Sound Off: Tennessee has bye week to figure out things after ugly loss to Georgia

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football is coming off an historically disproportionate loss to rival Georgia that has left the critics howling on social media.

Coach Butch Jones is sitting on one of college football’s hottest seats as the Vols enter into the bye week with an eye on their  Oct. 14  home game against South Carolina.

SEC Country reporters Mike Griffith and Blake Morgan follow Tennessee football daily, and they have opinions on what the Vols need to work on to get the program on track.

Tennessee is 3-2, but the offense has been sputtering, and fans are wondering if Jones’ fifth year will be his last as the Vols’ head coach.

Here are the three things Tennessee needs to focus on during the bye week

Team chemistry

Adversity can make or break a football team, with players drawing closer or breaking apart under the scrutiny that accompanies a coach being on the hot seat.

Senior tight end Ethan Wolf said players brought great energy to practice on Tuesday, and no one came out with their head down.

Jones said his players approached it as a work day and he liked the team’s approach.

Improved QB play

Junior Quinten Dormady opened the game last Saturday throwing an interception, and that gave Georgia momentum it did not relinquish

Dormady must get sharper with his throws and improve his decision making under pressure.

The Tennessee staff must continue developing Jarrett Guarantano and considering using the redshirt freshman as a weapon.

Guarantano hasn’t shown the consistency that Dormady has, but his mobility could give him a higher upside and make him harder for defenses to scheme against.

Limit big plays

Jones pointed out the Tennessee defense held Georgia to five three-and-out series in the first half, but the Bulldogs scored on their other three drives.

The Vols’ defense held Georgia’s prolific rushers to 7 yards on their first 7 carries, but again, that same defense gave up more than 100 yards on 5 rushes later in the game.

Big plays have been the Achilles heel of the Tennessee defense the past two years, a likely result of the defense needing to use several different combinations on account of injuries.

The post Sound Off: Tennessee has bye week to figure out things after ugly loss to Georgia appeared first on SEC Country.

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