Tennessee football suffered a blowout loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers 40-14 in its 2018 season-opener in Charlotte. Here are the Volunteers’ grades.
Whenever you lose 40-14, you probably failed in a lot of areas. But Tennessee football was a bit of a mixed bag in its performance against he West Virginia Mountaineers as the Vols kicked off the Jeremy Pruitt era on Saturday.
Coming into the game nine and a half point underdogs, this team had a chance to take the lead late in the second quarter with the ball on the WVU 40 and down only 10-7. That came despite both sides of the ball undergoing changes, with the offense under Tyson Helton switching from a spread to a pro-style and the defense switching to a 3-4.
Add in the fact that Tennessee football had a ton of guys miss the spring who just began to pick up the system in Fall camp while facing an elite passing offense led by Will Grier and coached by Dana Holgorsen, and they were of course going to struggle. Taking all that into account, the blowout loss is understandable.
However, even after bringing that all up, there’s no denying that they still lost by 26 points. And as Pruitt said at the end, what matters is if you win or lose. So even though there may have been a few decent positives, the overall outcome was severely negative.
Our report card for the Vols will continue how we did it last year. We’ll grade all the offensive units on one page, the defensive units on another and the special teams on a third page. Then we’ll dedicate a final page to the coaching performance.
Rocky Top is 0-1 and recovering from a brutal start. It may be a few weeks before we see consistent positives from them. But some outcomes were a bit more mixed, as we’ll break down here. This is our report card for Tennessee football’s different units following their season-opening loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers.