Another loss to the Florida Gators is naturally demoralizing for Tennessee Football, especially when this is the year the Vols know they have a better team and a better coach. It’s raised questions already as to whether or not 2022 was actually a trend or just a flash in the pan for a program that has struggled mightily since the mid-2000s.
However, tight end Jacob Warren insists the Vols can bounce back. As Warren noted, there are just days in which teams are better, whether or not that’s due to better execution or a better game plan. According to Warren, this season will be about how UT responds to the loss.
In life, there’s losses, and can you learn from them, or you can just sit in your shell and and whine and and sulk about it,” he said. “So we’re trying to move on and obviously can’t do anything about it now, so I think just the important thing is just moving on. Everything is out in front of us, and we still have all these goals in mind that we are still able to achieve.”
Last year, Tennessee Football responded with its loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks, which cost it a College Football Playoff bid, by blowing out the Vanderbilt Commodores 56-0 and beating the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl. That’s when Joe Milton III came back in too with Hendon Hooker hurt.
Warren touted the second half in this game specifically as proof of the fight it has in it. Down 26-7, UT moved to the red zone on its first two drives and would have on its third drive if not for a terrible blindside blocking penalty. Despite three points on those drives, Warren says the second half shows the team’s fight.
“Maybe other teams wouldn’t have even been in that opportunity and wouldn’t have even been in that position just because of a lack of a willingness to fight, to finish games and to compete,” he said. “So I think that that kind of mentality, that attitude, carries into the next week, and it’s just a matter of what can we do to be better, simply be better in every facet and every (aspect) of the game.”
Given what they showed last night, it’s hard to believe in the Vols when it comes to their ability to win the East. However, the division is still as open as ever. Florida is still not a good team, particularly away from home, and the Georgia Bulldogs have major issues on offense. They also visit Rocky Top this year.
Warren said it’s okay for players to let the game sting and hurt. However, he also called for fans and his teammates to understand that everything still out there as long as they do what they’re supposed to do the rest of the way. That may be a tall order for Tennessee Football, but it’s certainly possible.
“You never know what what can happen in this league, and as long as we continue to just fight, we continue to try to be the best team on the field every single week, then we’ll have everything right in front of us and we’ll have everything that we’ve talked about, that we’ve wanted for this season,” he said.