Will Muschamp remains undefeated against Tennessee.
Despite serious SEC Championship stakes on the line, the No. 18 Volunteers fell to the lowly South Carolina Gamecocks 24-21, losing their third-straight game.
Coming off a much-needed idle date, Tennessee (5-3, 3-3 SEC) was around a two-touchdown favorite against South Carolina (4-4, 2-4 SEC). But once again, the Volunteers came out flat and undisciplined, committing 9 penalties for 87 yards with 3 turnovers on Saturday night.
They struggled to get anything going on the ground until it was too late, while quarterback Josh Dobbs had an awful evening, going 12 of 26 for 161 yards, 1 touchdown and two interceptions.
Derek Barnett was unblockable once again (3 sacks and two quarterback hurries) but it wasn’t enough.
Here’s what coach Butch Jones had to say about the loss…
* “W’ve got to own it. Unacceptable. … It starts with me. With the coaching staff.” … Jones notes Tennessee’s turnovers, lack of explosive plays, “sloppiness.” Cites the first play of the game: offsides on the opening kickoff.
* “One game doesn’t define us.”
* “I thought at times we were lethargic. It seemed we lacked energy. That starts with me.”
* “You’re trying to make it through the game with one running back. Obviously Carlin Fils-aime got in there but you have to pick your spots. Mange the game. It’s a line of scrimmage league. Josh wasn’t able to set his feet in the pocket.”
* “Mark my words, there’s a lot of football left to be played.”
* Jones said Tennessee had a good week of preparation but “lacked focus” and “energy” on Saturday. … “You have to apply it to the field.”
* Again mentions injuries, then notes freshman contributors. Says safety Nigel Warrior, tailback Carlin Fils-aime will be “good players for us.”
* “There’s no need to panic.”