Slippery conditions were evident throughout Tennessee’s 27-24 win over South Carolina in Neyland Stadium on Saturday. Several participants addressed the quality of Shields-Watkins Field after the game.
Gamecocks center Alan Knott tweeted that “Tennessee football field is sorry….slippery (expletive) surface…. Not any good for football!” according to The State’s Josh Kendall.
Tennessee sophomore defensive end Derek Barnett also addressed issues with the turf.
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett said Tennessee's field was "really slippery." Said he switched shoes at halftime.
— Josh Ward (@Josh_Ward) November 8, 2015
South Carolina interim coach Shawn Elliott said he noticed questionable footing before the game.
“I was out there in pregame, and I noticed the field kind of tearing up,” Elliott said in his postgame press conference. “I asked if Under Armour made a different kind of cleat. There were several times we had some footing issues, and I was very surprised by that. The playing surface wasn’t the fault of anything, but we did slip around a little bit.”
The poor conditions were curious because Tennessee hadn’t played a football game in Neyland Stadium since Oct. 10. However, the field has been an issue for years, especially late in the season when much of the grass has died, resulting in large brown areas. The field has been completely resodded a handful of times over the past few years.
Tennessee has two home games remaining: The Vols play North Texas on Saturday and Vanderbilt on Nov. 28.