Drama. It’s consuming rocky top on Monday morning. Before this weekend, Tennessee looked in control and in great position to compete in the SEC East. Life was good. The Vols were looking at a very good chance of a 10-2 season with a New Years Six bowl bid. Oh how quickly a season can change.
Things took a turn for the worst starting on Saturday night. Tennessee was a 14 point favorite over South Carolina. After an abysmal performance on offense Tennessee went from an SEC East contender to picking up the pieces of their season.
Once again a slow start crippled the Vols offense. Joshua Dobbs only threw for 98 yards as Tennessee was down a touchdown at half. You really wanted to just laugh it out, I mean it is Tennessee. They’ve put together comeback after comeback this season. For some reason they just couldn’t pull it off. There was no leadership and no will to win that football game. It all starts with the coaches.
Tennessee fans were already upset with offensive coordinator Mike Debord. Those screams just got a lot louder. It seems he comes out with a play sheet that only has one or two possible options. In addition, Debord serves as quarterbacks coach on the Vols staff. Dobbs inability to grow as a passer is indicative of how Debord has run the Tennessee offense this season. His seat at the moment is a very hot one. Even with the struggles Debord and Coach Butch Jones has not had much of an urgency to switch anything up. They’ve played with fire all season long allowing their team to get behind and they finally got burnt.
It is obvious by now that this has frustrated Vol players. Tennessee already lost former five star Preston Williams because of playing time earlier last week. The biggest story right now out of Knoxville is their running back Jalen Hurd. Hurd only played in the first half of Saturdays game and only ran the ball eight times. Late Sunday night rumors began to swirl around Knoxville that Hurd intended to transfer, and that Saturday was his last game in a Tennessee uniform. Those rumors became a reality on Monday as Butch Jones confirmed in a press conference that Hurd would be leaving the program.
The 6’4″ 240 pound running back has not had the best year for the Vols. He has only rushed for 451 yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back Alvin Kamara has been the more popular back as of late. Kamara had an exceptional game against Texas A&M and seemed to never disappoint when he had the ball in his hands.
Jalen Hurd plans to switch positions to tight end or wide receiver at his new school, wherever that may be. It’s not clear if Tennessee will put restrictions on Hurd’s transfer process, which would keep him out of another SEC school or an opponent who is on Tennessee’s schedule.
On top of the Jalen Hurd transfer news, injuries have been an issue again this year. Shy Tuttle is the latest Vol to go down with a season ending injury he suffered against the Gamecocks. Tuttle sat out most of last year with a broken leg as well. Already without Cameron Sutton and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, the defense is getting even more slim.
Butch Jones confirms Jalen Hurd will transfer. Also-Shy Tuttle will miss the remainder of the season and much of spring practice (knee).
— Brad Matthews (@BREM_Sports) October 31, 2016
Take poor execution, predictable play calling, guys bailing on the program, and injuries to star players, and you got yourself a good old fashioned dumpster fire with the Tennessee football program. The Vols still have to focus on the task at hand, but there is sure a lot of weight baring down on coach Jones and staff and it seemed to happen in a blink of an eye.