Tennessee football enters 2019 with a lot of optimism given that it’s Jeremy Pruitt’s second season. But here are five concerns for the Volunteers.
August is always like Christmas for Vols fans. Tennessee football preseason has begun, and every team is 0-0. That means despite the state of the program at the time, everybody has a chance to be a winning program.
Such is true for Rocky Top this year. Expectations are clearly higher than they were last year, when Jeremy Pruitt’s first team lost six games by 25 or more points en route to a 5-7 season. That was all forgivable since his team was only favored in three games last year.
This season, Pruitt is expected to at least get to a bowl game. The easier non-conference schedule and extra year of experience for so many returning starters could play a huge role in doing that. But that doesn’t mean Tennessee football won’t have some issues trying to reach that goal.
Every team gets bad breaks, and a team that had the production of the Vols last year is obviously going to have a few more. There were multiple transfers out of the program and numerous offseason retirements.
UT also has a few players out due to injury. All of these things can be regular factors in terms of an issue with a program, but they are even worse for a program that is playing in the SEC but hasn’t yet built up its depth. As Pruitt said at SEC Media Days, the Vols are still on the potential side of things. We have no idea how that potential will work out.
So what does this mean for UT in 2019? Again, if everything falls into place, you could see the team go beyond just having a winning record. But if things fall apart, the Vols could be in for a long season. What are the things that could make it fall apart, though? Let’s find out. These are the five biggest concerns for Tennessee football entering the 2019 season.