The Tennessee Volunteers lost in overtime 34–31 to the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs after Alton “Pig” Howard lost the ball as he crossed the goal line. It was an enormously disappointing loss for the Vols, who were looking for their first marquee win under new head coach, Butch Jones, but they will go into the bye week with a huge morale boost.
After the bye week, Tennessee will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks who have not been playing well recently. The Volunteers will have an opportunity to beat South Carolina, because Jones will have them well prepared to face the No. 14 team in the country. Jones is capable of coaching this team to be far better than their talent suggests, and their confidence couldn’t be higher after almost beating a team that was supposed to win by four or more touchdowns.
The Gamecocks struggled to keep the offense off the board in the fourth quarter against the worst team in the SEC, the Kentucky Wildcats, where they allowed 21 points. Tennessee’s run game is much better than Kentucky’s, and Justin Worley is looking more efficient than ever. The Volunteers also have a much better defense than anyone gives them credit for and should be able to stifle South Carolina’s offense. The Gamecocks should be worried about facing a rejuvenated Tennessee team after their performance against Georgia.
However, if you only take one thing away from the Volunteers’ overtime loss to the Bulldogs, you have to take away the fact that Head Coach Jones is going to turn the Volunteers into a top team in the SEC in the future. With all of the talent that has committed to Tennessee for next season and what Jones has coached into this year’s team, the future is bright for the Vols.