From being the second ranked high school kicker in the nation; to the bench; to the Twitter hashtag “Palardy like a Rockstar.” It’s been an up and down career for Tennessee senior kicker Michael Palardy. He finally had his shining moment on Saturday, nailing his first game winning field goal in the Vols 23-21 victory over South Carolina.
The kick was his third field goal of the day. The Coral Springs, Fla. native also played a huge role in the field position battle. Palardy pinned the Gamecocks inside their own 20-yard line six times.
“The biggest thing with me is how confident I was going onto the field on Saturday,” Palardy said at Monday’s press conference.
That confidence wasn’t always there for Palardy. He missed three extra points last season and was replaced by walk-on kicker Derrick Brodus early in the year. The criticism poured in from fans and media.
From the Times Free Press
In three games last October, three quarterbacks set their career highs in passing yardage against Tennessee’s defense.
And that was before the Volunteers allowed Troy to throw for 496 yards.
It’s been a totally different story for Tennessee’s secondary this month.
Neither Georgia’s Aaron Murray nor South Carolina’s Connor Shaw cracked the 200-yard mark against Tennessee, which now faces Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron in visiting the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
“I think it’s just confidence,” safety Brian Randolph said following Tennessee’s practice Tuesday. “We have a lot of confidence back there. We made some big plays earlier in the year, and that did a good thing for our mental game. We know we can go out there and do it.
Tennessee center Mercedes Russell will begin her college career as the Lady Vols’ most heralded incoming freshman since Candace Parker, a player she grew up idolizing and recently met.
Russell was on vacation this summer when she stopped by a Los Angeles Sparks practice and spoke briefly with the 6-foot-4 Parker, a WNBA most valuable player and two-time Olympic gold-medal winner.
“She told me just to work hard,” said Russell, who stands 6-6.
From Rant Sports
The Tennessee Volunteers earned the biggest win of the Butch Jones Era on Saturday, when the Vols upset the 11th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, 23-21. Kicker Michael Palardy kicked a 19-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Vols to the upset victory.
It was nearly the second victory in a row over a Top 25 opponent for the Vols. The previous week, Tennessee had the Georgia Bulldogs down late in the game, but could not put them away, losing 34-31 in overtime.
From the last two games, it’s clear that the Volunteers are buying into Jones and his system. In fact, Tennessee has come a long way since a 59-14 blowout at the hands of the Oregon Ducks in week three. Since that game, the Vols are 2-1, including those tight contests with Georgia and South Carolina.