That was before the Volunteers couldn’t hold onto fourth quarter leads of 14 points to Oklahoma and 13 to Florida in losses and were beaten last Saturday by Arkansas 24-20 after jumping out to a 14-0 lead.
“Tough times challenge you but I really, really, truly believe they form who you are,” third-year coach Butch Jones said at his Monday news conference. “You find out a lot about yourself. Our players have been resilient. They have done a good job, and they understand what needs to happen moving forward, and so do our coaches. Football is like life but just sped up a lot faster. …We do have to own everything that’s happened and it starts with me.”
Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 SEC) is a 3-point underdog Saturday to No. 19 Georgia (4-1, 2-1) and the Volunteers next game is at No. 8 Alabama on Oct. 24.
“We’re a mentally tough team,” quarterback Josh Dobbs said. “We know our capabilities and the talents we have on offense, defense and special teams and we know that we can make plays. We just have to do that, we have to execute. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult to turn the page because if you don’t turn the page then we have another good team coming in this Saturday and they don’t really care what happened last Saturday. They’re coming to win.”
Jones still says he sees improvement through the losses.
“I see us making progress,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s not showing up on the scoreboard, but eventually it will.”