Tennessee Volunteers coach Butch Jones opened his weekly Monday press conference celebrating the Vols’ 800th victory in school history, making Tennessee only the eighth team in the NCAA to ever accomplish such a feat. Jones, though, was brief in relishing over his team’s victory, and is ready to bring on week two.
“It’s time to move on and we’re playing a very talented football team Saturday afternoon,” Jones said.
Happy to have week one with his newly acquired team under his belt, Jones has a little better perspective as to where his team stands.
“Going from week one to week two to me is the biggest week in the growth and development of football teams,” he said. “I said after game one I’d have a little better idea of where we’re at as a football team and I do know where we need to move on and where we need to improve.”
The Vols came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in their opener Saturday night, taking a halftime lead 42-0 and outgaining the Governors in total yards 347-84, scoring touchdowns on all six of their first half possessions. The second half was a different story as Jones made attempts to get his younger players in the game for some experience.
With 23 freshmen in all seeing the field Saturday, and the lackluster performance given by them in the second half, coach Jones still wasn’t displeased with his youngsters.
“I think if you look at it we still won the half 3-0 didn’t we?” said Jones. “I said it in training, we lack overall depth and that’s an issue but you know games like that really help because we have a teaching tool.”
Moving forward the Vols will face Western Kentucky this Saturday, September 7, in Neyland Stadium with kickoff slated for 12:21 p.m. on the SEC Network, My-VLT2 for local viewers in the east Tennessee area.
Western Kentucky is also coming off a week one victory over an in-state opponent, but theirs may have been a little more impressive as they took down the SEC’s Kentucky Wildcats. The Hilltoppers are also in their first year with a new coach, after former Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino took the reigns.
The Vols are certainly no stranger to Petrino, losing to his Razorbacks squad 49-7 when they last met in 2011. Vols new coach Butch Jones is also no stranger to Petrino.
“I have coached against him twice when we’re at West Virginia,” he said. “They’re well coached, they’re very dynamic on offense. They’re going to challenge you defensively just because of the different personnel groupings they use. So we’re going to have to be extremely disciplined.”
As of Monday no changes have been made to the Vols depth chart, leaving senior defensive lineman Jacques Smith, and junior linebacker Curt Maggitt out for the second consecutive week due to injury. Coach Jones said they will evaluate them as the week progresses before making any decisions to add them back to the active depth chart for Saturday’s game.