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WATCH: Josh Heupel Talks Backbreaking Loss At South Carolina

Josh Heupel
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel against Pittsburgh. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee turned in its worst performance of the Josh Heupel era Saturday night as South Carolina dominated the Vols, 63-38, at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker exited the game late with what appeared to be a non contact knee injury before hobbling to the locker room and not returning. Heupel addressed the injury but didn’t have an update.

The Vols’ defense was horrific in the loss, allowing touchdowns on 11 of South Carolina’s 12 drives that didn’t run out the half.

“They have big, strong, physical wide outs on the outside,” Heupel said of South Carolina. “I felt like we would have an opportunity to match up out there. We played man. We played zone. (Defensive coordinator) Tim (Banks) tried to find an answer to it but at the end of the day we didn’t. The run game early in the football game in particular. Hit us with a little bit of a wild cat but we anticipated some of those things. The power read got us a couple times early.

“At the end of the day we didn’t defend anything the way that you need to. You can’t play in this league that way.”

More From RTI: Four Takeaways On A Backbreaking Day For Tennessee Football

Heupel also discussed Brandon Turnage and Jeremy Banks’ injuries/absences, how he thought his team prepared for the game and much more.

Tennessee returns to the field next week against Vanderbilt in Nashville. Kick off is at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Watch what Heupel said following the backbreaking loss.

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