With only 72 scholarship players the Volunteers' youth was evident during their scrimmage Saturday in Neyland Stadium.
A situational scrimmage seemed to further magnify the lack of depth on Derek Dooley's football roster.
"Our youth and inexperience was really exposed today," said Dooley. "We need a ton of work at this stuff. We got affected a lot, couldn't manage the offense as well as we need to, made some bad mistakes."
Crunch time might not be the best time for this Volunteers team, at least to this point in fall camp. The difference between veterans and newbies was evident.
"It was a good indicator of where we are in crunch time," said Dooley. "Youth and inexperience, it just showed.
"The players that have experience were calm and played well, the ones that didn't, who are new and are freshmen really struggled."
Dooley did say that it is tough to use a situational scrimmage to evaluate his team as a whole.
"It's hard to really view this scrimmage as where we are as a team," said Dooley. "What it shows is where we are in the critical situations.
"It what I told the team, that's where all your deficiencies get exposed, in the critical situations. And we have a lot of deficiencies and the main ones are youth and inexperience."
Dooley cited that most of his disappointment stems from the performance of backup players, which may skew his evaluation of Saturday's scrimmage.
"I am probably overreacting a little bit, because when I see the twos out there that's when the headsets get thrown, the hat is going down, bad language that I tell my kids not to use gets coming out of my mouth," he said. "Let me watch the film and I will probably be in a better mood."
While the offense may have struggled, the defense left on Saturday feeling good about creating turnovers, something its head coach has been looking for all fall.
"I got on the defense because they weren't creating enough turnovers," Dooley said. "Then they create them and I am in the tank because we gave them up.
"They are feeling good on defense and they should be," Dooley added of the Tennessee defense.
Freshman quarterback Tyler Bray surrendered the majority of the Volunteers turnovers Saturday afternoon. This appears to be the first major hiccup in Bray's fall camp.
"Tyler struggled today," said Dooley. "His 'freshmanitis' really showed. Clock situations, don't take a sack, throw it away, and call the right play."
Experience seems to be the major separating factory between juco transfer Matt Simms and true freshman Bray.
"When I kept saying Matt's experience is what has helped him this is where you really see it," said Dooley. "Even thought Matt is new to our offense, he has been in two minute, he has been doing that for the last three years."
Dooley acknowledged that Simms has been the starter since the end of spring practice and will be the guy heading into game one when Tennessee-Martin comes to Neyland Stadium.
The Vols will return to the practice field Monday afternoon.