Tennessee coach Butch Jones won’t admit it publicly, but he has a chance to breathe a bit with North Texas on the schedule this week.
The Vols (5-4, 3-3 SEC) shouldn’t be challenged against the Mean Green. Tennessee is more than a 40-point favorite on Saturday. That gave Jones the opportunity to reflect.
“I think we’ve proven in the infant stages of our program that we’re closing the gap with everyone that we play and we’re getting better,” the third-year Tennessee coach said during the SEC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.
Jones was quick to point out that Tennessee’s fan base has responded to the recent run of relative success. Tennessee has had over 100,000 fans in Neyland Stadium for five games this season.
“That’s the first time that’s been done since 2007,” he said. “I think that shows you the commitment and the excitement that this fan base is providing for our football team.”
Jones will need that enthusiasm early on Saturday. Tennessee hosts North Texas at noon ET.