By David Bradford
Tennessee Vols coach Butch Jones’ approval rating is probably lower than Donald Trump’s, which is saying something.
I’ve been critical of Jones and his coaching malpractice for the past two seasons and believe that it’s time for Tennessee to move on. According to multiple reports, this is becoming a reality.
However, Jones deserves credit for at least this — despite knowing that this will be his last season in Knoxville, Jones hasn’t given up on the program, and the players haven’t given up on Butch Jones.
It seems like an insignificant detail, but Jones will depart Knoxville leaving his players in the right frame of mind.
Although Tennessee is a 10-point underdog this week against the 4-5 Missouri Tigers, Jones won’t cut corners in his approach to preparation. Sure, it seems like the Vols are rarely prepared to play winning football, but at least the team features a positive attitude and strongly desires to win out.
Significant Player Updates
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is probable for Saturday’s game against Missouri. Guarantano hurt his ankle in the second quarter of last weekend’s matchup against Southern Miss, forcing Will McBride to burn his redshirt and play. After three plays, Guarantano would return, but later aggravated his ankle, forcing McBride to play for the entirety of the second half.
Star kick returner Evan Berry (knee) will miss the remainder of his senior season, meaning that his illustrious career at Tennessee is over. During his four seasons on Rocky Top, Berry has averaged 34.3 yards per kick return with four touchdowns.
Wide receiver Marquez Callaway is questionable for Saturday’s contest.
Butch Jones on Facing Drew Lock
No quarterback in the SEC has been more productive than Missouri’s Drew Lock.
To show how impressive he’s been, Lock has tossed a nation-leading 31 touchdown passes and an SEC-leading 2,795 passing yards.
Tennessee has gained 2,683 yards of total offense for the entire season.
The Vols’ are one of the top pass defenses in the country, but their secondary will face its toughest challenge of the season. And Jones is most certainly aware of that, heaping high praise toward the junior signal caller:
Butch on Drew Lock – He’s gonna play for a long time on Sundays.
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) November 6, 2017
Featured Image via AP Photo/Brynn Anderson