The Tennessee Vols lost to the Georgia State Panthers this past weekend in part because they didn’t show much fight on the field.

Aside from wide receiver Jauan Jennings, and a few other players, Tennessee showed very little effort against Georgia State. And that’s the main reason they lost a game they should’ve won by three or four scores (at least).

Moving forward, it would be easy for Vol fans to be concerned about the mentality of Tennessee’s football team.

Is this who they are? A team that doesn’t show effort or fight?

Or was the week one loss a fluke?

I’m not sure I’m ready to call the loss a fluke (I’ll have to see how they perform against BYU), but I’m also not ready to say this team doesn’t have any fight.

In fact, I think they have plenty of fight, thanks to Jennings.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Jennings made it clear that the loss to Georgia State was unacceptable. He also made it clear that it wouldn’t happen again.

That’s the kind of fight we should’ve seen from players on Saturday night after the loss.

But instead, we saw quarterback Jarrett Guarantano clumsily navigate his post game press conference, while proclaiming he did some “good” and some “bad”.

There’s nothing good when you lose to Georgia State.

I’d wager that Jennings couldn’t care less about the fact that he caught seven passes for 108 yards. He only cares about the fact that Tennessee lost.

Jennings, by the way, took some of the blame for the loss. He told reporters he should’ve been all over his teammates from the start of the game, when it was clear that Tennessee was in for a tougher game than they expected.

At the end of the day, the blame for lack of effort rests on Jeremy Pruitt.

But players also have to take some responsibility for how they competed against Georgia State. It’s all about taking personal accountability.

Which is something Jennings did — he made himself accountable. It will be interesting to see if his attitude extends to the rest of the team this week.

If we see a Vols team that plays with fire on Saturday night against BYU, then I think Tennessee will be alright the rest of the season.

But if they come out flat again, then the 2019 season could end up being worse than the four win 2017 season.

Update: 

It appears the Vols also had a players only meeting after the loss.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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