As the Tennessee players spoke about on Monday, losing is never fun. The Tennessee football team lost their first game of the season on Saturday, but on Monday, the players unanimously spoke about how eager they are to bounce back this Saturday against Tennessee Tech.
This weekend’s game against Tennessee Tech (1-1) will be crucial for the Vols (1-1). No, the Golden Eagles don’t present much of a challenge to Tennessee on the field. However, more importantly, it will be Tennessee’s final tune-up game before SEC play begins. And the Vols don’t receive any favors in that department either, opening against Florida in The Swamp.
But nonetheless, the Tennessee players who spoke to the media on Monday all talked about the team’s reaction to the loss over the weekend. The biggest feeling in the air was disappointment after the game. Not the kind of disappointment that leads to pity or sorrow, though. The Tennessee players were disappointed because they knew how hard they fought, and even through adversity, the game was within reach.
Tennessee lost both the turnover and penalty battles to Pittsburgh last Saturday. And while there are several other contributing factors to the loss, those are two of the biggest that Tennessee can control. The Vols were battling an uphill climb on Saturday but kept knocking themselves off balance and tumbling down the hill, thanks to turnovers and penalties. However, those mistakes are something that the Tennessee players themselves know of. And, they are aspects that the team knows will be improved throughout the season.
Tennessee will host Tennessee Tech this weekend in Neyland Stadium at noon ET. The Vols’ head coach, Josh Heupel, also gave a Week 3 preview on Monday during his official press conference.
Tennessee DL Tyler Baron
“For me, it’s the mindset,” Baron said when talking about what changes in his preparation after a loss. “Personally, it’s eating away at me. I can’t wait to go get a win this weekend. But we are all responding well. We’re just going to come back and work this week.”
Tennessee Offensive Lineman Jerome Carvin
“Injuries are part of the game you know, it’s part of football,” Carvin said on Monday. “And that just keys into the guys that are behind that have to step up. Those guys have to be ready to play. Whenever your time is called, you have to be ready. It’s a key emphasis that coach Heupel and our offensive unit have made; the second and third guys have to be ready because you never know when your name and your time are going to be called. So we have to be fully locked in and focused.”
Tennessee Kicker Chase McGrath
“It depends on the conditions, but I’m comfortable up to about 55 [yards] on some days,” McGrath said on Monday. “It really just depends. Like that field goal that I kicked, the long one, the 48-yarder, there was a little bit of wind in my face on that one, a little bit of left to right wind. The wind in Neyland is really interesting how it kind of switches up a little bit. So it depends on the conditions, but yeah.”