In a matter of five minutes, Neyland Stadium went from being the most electrified place in America to the most somber.

Alton "Pig" Howard's end-around in overtime was a microcosm of the Vols' entire performance against No. 6 Georgia.

A great effort, but one that came up just a bit short following a 42-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan that put an end to any hope of the Vols ending the team's now 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents.

When the game concluded, Georgia fans fled the stands as soon as possible, eager to leave the place where their team so narrowly escaped.

For Vol fans, it wasn't so easy.

Some stayed in their seats, unable to move because they were so emotionally distraught.

The ones that did get up and leave had very few words as they exited Neyland, and most of them seldom raised their heads.

"It doesn't matter. Our season is over," said one student to his friend.

Obviously, he wasn't watching the same game everyone else was and honestly that's a sentiment that should disgust almost every other orange, white or gray-clad fan that witnessed that game.

Yes, the Vols did fall to 3-3 on the season, but that's something almost everyone expected.

What they didn't expect is for the Vols to leave the Peyton Manning Locker Room the way they did.

They were crushed, but they also left as a team nobody will overlook anymore.

That's still a long way from being a contender in the SEC, but it's still a lot better than the pushover they've been in the past under Derek Dooley.

It may have been a loss but it was a step in the right direction, another "brick" to piece the program back together.

"Our fans should be exceptionally proud of this team," head coach Butch Jones said after the loss on Saturday.

After the fight this squad put up, it's hard to be anything but proud for this team that finally has that moment they can point to for proof of the future that lies ahead.

Jones wasn't the only one who took notice on Saturday.

"We are proud of our Tennessee Volunteers," exclaimed one fan as he left the game.

As this fan base should be.

And South Carolina better take notice too, or next Saturday the Gamecocks might not be as lucky to escape Neyland Stadium with a victory the way the Bulldogs did.

Upset of the Week

Last Week: Maryland over Florida State

This Week: No. 25 Missouri over No. 7 Georgia, 38-31

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel can thank the Vols if the Tigers do indeed put an end to Georgia's national title aspirations.

The losses of running back Keith Marshall and receivers Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley will severely limit how much damage UGA quarterback Aaron Murray can inflict on Missouri's defense, especially if tailback Todd Gurley is held for a second straight week.

Injuries aside, this Missouri team still proves to be a worthy opponent as the Georgia defense has struggled this season, allowing 32.2 points per game, while the Tigers offense is firing on all cylinders – they are eighth in the nation, averaging 46.6 points per game – after dismantling Vanderbilt last week, 51-28.

Troy Provost-Heron attended the UT-Georgia game as a fan. He is a sophomore in journalism and electronic media. He can be reached at tprovost@utk.edu and followed on Twitter @TPro_UTDB.