Has sophomore kicker Aaron Medley made a complete turn from goat to hero? After a tough game against Alabama saw the young kicker miss three field goals in a five-point loss, Medley has quickly erased the bad game from his memory and made his last three attempts.
If Medley had not converted both his 44 and 27-yard field goals against South Carolina, the Vols would likely not have won the game.
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So what's been the difference for the Vols' kicker the last two games?
"Just mentally zoning in to the game and taking yourself out of what happens on the field and just doing your job," Medley said after Tennessee's latest win.
The conditions of Neyland Stadium's turf were not ideal either, which can make the kicking game all the more challenging. Give the sophomore credit for not allowing the playing conditions to be an excuse for a failed kick.
"The grass was a little bot slippery tonight, but you can't let the conditions affect you, you just have to go out there and do your job," Medley said. "This just goes to show that all of our offseason training and stuff that we went through the first half of the season. It's just starting to show that we've matured."
The game was eerily similar to losses suffered by Tennessee to Oklahoma and Arkansas, after failing to hold on to large first half leads, however it appears the Vols truly are maturing with each and every week.
A win next week against North Texas, currently a 40.5-point underdog as of Sunday, and Tennessee will be going to a bowl for the second consecutive season. Earning a trip to another bowl will give the team an extra couple of weeks to improve. Just imagine how much they can accomplish with a month of extra preparation.