Ranking Tennessee football’s six losses of 2021 by heartbreak

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Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh (6) escapes tackles during a football game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.
Kns Tennessee Georgia Football Bp

For the most part, Josh Heupel had an overachieving season his first year as head coach of Tennessee football. Getting to 7-6 given everything he inherited can easily be considered a success, and it bodes well for the future of the program. Morale is definitely high on Rocky Top after what happened in 2021.

However, in spite of some impressive wins, there were heartbreaking losses. In fact, the heartbreak outweighed the thrills in many cases, as the Vols went 1-3 in one-possession games this year. With that record, they easily could have been 8-5, 9-4 or even 10-3.

As we get set to break down each loss by its level of heartbreak, how close the game was will be taken into account. What it meant for the season will also matter, and the expectations of the game will come into play too. Let’s take one last negative look at 2021. This is our ranking of all six Tennessee football losses from the season.

Matchup
Georgia Bulldogs Football
41
Tennessee Volunteers Football
17
Game 10
Saturday, Nov. 13
Neyland Stadium
Knoxville, Tenn.

Rank: 6

Sure, they were just coming off a top 25 win over the Kentucky Wildcats, their best win of the year, and they brought back the black jerseys in front of a CBS crowd. However, no reasonable person expected the Vols to beat the Georgia Bulldogs given what we knew UGA to be at that point. A blowout was always expected.

UT still pulled its stunt of getting off to a strong start early, as they scored on the opening drive. Although Georgia scored on its opening drive too, the Vols then took a 10-7 lead and got the ball back going into the second quarter. That’s when the Dawgs took over.

They tied it up with a field goal, then they scored a touchdown after a Hendon Hooker interception, and they then scored at the end of the half. Down 24-10, UT drove into the red zone its first three possessions of the second half but had two turnover on downs and a fumble. Georgia kept scoring, and they won their fifth straight against Tennessee football.

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