The Sports 180, a sports talk show on UT's flagship station WNML in Knoxville has a weekly spot on Fridays where CBSsports.com's Barrett Sallee comes on and talks college football.
They discussed the upcoming game with Georgia and Sallee had a very interesting take. He said that the Vols had "no chance of even competing" against the Bulldogs.
Just like the infamous rapper Dylan, that's some hot fire, man.
I'll admit, I was taken aback when I heard him say that. I wasn't expecting UT to win by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely expected them to compete.
That lasted for maybe about a quarter and a half before I realized that Sallee was right.
I know what grade he'd give the Vols for Saturday's performance.
The offense has officially become the achilles heel of this team.
Don't get me wrong - John Kelly is an absolute stud, Quinten Dormady has a lot of talent, and the rest of the players are all good kids and have talent - but something just isn't clicking with this unit.
The first play of the game was an interception for Georgia after Dormady stared down his receiver for way too long. It allowed the defensive back to undercut the route and make the play.
Dawgs can't fully capitalize on McGhee's interception but great start for the defense. pic.twitter.com/C02U3aIgQC— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) September 30, 2017
This play pretty much summed up the entire game for the offense. Nothing got better. You could make a good argument that things actually got worse.
Tennessee had just 54 yards of total offense at the half through nine possessions. Gaining six yards per drive won't win you any games in the SEC, much less anywhere else in college football.
The Vols only had one drive go longer than 28 yards and that drive ended in a fumble by Kelly. The only other time the Vols were able to get into any type of scoring position was after defensive back Justin Martin picked off Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to give UT the ball on the Georgia 27-yard line.
And that opportunity was squandered in quite possibly the worst imaginable way. Just to make things worse, Tennessee found a way to redefine the Mark Sanchez classic Butt Fumble.
Dormady continued his regression and basically drug the offense down with him. There were plenty of errant throws, bad reads, and mistakes made on his end that stalled drives or led to turnovers for the Vols.
Usually home field advantage gives you at least a touchdown on the scoreboard, but Tennessee couldn't even pull that off.
Final Grade: (0.0) (F)
Give the defense some credit. They were instantly put in a bad spot when Dormady threw his first interception and came away with a big stop after allowing a field goal. Four of the next five drives netted Georgia a turnover, four three-and-outs and just three total yards.
The defense tried their best to hold their own and until late in the second quarter, they were able to do so. The Vols were in the right positions to make plays at certain points, but good play calling and even better playmaking ability from Georgia curtailed any solid defensive effort from Tennessee.
But we all know that this team cannot rely solely on the defense - they must have help from the offense, and they did not get any help at all against Georgia.
They were able to get a couple sacks and an interception in the first half, but that was really the only bright spots as Georgia took advantage of good field position all night and ended up hanging 41 Tennessee.
Final Grade: 2.0 (C)
The special teams were primarily non-existent, other than punter Trevor Daniel and kicker Aaron Medley's kickoff after halftime.
Daniel did pretty well. He averaged close to 47 yards per punt (not a net statistic) and had a long of 56 yards. Quite a few of his punts went a bit further than they should have and allowed Georgia to have success on some of their returns, but other than that it was a pretty solid day for the special teams.
Final Grade: 3.0 (B)
Honestly, I did not think the coaching was that bad during the beginning of the game. There were plenty of moments when the play call worked, the players simply did not execute. I mentioned Dormady's struggles with accuracy earlier and that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to his poor play.
The players did not execute whatsoever, but at the same time, its the coaching staff’s responsibility to put the best 22 players on the field that can execute the plays. Th players also did not seem interested in playing the game to begin with.
At the end of the day, the players failed the coaches but the coaches also failed the players.
Final Grade: 0.5 (F)
Overall Grade: 1.38 (D-)
You can definitely make the case that this was an F performance, but the offense os what killed this team. The defense and special teams did OK for the most part, but still left alot to be desired.
This was by far the Vols worst performance of the season.