NBC SPORTS - Absolutely nothing went right for Tennessee on Saturday in a 41-0 loss to Georgia at home in Neyland Stadium. After such a brutal loss to a division foe in front of the home fans, the pressure is rising more and more on Butch Jones as it looks as though another season without playing for the SEC championship is unfolding. Already with two key losses in division play against Georgia and Florida, Jones says all the team can do now is get back to work and take advantage of the rest of the schedule to pile up as many wins as possible.
“It’s gut check time,” Jones said after the loss on Saturday. “We have to work to get better. That’s the only way you can do it.”
Tennessee has some time to stew over this one. The Vols are off this week before returning home on Oct. 14 to host South Carolina. Of course, if Tennessee was going to make a change at the head coaching position, this would also be the ideal time for an in-season change. If Jones survives the next 36-48 hours, then it would seem likely he survives the remainder of the season, give or take a week depending how things play out.
“This one stings. And it’s going to take a while,” Jones said when asked about the message to his team. “And like I told our team, if you don’t feel like coming to practice, you better remember how you feel right now. And if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.”
The only problem here is Jones has to figure out what will motivate his team. Otherwise, he could be heading to coaching free agency.