Sorry Vol Nation. But Tennessee football entered the year in last place in our SEC Power Rankings after being the only team to go winless in the conference last season. Now, after the first week, they remain in that same position.
While 13 different SEC teams won their season-openers, Rocky Top came up short in the West Virginia Mountaineers. Actually, coming up short is generous. They got blown out 40-14 and looked even worse than the team that fell apart last year.
There’s no way around it. The Vols have a ton of work to do their first year under Jeremy Pruitt. They struggled on the offensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary. WVU would have made this game worse were it not for a late turnover and a first half fourth-down conversion.
Yes, this game easily could have been 47-7, and if they didn’t miss a two-point conversion on one play, it could have been 48-7. Simply put, the overreaction nature of Vol Twitter was enough for Pruitt to already be fired after one game.
Lucky for the Vols, they have an easy road the next two weeks with the ETSU Buccaneers and the UTEP Miners coming up. It’s the perfect chance for them to fly under the radar and figure some things out before the Florida Gators come to town Sept. 22.
Remember, despite being blown out, they played a tougher opponent than all but three teams in the conference. So there’s no reason to completely ignore them just yet.