Updated: Sep 19, 2019
While expectations were already low prior to the season opener, the Tennessee Volunteers still managed to underperform.
Tennessee is off to a rocky start to the season after dropping games to sub-par opponents in both Georgia State and BYU. While no team should be taken lightly, the Volunteers were not expected to have trouble dealing with their out of conference foes.
The Volunteers were a mere 5-7 in 2018 and were expected to improve under second year coach Jeremy Pruitt. After the first 2 weeks of the season, the Volunteers appear as if they will not be standing in the way of any of the top SEC teams.
The Volunteers' first opponent was Georgia State, a team that went 2-10 a year ago with its only meaningful win coming against Kennesaw State. Tennessee let the Panthers hang around for far too long, leading them to believe they had a chance. As a result, Georgia State capitalized and made the Volunteers pay the price.
Their second matchup, BYU, had a better season than Georgia State. However, they still should not have stood a chance against a team from the mighty SEC. It took overtime, but Brigham-Young did end up taking down the SEC's "volunteer" for a sacrifice.
The SEC is always expected to perform well, they have much higher expectations than any other conference. After getting Jeremy Pruitt, the Vols expected to make a little more noise in the SEC. Unfortunately for the team and their fans whose outfits surely stand out, they have already disappointed. While Tennessee does not have the same expectations as Alabama, Georgia, or LSU, they still should have the capability to take down their out of conference opponents who had abysmal records in 2018. Nothing has been smooth for years, but the Volunteers are in the rockiest of times.