Years later, head ball coach still makes Vols bristle
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The head ball coach remains the most reviled Gators figure in Knoxville, according to a random fan poll conducted Saturday afternoon outside Neyland Stadium.
But one of the runners-up may surprise you. Like the head ball coach, he flung some shade toward the Vols a time or two.
But unlike Spurrier, he failed to back it up.
Yep, Jalen Tabor’s arrogance and sound bites from two seasons ago remain vivid in Vols fans’ minds.
“He ran his mouth,” longtime UT fan Mark Markham said.
Markham was among more than 30 Vols fans polled in the tailgate areas outside the stadium a few hours before kickoff. Tabor generated more votes than Tim Tebow or Urban Meyer (neither of whom lost to UT), possibly because the freshness hasn’t quite worn off the outspoken cornerback’s comments.
In the summer of 2016, he spoke extensively of what was then an 11-game Gators win streak against UT, and boasted of extending it to 12.
Then, he surrendered a 67-yard touchdown pass as the Vols scored 38 unanswered points in a 38-28 victory in Knoxville that September.
“He ran his (expletive) mouth, then he got his ankles broken,” said one