Calling the 2017 University of Tennessee football season a disappointment is the understatement of the century. The Volunteers did begin the year 2-0, but then lost on a soul-crushing hail mary against Florida in the final seconds, and followed that up with a squeaker victory over a winless UMass team.
After that, it was a 41-0 thumping from Georgia and a 15-9 loss to South Carolina, both coming at home in Neyland Stadium. Next up? The Nick Saban-led Alabama Crimson Tide, who absolutely steamrolled their way to a 7-0 start, and entered Saturday's rivalry game against Tennessee as 37 point favorites. No one expected Tennessee to even make it interesting, let alone win. Apparently, nobody told Volunteer cornerback Rashaan Gaulden that.
The Tide took a quick 28-0 lead at Bryant-Denny stadium, and were going in to make it 35-0 late in the third quarter. On third and goal at the Tennessee five yard line, backup Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa slung an ill-advised pass over the middle that was intercepted by Volunteer linebacker Daniel Bituli and returned 97 yards for a Tennessee touchdown, making the score 28-6. That's when Gaulden, who did not score the touchdown, decided to flip the double birds to the Crimson Tide fans:
Bold move when your team is down three touchdowns. Boldddd move.
As expected, the Tide rolled to a 45-7 victory, covering the spread, murdering Tennessee, and likely ending the Butch Jones era in the process.