The Tennessee Volunteers were defeated by Alabama and Georgia Bulldogs in their respective college football games. In this piece we’ll look at what went wrong for Tennessee, their defensive woes, and the Heisman Trophy winner’s visit to Knoxville. We’ll also discuss what to expect from the Vols going forward. After all, the Vols are coming off a defeat in the Big Ten Championship and are on the brink of another one.
tennessee volunteers come back to beat Alabama
It’s a long shot, but Tennessee is capable of coming back to beat Alabama this season. The Volunteers are 5-0, and they’ve beaten SEC powerhouses LSU and Florida. A win will give Tennessee a huge boost and help them reach the College Football Playoff.
The Volunteers were able to win this game because of their offense. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker threw for 385 yards and five touchdowns, including one of them to Jalen Hyatt. The Volunteers’ longest scoring drive was four minutes and 23 seconds, and each of their other scoring drives lasted between two minutes and one minute. The Alabama defense allowed 12.5 points per game and committed 17 penalties for 130 yards. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young returned from an injury and threw for four55 yards and two touchdowns to nine different receivers.
Since the first meeting in 1901, Alabama and Tennessee have met 104 times. The Crimson Tide have a 15-game winning streak. They have won more games against each other than any other program. And they have tied twice in the last two seasons. Historically, Tennessee has outscored Alabama in most meetings.
Earlier this season, the Volunteers had beaten Alabama only once in the SEC, but the Volunteers came back to defeat Alabama for the first time since 2006. The Volunteers’ last-second field goal, by Chase McGrath, gave the Volunteers a 52-49 victory.
The Volunteers’ win over Alabama was the biggest event to happen to Tennessee fans in the state since the birth of Dolly Parton. Cigar-smoking fans rushed the field and tore down the goal posts. They even threw the goal posts into the Tennessee River. And the Vols’ administration couldn’t help but get caught up in the moment.
Tennessee regained the lead early in the fourth quarter. Hooker’s 78-yard pass to Hyatt set a school record. Hooker then connected with Hyatt again to give Tennessee a 42-35 lead with 14:01 left. However, Alabama tied it up with a one-yard touchdown pass by Young and the resulting extra point.
Tennessee’s defense struggles
Tennessee’s pass defense has struggled against opponents this season. The Vols have allowed just four passing plays of 40 yards or more. This ranks them 33rd in FBS, and is tied for 18th nationally. Tennessee also hasn’t been able to convert pressure into sacks. The offensive line, however, has looked strong. Tennessee’s wide receivers have struggled to create separation.
Last season, Tennessee’s offensive line was good at limiting the opposition’s run game. However, it had problems protecting Hooker from blitzes and had issues with pass protection. The offensive line is much improved this year, and the Titans aren’t getting pushed back on the line of scrimmage as often. Tennessee’s line has also improved in communication. It seems like a balanced unit, which makes defensive coordinator Tim Banks’ job easier.
Against the Gators, Tennessee’s run game is the key to the Vols’ success. The Vols average 187.9 yards per game, which is good for sixth in the SEC. With McCollough back and Shemar James playing alongside him, Tennessee is hoping to take advantage of the Gators’ weakness against the run. This might mean the difference between victory and defeat for the Vols.
The Vols’ best chance this season hinges on their No. 1 offense. It’s clear Heupel is a big influence. His Air Raid scheme and Art Briles’ up-tempo offense are both hallmarks of Leach’s offense. If he can keep the Vols’ offense in check, they have the best chance of winning.
Tennessee’s offense showed signs of life on the ground against the Crimson Tide. It put up 52 points in the second half despite having a weak defense. The Vols had a lot of big plays and big gains. Their receivers were not in short supply, and Florida didn’t have the personnel to match them. In fact, Justin Shorter had seven receptions, and both tight ends combined for five catches. Tennessee’s offense looked great, but their lack of depth will continue to cost the Gators game.
Tennessee’s offense isn’t as efficient against Missouri as it has been against Auburn. They struggled to slow the Tennessee offense, and they ended up allowing 3 touchdowns in the first half. Their offense found plenty of soft spots in the secondary, but Alabama stopped the bleeding with a pick-six by DeMarco Hellams. They also got a big play on defense from Dallas Turner, who recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown.
Vols lost to Georgia Bulldogs
The Tennessee Volunteers’ offensive performance was lacking in this loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. The offense couldn’t get off to a fast start, and the Bulldogs’ secondary dominated the Tennessee receiving corps. Georgia won numerous one-on-one battles and broke up three passes. The secondary was a key contributor in the game, allowing Georgia to win the turnover battle and score a touchdown.
The Volunteers entered the game with the highest scoring offense in the country, but Georgia’s defense dominated Tennessee and held the Volunteers to just 13 points. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was held scoreless through three quarters, and the Bulldogs converted 7 of 12 third downs.
The Volunteers’ loss was a blow to their hopes of winning a national championship. They fought valiantly, but their offensive line was suffocated by the Bulldogs, and they only managed a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Despite this, the Volunteers’ runner-up status in the AP poll was wiped out by Georgia.
Though the Volunteers’ College Football Playoff hopes are still in question, it is important to remember that Georgia only has three winnable games left. They face the Kentucky Wildcats, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and if they win all three of these games, they will earn a spot in the SEC championship game. Tennessee’s path to the College Football Playoff will be much rockier after this loss to the Bulldogs.
The Tennessee Volunteers have dropped three spots in the AP poll following their Week 10 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. The Volunteers began the season ranked No. 1 in the first poll. However, they have since lost several games that have dropped them to the bottom of the rankings.
The Tennessee Volunteers have five ranked wins this season. However, they will likely fall out of the top spot after Georgia’s dominance. However, Tennessee is still in the running for a spot in the College Football Playoff, thanks to its wins over LSU and Alabama. The Volunteers are 8-1 heading into their next home game against Missouri on Nov. 12. The game is scheduled to start at noon. Fans can watch it on WVLT.
Heisman Trophy winner comes to Knoxville
Tennessee has the chance to win the Heisman Trophy when Hooker transfers from Virginia Tech ahead of the 2021 season. The redshirt junior has amassed nearly 6,000 yards of total offense in 21 games and has already scored 52 touchdown passes. He could be the first Tennessee player to win the Heisman, which will be awarded to the top college player in the nation. Four other Vols have finished runner-up.
Shuler was named SEC ‘Player of the Year’ in 1993 and finished second to Florida State’s Charley Ward for the Heisman Trophy. He was a starter for two seasons and went 19-5 overall. He finished his college career ranked No. 11 all-time in passing yards and scored 36 touchdowns while completing 61% of his passes.
Woodson’s Heisman win has ignited protests in Knoxville and continues to provoke debate among fans. Although his win is still controversial, it was one of the most exciting Heisman Trophy races in recent history. Besides fans, the finalists, coaches, and media were all in Knoxville to witness Woodson’s amazing season.
Majors was a two-time All-SEC selection and second place winner in 1956. He led the single-wing offense under General Robert Neyland. In 1956, he threw for 1,135 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also kicked 83 punts for an average of 39.1 yards, ran back 36 punts for 438 yards, and returned 15 kickoffs for 344 yards.
Tennessee quarterback Robert Griffin III has a Twitter following of more than two million people. He is a huge fan of Tennessee third baseman Trey Lipscomb, and recently they reconnected through their families. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He served as a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy during World War II.
While many college football fans are excited to see the Heisman Trophy winner, many are disappointed that Alabama did not win this year. In previous years, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, and Joe Burrow all won the Heisman without beating Alabama. In this year’s season, Tennessee will need to beat Georgia first to get the trophy.