Once again, Tennessee managed to lose a game that they could have easily won, falling to Auburn, 30-17.
The Vols jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the Tigers in the first quarter. However, Auburn would cut that lead and score 27 unanswered points en route to a win.
The Vols’ losing streak now extends to five straight. Tennessee has been out-scored 108-14 in the 2nd half of games during this losing streak.
Tennessee, un-surprisingly, had QB struggles in Saturday’s loss.
Jarrett Guarantano once again struggled, going 15-of-23 for 156 yards, zero passing TDs, and an INT that went back 100 yards for an Auburn touchdown.
Despite Guarantano throwing a pick-six, he was given one more chance before being replaced by Harrison Bailey.
Bailey would come in and drive Tennessee down the field to give the offense a quick touchdown, but it was far too late. The coaching decisions once again were baffling.
Eric Gray was incredible, averaging 7.9 yards a carry and rushing for 173 yards and a TD. Gray was unstoppable, yet only received 22 carries.
One key moment was the possession after the pick six. It is 3rd and 4, Gray was averaging 6.8 yards that drive, and the previous two plays, he was gaining 3 YPC.
What happened next?
Guarantano drops back, gets sacked, and then Brent Cimaglia misses a 37-yard field goal.
Tennessee has ran the ball all year on 3rd down, and the first two possessions in the 2nd half, they throw it on two key 3rd downs that led to a pick-six and Vols not getting three points. 10 points were left off the board because of the play-calling.
Since the Kentucky game, Guarantano has thrown more touchdown passes to opposing teams (3) than to his own team (2). Yet, somehow and someway, he still gets the start week in and week out.
I don’t get it, I really don’t.
Jeremy Pruitt was asked if Guarantano gives Tennessee the best chance to win: “Absolutely. If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t play him. He didn’t miss two field goals. He didn’t blow a coverage.”
If this is the case, Chris Weinke needs to be fired immediately for not developing any of our QBs because Guarantano is below average at best.
Pruitt’s team managed to make history and not for the right reasons. Saturday night’s loss was Tennessee’s fifth straight loss by double digits. That has never happened in the history of this once great football program dating back to 1891.
This year three, y’all.
Even Derek Dooley and Butch Jones teams didn’t stoop this low.
Pruitt told the media that he texted Brian Mauer, who didn’t make the trip, before the game and said that if they won tonight it would be because of the look on scout team this week, describing Mauer’s performance in practice as “phenomenal.”
There is only one question that I want answered.
What the hell are we doing?
Seriously, what the hell are we doing?
We have a QB who looked phenomenal in practice and we demoted him to scout team and left him in Knoxville? What is Pruitt doing?
We continue to start a guy who has thrown more pick-sixes than he has thrown to his own team in the last four games.
The one time we put in a new QB, Bailey drives down the field and Gray rushes for a TD. The offense clearly plays with a spark when there is a new QB out on the field.
Much like the Arkansas game, the last two drives for the Vols clearly showed more life with Bailey under center. This season has been absolute disaster.
When Pruitt was asked about what he would say to fans regarding the direction of the program: “That ain’t my job, guys. My job is to coach.”
This guy is clearly not the answer and is absolutely clueless.
Thank God Tennessee Basketball starts soon.