“If you can’t say something good, keep quiet” was an early coaching point from my first teacher, my dear grandmother.
I searched and searched for something good to say about the Georgia game from the Tennessee perspective.
I finally found it. Defensive Vols made progress as they muddled along. They allowed one less touchdown in the second half. Or maybe the Bulldogs just got tired.
John Kelly is a fighter but I have nothing, zero, good to say about the offense as a whole.
The charcoal uniforms were no help. Junk ‘em. Send them back to China.
“Checker Neyland” was sloppy. Some fans have no discipline.
The game was worse than awful, surely an embarrassment to Peyton and the Hall of Fame honor guard. Terrific timing. We bring back the all-time best for the all-time worst show.
Somewhere I read that Butch is in over his head. He has been from the beginning. He came in the door telling us he had assembled the finest coaching staff in America and then changed it all out. That is typical of on-the-job training. It is called trial and error – and error and error.
Good guy? Without question.
Good coach? Not yet, but this is only the fifth year.
The big league has not eaten him alive. He is 14-20 against Southeastern Conference foes. Derek Dooley was 5-19.
Irony of ironies, this precise time last season, Tennessee was 5-0 and dreaming the impossible dream. Big Orange Country was still buzzing about the Joshua Dobbs Hail Mary to Jauan Jennings.
Soon to come was the beginning of the great comedown. The inexplicable happened. A South Carolina high school kid beat the great Dobbs nose-up. Jalen Hurd quit.
Teams with average or below talent ran for miles instead of yards. After that, Vanderbilt outscored Tennessee 21-3, in the second half.
I cannot say what I really think on this family website. I will say the Vols made an average quarterback, Kyle Shummur, look like an all-American. He threw for 416 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
By comparison, the bowl game was beautiful. Experts now tell me that was a fluke and that Nebraska wasn’t very good. Many Tennessee changes transpired. Butch corrected a couple of mistakes and speculated at some other positions.
Of all the new coaches, only Charlton Warren has made a positive difference. Some in the secondary are some better. That does not excuse getting beat deep.
If the team is stronger and better conditioned, it does not show. Tennessee has lost more snaps than it has won at the line of scrimmage. Receivers have not gained separation to present a decent target. Neither quarterback has played well enough to win.
We don’t know what the linebackers might be. Half are hurt.
We do know Kelly has the heart of a lion. We thought Trevor Daniel could really punt — until we saw him do the rugby trick.
What happened against UMass caused me to say the end is near.
What happened against Georgia has me thinking alea iacta est.
That is Latin for “The die is cast.”
Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is marvinwest75@gmail