KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football is running hotter than ever, even after a difficult loss, and today’s SEC Country podcast on the Vols is about player sentiment.
Tennessee tailback John Kelly is viewed as the team leader, and on Tuesday the SEC’s rushing leader shared what his message has been for teammates as well as fans.
“Focus on keeping the team together, that’s the main thing I focus on every day I come in here,” said Kelly, who leads the Vols in rushing and receiving. “We still have games to play, so we’re fighting every week, we still have a lot of fight in us. One game is not going to define our season.”
Tennessee (3-2) lost to Georgia 41-0 on Saturday and has a bye this weekend before returning to action against South Carolina at noon on Oct. 14.
Kelly’s message to the fans is that they’re either behind the team, or they’re not.
“If you’re going to support us, you’re going to support us through it all,” Kelly said, “that’s my only message to them.”
Kelly’s 494 yards rushing are 14 ahead of second-place Nick Chubb, and his 22 receptions are fifth in the league.
Vols defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie said outside distractions will not deter this Tennessee football team.
“ We just focus on this complex, this grass right here and that Stadium over there,” McKenzie said. “We don’t worry about what’s going on outside or the outside noise. We just focus on what we have to do to get better.”
Coach Butch Jones said he was proud of the way his team practiced on Tuesday.
The fifth-year head coach put the team in full pads, working individual drills, special teams and team competition.
“All we have is each other, we have to work every single day, and we’re responsible for what we create,” Jones said. “You have to go to work every day and you have to deserve to victory.
“They understand the things we have to get much better on, the turnover margin, the physicality, the tackling, all the things that go into winning football.”
SEC Country’s Mike Griffith and WMML’s Josh Ward discuss Tennessee’s attempt to bounce back from the difficult loss, and how things got to this point.
Tennessee football podcast
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