee began its first-and-goal series from inside the one-yard-line, Priest implored the Vols to “at least go under center.” That didn’t happen, and Tennessee didn’t hand the ball off to John Kelly, who had rushed for 25 yards on five carries on the drive up to that point. Instead, Quinten Dormady threw a jump pass to Marquez Callaway, which was almost intercepted.
When Florida was penalized for taunting, Tennessee had another opportunity to punch it in from inside the one-yard-line. Again the Vols went into a shotgun formation, but lineman Jack Jones was penalized for a false start before the snap.
After another incomplete pass from just outside the five-yard-line, Dormady’s third down pass was intercepted inside the one-yard-line.
Fans melted down on Twitter, incensed at the play-calling by Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and offensive coordinator Larry Scott.
Inside the game’s final two minutes, Tennessee again had a first-and-goal inside Florida’s 10-yard-line, and again threw three consecutive passes. All were incomplete, and the Vols had to settle for a game-tying field goal, leaving enough time on the clock for the Gators’ game-winning Hail Mary.