clearn.png
Thursday December 12th, 2019 3:36AM

Tennessee eager to move forward after Florida fiasco

By The Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has lost 10 straight games to Power Five opponents, hasn't beaten a Southeastern Conference team since 2016 and now must face three straight top-10 foes.

So it would be understandable for the Volunteers to have a crisis of confidence after committing six turnovers last week in a 47-21 loss to Florida that opened their Southeastern Conference schedule. Last year, Tennessee also began SEC play with a disheartening loss to Florida and wasn't the same the rest of the year.

But the Vols (2-2, 0-1 SEC) remain upbeat and insist they won't follow a similar path this year. They've impressed their new coach by how they responded to this latest setback while preparing for Saturday's trip to No. 2 Georgia (4-0, 2-0).

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said he was walking through the football offices Sunday when he saw numerous players watching game tapes, a gathering that had been organized by the players themselves.

"You always wonder how people are going to respond when you don't play at your best," Pruitt said. "Everybody associated with Tennessee has got to be disappointed in how things turned out Saturday. Nobody is more disappointed than the men in this building. I think everybody involved is trying to find a way to get it right."

Tennessee can't afford to dwell on what went wrong last week. The Vols' schedule won't allow it.

The Vols are 31½-point underdogs at Georgia. After getting next week off, Tennessee visits No. 10 Auburn and hosts No. 1 Alabama.

"We just have to keep going," offensive tackle Trey Smith said. "We can't do anything to affect what happened Saturday night unless we have a time travel machine, and (then) I'll go back right now."

Georgia won 41-0 at Tennessee last year to hand the Vols their first shutout loss since 1994 and their most lopsided home defeat since 1905.

Even so, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is taking nothing for granted and citing this series' history of close games prior to last season. The last time Tennessee visited Georgia, the Vols won on a Hail Mary pass.

"I think this is one of the exciting rivalries in college football," Smart said. "When you look over the last six, seven years, there have been some really tight ballgames, some really exciting ballgames, and some I watched from afar and some I've been a part of. I have a lot of respect for their program."

Tennessee's chances of staying competitive with Georgia could depend on the health of quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who absorbed plenty of hits against Florida and was knocked out of the game in the third quarter.

"Jarrett got banged up a little bit, but I said when I first took the job that Jarrett is a tough guy," Pruitt said. "I saw him (Sunday) throwing balls and dropping in the indoor facility. I think a lot of our guys are itching to get going again, which is a good thing."

Tennessee says it learned its lesson from last year.

A year ago, the Vols lost to Florida on a Hail Mary pass and never recovered. They struggled through a 17-13 victory over Massachusetts in their next game, got blown out by Georgia the week after that and won just once more the rest of the season.

This time, the Vols want to make sure there's no hangover effect from the Florida game. Defensive end Kyle Phillips says the Vols will bounce back and emphasizes that "we're not quitters."

"We've just got to keep on working and I think good things will eventually start happening," Phillips said. "We had a tough run Saturday with too many mistakes, but I think if we keep on working and eliminate some of those mistakes, I think we'll be a pretty good football team."

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

___

Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Trump's UN speech draws blank stares, laughter
President Donald Trump's address to the U.N. General Assembly has drawn blank stares, headshakes and even laughter from wary world leaders
11:38AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Instagram co-founders resign from social media company
The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company
11:38AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Bill Cosby's day of reckoning arrives in court
A defense psychologist has testified at Bill Cosby's sentencing that the chances of the comedian committing another sex offense are "extraordinarily low" because he is old, blind and needs help getting around
11:37AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Organizers claim 170 people tried to run on field at WCup
Two months after the World Cup final was disrupted by four members of the Pussy Riot protest group running onto the field, the head of the local organizing committee claimed security stopped 170 others from doing the same during the tournament
10:58AM ( 50 minutes ago )
NBA, MLB, NFL franchises team up for 'Rally the Vote' drive
Nine sports franchises from Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL asking fans to register and vote
10:50AM ( 58 minutes ago )
MLB, NFL, NBA franchises team up for 'Rally the Vote' drive
Nine sports franchises from Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL are teaming up and asking fans to register to vote
8:44AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Roethlisberger shines, Steelers hold off Buccaneers 30-27
Roethlisberger throws for 353 yards, 3 touchdowns to lead Steelers 30-27 win over Buccaneers
1:11AM ( 10 hours ago )
49ers lose QB Jimmy Garoppolo to season-ending knee injury
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will need season-ending surgery on his injured left knee
8:38PM ( 15 hours ago )
Familiar issues, but no panic for Patriots after 1-2 start
Patriots recognize weaknesses, but are not panicking despite 1-2 start to the season
8:15PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Football
The Latest: Prosecutor wants 5 to 10 years for Cosby
Prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Bill Cosby to five to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home
9:06PM ( 14 hours ago )
The Latest: Cosby lawyer argues to keep him out of prison
Bill Cosby's lawyer says the 81-year-old comedian is a poor candidate for prison because he's old, legally blind and dependent on others
3:46PM ( 20 hours ago )
The Latest: Cosby accuser wants 'justice as court sees fit'
The woman Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting says she wants "justice as the court sees fit."
3:10PM ( 20 hours ago )
College Sports
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Top 25: Kentucky enters rankings for 1st time since '07
After season-high 7 ranked teams lost, back half of AP college football poll gets makeover; Kentucky enters rankings for 1st time since '07
5:25PM ( 1 day ago )
No. 7 Stanford rallies for 38-31 OT win over No. 20 Oregon
K.J. Costello threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, the last a 23-yarder to Colby Parkinson in overtime, and No. 7 Stanford rallied for a 38-31 victory over No. 20 Oregon
1:55AM ( 2 days ago )
No. 5 Oklahoma escapes with 28-21 OT win over Army
Kyler Murray threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in overtime, and Parnell Motley intercepted Kelvin Hopkins' fourth-down pass to help No. 5 Oklahoma escape with a 28-21 overtime victory over Army
12:16AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
The Latest: Trump's UN speech draws blank stares, laughter
President Donald Trump's address to the U.N. General Assembly has drawn blank stares, headshakes and even laughter from wary world leaders
11:38AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Instagram co-founders resign from social media company
The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company
11:38AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Bill Cosby's day of reckoning arrives in court
A defense psychologist has testified at Bill Cosby's sentencing that the chances of the comedian committing another sex offense are "extraordinarily low" because he is old, blind and needs help getting around
11:37AM ( 11 minutes ago )
California attacks suspect probed in case of missing Texans
A man arrested on suspicion of beating a Southern California homeless man into unconsciousness and suspected in three fatal attacks is also being investigated in the disappearance of two Texas relatives
11:16AM ( 33 minutes ago )