Once upon a time on an October afternoon in a place called Baton Rouge there was a quarterback who very nearly beat the 10th ranked college football team in all the land. The quarterback wasn't particularly highly recruited and, in fact, he could be considered an overachiever. He didn't play wonderfully that afternoon, but he made plays and kept his team competitive. Ultimately, it wasn't enough as a late defensive penalty ruined the quaterback's chance for victory. But, fans of the quarterback's team will always remember what almost happened.
If you watched Tennessee play LSU on October 2nd, 2010 then you certainly remember the outcome. If you've followed the Vols since that day it's somehow easy to forget that Matt Simms, and not Tyler Bray, led Tennessee to one of the most painful losses in school history.
Simms played well. His numbers were okay. He passed for 121 yards on 12 of 23 completions with 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown. That rushing touchdown was the biggest play of the day for the Vols. After a 71 yard drive Simms scampered into the endzone from 3 yards out and gave Tennessee a 14-10 lead. That lead looked like it might hold up until the crazy finish that proceeded.
Painful, isn't it?
Tennessee very nearly beat one of the best teams in the country last year with a quarterback who would later lose his starting job to a freshman named Tyler Bray. The Vols are a better team with Bray under center. No one would argue otherwise. Since taking the starting job Bray has led his team to a 7-3 record. Tennessee would have a better chance to beat the #1 ranked LSU Tigers this Saturday if he hadn't broken his thumb last Saturday night. But let's be honest, the chances of Tennessee beating LSU this season aren't real high regardless of who takes snaps.
I'm not sure that the Vols can win on Saturday, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Matt Simms plays well. We know he's capable. Just last year he almost won a game which ended with one of the most memorable finishes in college football history.