How do you spell “frustrated”?
I thought a good way to close the chapter on Saturday’s loss to Florida was to comment on the thoughtful and insightful comments posted to the previous blog. So, here we go…
strangest game i’ve watched in a while………………..
Any low-scoring affair in the modern game will look somewhat strange. The low scoring in this game was a combination of good defensive play and really awful offensive play. It wasn’t a “good” game in my book, at least how it was played on the field. But what it lacked in execution was substituted with pure passion — the players and the fans. It was a PASSIONATE game.
disheartening to say the least….
offensive line is a dumpster fire…
Disheartening is a very apt description. Part of that comes from the expectations…
This subject of expectations is provocative because if someone were to say to a Vol fan “your expectations are way too high”, that will more than likely be met with a dismissive if not angry response. But I think it is a fair question nonetheless.
“It is just a matter of time before Tennessee reclaims its rightful place in college football.” This is a very common mindset in the VolNation. Personally, I choose to carry that with me as a belief because if it isn’t true, what is the point in investing time and emotionally energy as a fan? But the objective fact is that there is no guarantee that Tennessee will ever get back to winning conference championships with the chance at national titles. Your “rightful place” is what you earn in the moment, not by some view of history.
A lot of right things have to happen to get back to that premier level. It might not happen, in your lifetime, in my lifetime. Have we every seriously thought this? Recently, I have.
Regarding the OL, Coach Jones said in today’s presser that the OL is what it is, and there is no other option. It a lot of ways, it is very bad timing. You never really want to have all of your starters to be of the same graduating class, for many reasons. Especially now.
What is worse, I think, is that we simply cannot run the football in any sustainable way. That puts more pressure on the OL and the QB they are trying to protect. I think this is what will relegate the Vols to yet another bowl-less season. The defense can’t win games for you — Saturday was glaring proof of that.
It will take a long time getting over that one. I understand that it takes time, but everyone was ready for a big win. This was the perfect time for it. Butch has a lot of momentum built up with recruiting, but people are tired of losing seasons. Everyone thought this was the chance to get that sixth win. Now, I am not so sure we will get five. Kentucky looks pretty good.
That is another thing. Several second year coaches have made great strides on the field, and UT is still struggling. Having Derek Dooley was like being given the Death Penalty.
Everybody was indeed ready for a big win on Saturday. Just like the same teams and stadium two years ago.
Six wins is going to be very difficult, and more difficult than most would have predicted at the beginning of this season, mostly because of Ole Miss and Kentucky.
And, yes, a lot of blame can be put at the feet of the Dooley years. We just have to crawl out of that hole, a hole that is perhaps a lot deeper and more expansive than many thought it was. A look to the early Johnny Majors years are very instructive to how long it can take to become a significant force in the college game. And that was back when the SEC wasn’t as good as it is now. Nearly a decade to get from rock bottom to a conference championship. This could take longer.
We still have amazing fans: I was at the game (the beneficiary of two tickets at the last minute), and the orange/white checkerboard pattern in the stadium was a thing to marvel at; it looked great in pictures, but seeing it in person was fantastic.
We still have some amazing freshmen: TK Jr. had tremendous game, with an interception and a sack; he has a truly great future as a Vol. Jalen Hurd also is one tough guy; I wish that he had a better offensive line to run behind, but that will, hopefully, come with time.
We still have a hard row to hoe to get to a bowl game: four wins to get to six overall victories doesn’t look as easy as it did on Saturday before the kickoff against the Gators. Where are the easy victories in the rest of the schedule? I saw where UTC has a stud quarterback; can we write them off as a W? Ole Miss is sky-high, and unless they implode they should dominate us in Oxford. Alabama is going to show no mercy to anyone that they play for the rest of the season, after losing to Ole Miss yesterday. South Carolina is, surprisingly to me, looking more and more like a very beatable team after getting manhandled by . . . Kentucky!?! And speaking of Kentucky, at least we play them here, we might need the home field advantage against a team that took the Florida Gators into overtime in Gainesville. Mizzou with Maty Mauk at QB cannot be classified as a likely W. Then there’s Vanderbilt, which ought to be a lock for a W. But can you see four probable wins in the rest of the schedule? I am having a hard time doing so.
The Vol fanbase is incredible. The look of the checkerboard grandstands was one of the most wonderful sights I can remember. The million dollar question is how long can the fans, including the students, hang in there this season? Butch Jones pretty much pleaded with the fans shortly after Saturday’s loss.
There certainly is a lot of promise on the field in those freshman. Who knows but that we’ll have a second coming of those “Flaming Sophomores”.
We need four wins to go bowling. Let’s say two are Chattanooga and Vanderbilt. That leaves just two more. Two from the following: Ole Miss, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri. We may have to beat South Carolina down in Columbia to get it done. Otherwise, it will have to be wins over the Cats and Mizzou late in the season. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but at this juncture, it’s not probable.
No offensive line and no offensive play caller.
The coaching staff… I never know what to say regarding a coaching staff’s play-calling and strategy and personnel choices. I listened to the Monday press conference, and I think it was Jason Swain who asked why not use a fullback as an offensive lineman… CBJ has the perfect response: “Who do you want me to use?”
I really don’t know. But the interesting part of the point Brscoggins is making is that Jones brought in “his guys” when he came to Tennessee. It will be interesting to see if/how long it takes Coach Jones to fire his first assistant.
Great comments from great followers. Hanging in there with this team will be well worth our time. At least that’s what I’m choosing to believe.