The Tennessee Vols left Neyland Stadium on Saturday night with a win against the Charlotte 49ers, but they didn’t leave with a very good feeling.
Tennessee struggled to a 14-3 win, scoring all their points in the first half.
Charlotte actually out-gained the Vols in total yardage 244 to 192. Tennessee only accumulated 20 rushing yards on the night.
There’s really no way to sugarcoat it — the Vols have to feel worse after the win than they did before the game.
Pretty comical sequence in the Tennessee game. Charlotte’s punter uncorked a worm-burner inside Vols 5-yard line. He celebrated by firing two fake arrows.
But a penalty.
Then he tries same punt and it goes right to Marquez Callaway, who promptly returned it 82 yards for a TD.
— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) November 3, 2018
Coming off the heartbreaking loss on the road against South Carolina, Tennessee needed to make a statement against Charlotte before their game against Kentucky next weekend.
Instead, the Vols showed everyone that their running game is still basically non-existent.
Now, obviously the fact that Ty Chandler was limited has a lot to do with the ineffectiveness of the running game. But Tennessee should’ve ran all over the 49ers (despite their solid defense) with their No. 2 and No. 3 running backs.
Averaging 0.8 yards per game against anyone, especially a Conference-USA team, isn’t going to get it done.
The offensive line has to get better if the Vols are going to make a bowl game. The running backs, aside from Ty Chandler, have to be better at making the right cut.
As of now, I can’t see Tennessee reaching a bowl game if they played like they did today.
The Vols responded well after losses to Florida and Georgia. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond next week.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports