Tennessee‘s woes continue at South Carolina. All Tennessee had to do to win the division was win out and have Florida lose one SEC game. Those hopes are now all but dashed. Tennessee fell to South Carolina Saturday night 24-21 in Columbia. Tennessee must win out and have Florida lose two SEC games now. That is possible, as Florida still has Arkansas and LSU to play, but isn’t likely with how Florida’s defense.
Turn Up The Heat
With this loss, Butch Jones is on the hot seat. Fans in Knoxville are not happy and rightfully so. This was supposed to be “the year” for Tennessee. Just a few weeks ago, Tennessee was 5-0 and #9 in the nation. This team had to have some luck just to get there though. They could easily be 3-5 instead of 5-3. All Georgia had to do was defend a Hail Mary. All Appalachian State had to do was kick an extra point or recover a fumble. With the talent on this team, it’s inexcusable the way this year has gone. There have been several injuries, yes, but you can only use that as an excuse for so long.
With the talent Tennessee has, the Georgia and Appalachian State games really shouldn’t have been close. The second half against Florida was what this team could’ve been all year. Why they didn’t play like that all year is mind boggling. Joshua Dobbs played easily his worst game of his career last night. Mike Debord’s offensive play calling has been criticized since he got here and was on display again last.
Debord simply doesn’t have what it takes to win in the SEC. Jones could lose his job if he doesn’t get rid of him at the end of the season. Jones can still succeed here at Tennessee, but it won’t be with Debord. The play calls are very predictable and with the talent the offense has, it’s inexcusable. Not to mention Dan Mahoney, the offensive line coach, has not improved this line at all since he’s been here.
Lack Of Discipline
Under Jones, Tennessee has been very disciplined. This year is a different story and it’s tough to figure out why. Time and time again, penalties have hurt this team. Tennessee has also los the turnover battle this season. There were more costly turnovers last night. Two of them were bad mistakes by Dobbs through the air.
Having said all this, credit needs to be given to South Carolina. They played a great game and were ready for this game. Something that can’t be said for Tennessee. Even more disappointing was the fact that the Vols were coming out of a bye week. Jones must now get this team together and win out. Tennessee shouldn’t lose another game. If they do, this coaching staff may not be around much longer. They have too much talent to fold like that. It’s just unnecessary how this team continues to play uninspired.