The Duggs Era has BEGUN.
After waiting through many long and treacherous seasons, Rocky Top finally has a reason for real hope. And it’s all because of Gus Duggerton.
The Tennessee Volunteers defeated No. 16 UCLA in tonight’s college football season opener by a score of 55-28 behind the arm of quarterback Caleb Pressley. The talk of the night, though, has to be the Vols new head coach. Coach Duggs quickly proved to the nation why he was one of the most sought after coaching targets in the world, bringing an immediate new sense of swagger to the Vols. The offense itself seemed to be utterly different in every way, as Tennessee mercilessly dropped over 50 points on their unsuspecting foe.
After snagging an endzone interception on UCLA’s opening drive, the Vols marched right down the field behind the arm of Caleb Pressley to find their first score of the Duggs era. Vols tailback Rico Burgerton had the wheels turning early, slicing and dicing his way down the field and into the endzone. Tennessee would end the first quarter leading the Bruins 7-0.
“First touchdown as a Vol feels good,” said coach Duggs following his first score with Tennessee. “Let the band play Rocky Top!” Coach Duggs new aggressive offense sparked an opening touchdown in the second quarter. Pressley found wide receiver Deion Flash for 40 yards down the field, and then only needed four more plays to heroically run it in the endzone himself on fourth down.
Into the checkerboards! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/z4SqMh3lf6
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) May 21, 2020
Following the Vols score to lead 14-0, Tennessee seemed to lose composure in the final minutes of the first half. Pressley’s untimely interception set up a 61-yard scoring drive for UCLA, but the Vols had an answer ready. With 16 seconds left in the first half, Pressley found his receiver in the back of the endzone, extending the lead to 14.
“I’m so happy I went to Tennessee,” said Duggs as he gleefully bounced into the locker room at halftime.
— Billy Stats (@BillyWilliford) May 21, 2020
The third quarter of the contest was a standstill until the end. With 56 seconds remaining in the quarter, Pressley found Stubbs for a touchdown in the back of the endzone. Tennessee would extend their lead to three scores, and neither the fans nor the team would settle back down after that.
Coach Duggs’ first game at Tennessee proved to be as electric as advertised. The Vols would go on to close out the game on a major scoring streak, but the victory was secured long before the fourth quarter started.
Duggs’ first rodeo in Knoxville went as well as anyone could have hoped for, but the story hasn’t been finished yet. Tennessee was able to prove all the doubters wrong in the first game, but with a grueling SEC schedule on the horizon, Coach Duggs will have to get his men right back to work.
“The haters don’t want to know that Tennessee is back,” said Duggs, following his first victory with the Vols. “And boy, are they back”.