(picture from google images)
In 2017, the University of Texas El Paso lost all 12 games. They continued the losing streak in 2018 by losing their first three games. The UTEP Miners are considered the worst team in college football.
The University of Tennessee played UTEP at home on a beautiful September day in Knoxville. The 24-0 game was the most boring shutout in history for the University of Tennessee! Western Kentucky University only scored 15 points on the Miners in 2017. Every other team that UTEP has played has scored 24 points or more on them. The Vols should have scored 24 points in the first quarter! Instead, the Vols struggled in the first quarter against the worst team in college football.
The team lacked basic fundamentals of being able to protect the ball and not fumble a punt return. Did they know this was a real game? This was the perfect game to run up the score and individual stats, but they didn’t do that. They couldn’t run up the score or fluff individual stats against the worst team in college football?!?
I’m not sold on Jersey native as the starting Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano or the offense. We will lose every SEC game for the rest of the season if this game is an indication of what we should expect. Guarantano’s celebration of getting a first down against the worst team in college football shocks me. While some fans were pumped by the QB’s reaction, I become more worried. First downs are expected in this game, they should not be overly celebrated. I love his passion. For a team that didn’t look too excited to being on the field, I understand the leadership role Guarantano was playing on the sideline and respect that. But man, act like you have got a first down before!
Speaking of first downs, Alabama had 27 first downs and scored 62 points against Ole Miss. Tennessee had 24 first downs and only scored 24 points against the worst team in college football. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Vols have a lot of work to do. We have to make plays on third down and in the red zone or those 53-yard passes from Guarantano to Josh Palmer will mean nothing.
Welcome back Ty Chandler after suffering a head injury against WVU. He was robbed of a touch down from his own teammate, right tackle Drew Richmond, for a chop-block penalty. The Vols had 8 penalties for 65-yards and there’s a good chance Drew Richmond was involved. I’m still trying to figure out how he was a four-star recruit. And why are penalties not shown under individual stats?
Our defense played well, but forced no turnovers. The Miners QB, in the words of Tennessee legend, Tony Robinson, “was trash”. He may have the worst arm in all of college football and he Vols couldn’t force defensive turnovers. The defense will need to create turnovers to compete in the SEC.
And it’s now officially Florida week. Florida is awful and we have a history of losing to a lot of awful Florida teams. This will be Coach Pruitt’s first SEC rival game and I hope he has this team excited and ready to play under the lights at Neyland Stadium. Some sports media viewed the game plan as just play enough to win and save the real talent for Florida. Maybe, that was the game plan, but I just think this team needs a lot of practice and UTEP was a great team to really show what the Vols can do on the field.
The biggest take away from the UTEP game is that we have to do better!