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Hot Mic Catches Broadcasters After Tennessee/Pittsburgh

Tennessee Pittsburgh
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel against Pittsburgh. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee found a statement win early in the season against No. 17 Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.

While there is plenty to talk about from an in-game perspective, there was also an interesting moment on the ABC/ESPN broadcast after the final whistle blew. After rightfully spotlighting the broadcasters throughout the game, the red light was left on a little too long on Saturday, resulting in a hot mic situation for about a minute after the game ended.

The camera and microphones were still picking up ESPN broadcasters Sean McDonough and Todd Blackledge as they chatted about their thoughts at the end of the game.

“It was all set up for the storybook ending,” McDonough was picked up saying about Pittsburgh. “Frank Cignetti [Jr.] dials it up for the backup quarterback in there. I’ve got to give [Nick] Patti credit, he battled.”

“They’re rather pedestrian though,” Blackledge responded. “I mean, [Pittsburgh] averaged five yards a play for the game.”

See the full minute below:

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Ultimately, McDonough has the story right. Pittsburgh was set up for a storybook ending with a backup quarterback who was leading his team from behind for an improbable comeback. Not to mention, Pitt was also playing with added weight after the announcement of the passing of Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti’s father earlier on Saturday.

Throw in the fact that it was the second game of a home-and-home and in front of a roaring home crowd in the finale of the Johnny Majors Classic, and those are certainly the ingredients for a storybook ending.

But, in the end, Pittsburgh didn’t get a happy ending to their story. The Tennessee defense did not allow that to happen.

This is the type of game that Tennessee has often lost in recent history. The Vols haven’t been great at winning close games in the last few years, which has given plenty of teams the chance to successfully complete the narrative of that game. What we saw on Saturday, though, was different.

Pittsburgh was set up for the storybook ending until the Tennessee defense put a stop to the Panthers’ offense when it mattered most.

Tennessee’s defense may have bent some in the final drive of overtime, but they did not break. And that’s what matters.

Pittsburgh’s offense was eight yards away from extending the game until Tennessee safety Trevon Flowers tackled those dreams away with a 12-yard sack on quarterback Nick Patti. The Panthers’ next pass was incomplete and the celebration was on for the storybook-denying Volunteers.

Watch out for the hot mic next time, ESPN!

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8 Responses

  1. Blackledge is a bum…I never liked him anyways. Don’t let these biased announcers call these games. Go VOLS

  2. Who cares what the announcers have to say anyway? The game results speak for themselves. Announcers are supposed to give color to the game play, not give us their opinions about the teams. Seems like ESPN has overstepped their position like MSM have with politics.

  3. Ut is undisciplined, offense goes backward more than forward. They tried to give the game to Pitt but the qb couldnt move. They will struggle in the SEC.

  4. The announcers are all Democrats. The make all games political. Just like the leader board in golf. It shows favoritism

  5. Whatever but Blackledge’s Taste of the Town is a Classic . Has he ever won an Emmy for it ? He should !

  6. Say what you want about Todd Blackledge , his Tastes Of The Towns are classic . He should get an Emmy for them !

  7. What I saw was a very good Tenn team out muscle a very good Pitt team. As good as both teams are, Tenn was obviously faster snd stronger.
    I question how a team can be the returning acc Champs and not have a field goal kicker. I saw a coach who was overly emotional from the beginning.

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