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Tennessee Football Entering Critical Stretch Following Regular Season Finale

Tennessee Football Vol Walk
Tennessee Football Vol Walk. Photo by RTI.

Tennessee football concluded a long regular season on Saturday afternoon with a 48-24 victory over Vanderbilt at Neyland Stadium.

The win capped off a long season which saw the Vols fail to reach their preseason goals but avoid the bottom falling out from under them.

But there’s no rest for Josh Heupel and his assistant coaches as the Vols approach an extremely important part of the college football calendar. Over the next month, players decide whether or not to return, whether to enter the portal, players in the portal pick new schools and the early signing period happens.

How important is the stretch to a football program?

“Massive,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said on Saturday. “Huge implications on what you’re gonna be as you move forward as a program. So yes, there’s a lot going on all at one time. High school, portal, your players, all of it. And you gotta manage it all. You gotta have a great staff that communicates at a really high level and do the right things, make the right decisions.”

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The transfer portal doesn’t officially open until Monday, Dec. 4 but players across the country will announce intentions to enter the portal this coming week. That makes it important for Tennessee’s coaches to figure out which of their players will and won’t enter the portal and which players from other schools they want to target when the portal officially opens.

Tennessee has a number of seniors and juniors that have eligibility remaining but could move on to the next stage of their football futures. Figuring out, or at least having an idea, on those decisions is important for Heupel and his staff so they can know which positions to target in the portal.

The early signing period for college football begins on Dec. 20 and while Tennessee has already locked up a good portion of its class, they still have a number of targets that they’re looking to add before that date.

Lastly, any assistant coaching changes Tennessee makes will occur in the next month.

All that to say, Tennessee is approaching an extremely busy month which decisions that will be integral to both the 2024 Tennessee football team and the future of the program beyond that.

Stay tuned to throughout the next month as we keep you up to date on everything you need to know about Tennessee football.

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2 Responses

  1. the tenn defense against vanderbilt revealed that tenn needs a different defense coach…too many penalties and ,looking back,too many pass receptions by the opponents…the zone pass defense is ineffective against a accurate quarterback….

  2. As always it seems, Tennessee needs to do something with the secondary, glaring weakness. Of course quarterbacks since injuries always seem to rear its ugly head and Nico will only be hear for a short stint anyway. Wide receivers and people in the lines who can block and tackle . Finally a few position coaches are clearly needed.

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