Tennessee, which won the first BCS Championship and recorded double-digit victories seasons in nine of Coach Phil Fulmer’s 16-plus seasons, is skidding. The Vols are coming off a 5-7 year, a third losing record in the last four, and the worst conference record (1-7) since the SEC commenced in 1933.
It feels strange.
“We haven’t had the seasons Tennessee’s had in the past,” junior quarterback Tyler Bray said. “It’s been really hard. I’m just trying to get back this year and show the nation not only what I can do but what the University of Tennessee can do.”
Third-year Vols Coach Derek Dooley couldn’t pinpoint one targeted area of improvement.
“Everything,” Dooley said. “Because we really weren’t good at anything.”
A better running game would be a good start. The Vols averaged 90.1 yards per game on the ground last year.
Improvement should happen in Knoxville with 19 returning starters, including a corps of wide receivers that should be among the nation’s best.