After a 1-4 start, Tennessee football is 5-5. How did the Volunteers pull that off? Here are the reasons they were able to do it.
What changed for Tennessee football? At one point, they were completely written off. Things started off horrible with a home loss to the Georgia State Panthers. It got worse the next week with a late collapse to result in a home loss to the BYU Cougars.
At that point, 1-11 was on the table, with their one win coming the next week over the Chattanooga Mocs. But then one look at their schedule showed it would get worse before getting better, and that range true with back to back blowout losses to the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs to send Jeremy Pruitt’s second team to 1-4.
But there was a silver lining against Georgia. Tennessee football led that game 14-10 at one point, and they fought hard. So maybe, just maybe, they might be turning a corner. Well, since then, they have won four of five, their only loss being on the road to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The team that lost to two Group of Five opponents at home is now 3-3 in the SEC and arguably its best non-conference opponent, the UAB Blazers, as well. They are on a three-game winning streak and shockingly one win away from a bowl game heading into their bye week.
So what caused the turnaround? In this post, that’s what we’re going to break down. We will rank from least impactful to most impactful exactly what brought about this dramatic improvement. And if you look at it closely, it’s actually pretty obvious.
Remember, the Vols were just a few plays here and there from winning their first two games and keeping it closer than it was with Alabama. They have been showing improvement every week since the beginning of the season. It’s now just paying off.
Why is it paying off? That’s what this piece is all about, so let’s dive in. These are the five reasons for Tennessee football’s turnaround from a 1-4 start to a 5-5 record heading into their second bye week of the season.