Criticize Tennessee’s football team all you’d like. Feel free to say that the Vols piled on Missouri in Neyland Stadium on Saturday. No one wearing orange is going to be overly concerned.
“To me, the game is about winning as by as much as you can,” Tennessee tight end Jacob Warren said on The Vol Report on Sunday. “The game is about scoring as many points as you can and beating your opponent.
“At the end of the day. I know there are people that are upset…but we’re trying to go play in the College Football Playoff. We have to win these games by as much as we can and in the most dominating fashion that we can and just show who we are.”
The Vols did that against Missouri in a dominating 66-24 win that had some people up in arms when the Vols scored their last touchdown with :36 seconds left on the clock and leading 59-24.
Now, there were reasons other than the College Football Playoff to drop an extra set of points on the Tigers. Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz thought it was wise to jump on a nationally syndicated radio show in July and poke fun at the Vols, who had just received their notice of allegations from the NCAA.
That notice alleged widespread payments to recruits by various staff members under former UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt and his wife. Yes, his wife. Drinkwitz thought that was funny and wedged in a couple of unsolicited shots at the Vols. Those at Tennessee did not find it nearly as humorous as Drinkwitz did.
Were the Vols aware of those comments?
“I’m aware,” Warren said flatly.
The change in narrative is quite stunning. The Vols used to be the ones giving up too many points. Now, they’re scoring too many points.
“It wasn’t like we were up astronomical amounts…I understand if we were up like 80 to 20,” Tennessee center Cooper Mays said on The Vol Report. “..I don’t really know how to judge that stuff. I used to not really have that problem around here. We didn’t really score crazy amounts of points and talk about running up the score. So this is kind of a new thing for me. Well, we’ll work that out, I guess.”
If only Drinkwitz had handled his public comments quite as deftly.