What's the problem?

The performance of Tennessee's offense has been downright criminal through the first two games, so maybe it's time to round up the usual suspects and check their alibis:

Penalties.

"We've had four penalties all year," offensive coordinator Randy Sanders says. "We got three penalties at Florida – two procedures and a delay. We had one penalty the first game (vs. UAB). Penalties are not the problem."

Turnovers.

"We had three turnovers the first game but went down there (Gainesville) last week and did not have a turnover," Sanders says. "So turnovers are not the problem."

Blown assignments.

"There weren't assignment errors (in the first two games)," Sanders says.

Lack of effort.

"There wasn't an effort problem," Sanders says.

Inexperience.

"We have experience," Sanders says.

That leaves old reliable …

Execution.

"We just did not make the plays we had opportunities to make," Sanders says.

Since that falls into the "Painfully Obvious" category, let's dig a little deeper. Who's to blame for the failure to make plays … the players or the coaches? The answer: Both.

"Part of it is that players have to make plays," Sanders says. "But part of it is that we (staffers) have to look at what we're doing and make sure we're doing all we can to get our guys in good positions to make plays."

Incredibly, a Tennessee offense that was supposed to be potent managed just 17 points against UAB and seven against Florida. No one is more shocked by this development than the man who oversees the attack unit.

"The fact we've only scored 24 points is very surprising," Sanders says. "We have the ability to make plays. We just haven't made as many plays as I thought we would."

Unless the Vols start making plays in Game 3 at Baton Rouge, they'll probably fall to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play by midnight Monday.


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