Butch Jones was asked to explain one of Tennessee’s most crucial decisions after Saturday’s game against Florida.
The coach who was once the most popular man in the Volunteer State suffered his second loss of 2015 — another heartbreaking collapse. The latest culprit was Florida, an archrival who extended its annual winning streak to 11 games.
Jones made several decisions that will likely be scrutinized by Tennessee fans, but one of the most obvious was his decision not to go for two while ahead, 26-14. But the coach claimed that his chart called for an extra point, rather than a two-point conversion on the fourth quarter score.
“Well a number of reasons and we were discussing that prior to the drive,” Jones said during his postgame press conference. “If we did score whether we go for one or two, we have a chart that is pretty standard in football first of all and maps it all. We just felt like at that stage in the game that we had great confidence in our defense of getting off the football field and allowing them to push the ball down the field so we felt very comfortable with the decision.”
I’ve yet to hear a single legit reason for #Vols not going for 2 early in the 4thQ. I said it at the time, and nothing has changed. Bizarre.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) September 27, 2015
Still trying to figure out why Butch didn't go for 2. It could cost him the game. Gators now down 6 with 2 TO's. Gonna get the ball back.
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 26, 2015
Tennessee beat writers should FOIA that chart.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 26, 2015
People are right to question his logic. What kind of play chart would suggest that anything other than going for 2 is the right option with a 12-point lead?
Jones also made lapses in timeout management and called yet another conservative game with a late lead. Quarterback Josh Dobbs had a remarkable performance leading the Vols in passing, rushing and receiving, but only threw for 83 yards.
Sure, the running game was excellent, but you can’t concede the passing attack. This, like the decision not to go for 2, is an example of trying “not to lose” rather than winning the game.
Jones will face his share of critics moving forward after a disappointing collapse in Week 4. But his decision not to go for 2 may be the biggest lapse of Saturday’s loss.