Tennessee fans are disappointed today after a 27-24 loss to South Carolina on Saturday. The Vols were simply outplayed in the 2nd half blowing a 21-9 lead, and the defense completely fell apart. It was nightmare of a night for Vol fans, who want to forget about Saturday as fast as possible.
Starting QB, Jarrett Guarantano, went 27 of 39 for 207 yards, and Tim Jordan led the Vols in rushing yards with 12 carries for 62 yards. Meanwhile, Marquez Callaway seemed to be the Vols’ man on the outside with 9 receptions for 86 yards, coming through countless times on 3rd down for Tennessee. Unlike the Auburn game, Guarantano only went deep twice both passes were incomplete intended for Josh Palmer.
While there are many positives to see from the Vols’ trip to Columbia, negatives seem to outweigh them, as it is best for Jeremy Pruitt’s squad to simply forget about this game and start preparing for Charlotte. Tennessee is in great need of a blowout victory and a game vs Charlotte seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
After the Vols’ clash with the 49ers of Charlotte, Kentucky comes to town for seemingly the biggest game remaining on the schedule. Kentucky will likely be banged up after battling with Georgia, which could result in a upset opportunity for the Volunteers. Kentucky’s offense is very one dimensional — the key to beating Kentucky is simple, stop Benny Snell, and you stop Kentucky. However, it is extremely concerning to think of what Benny Snell Jr. can do to Tennessee’s run defense after South Carolina rushed for 224 vs the Vols. In the end, it will be difficult but the Kentucky game is winnable.
After the Kentucky rivalry game, the Vols stay home to take on the Missouri Tigers, in Neyland. Tennessee gave up some explosive plays to South Carolina’s struggling offense, so it is naturally concerning to think about what Drew Lock and Mizzou’s offense, which thrives off of explosive plays, can do to Tennessee. However, Tennessee’s offense should have its way with with the Tigers defense, as you should expect a very high scoring shootout. The Volunteers’ defense will have to improve greatly if they want to slow down Drew Lock and the Missouri offense.
Tennessee’s final game will be an instate rivalry game, as the Vols travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. Vandy has had its way with Tennessee for the past 2 games, as Jeremy Pruitt’s team is looking to end a 2 game losing skid to the Commodores. Other than the Charlotte game, Vanderbilt is the easiest game remaining on the schedule. The Vols will need to get pressure to disrupt Kyle Shurmur in the pocket. In the end, this game is very winnable, and if Tennessee can take down Vanderbilt it would be a statement win for Jeremy Pruitt and his team.
All in all, despite the loss to South Carolina, Tennessee still has a lot of opportunities remaining in the schedule. Tennessee can still get to a bowl game, but they have to have a short memory.