Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones — already on the hot seat — has a built-in excuse if his team loses to Georgia Tech Monday night.
He complained to the press that the Yellow Jackets have an “advantage” over the Volunteers because they have been able to practice inside the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, while Tennessee has not.
“They already have an advantage on us because we were told that they were inside the dome practicing with full pads for a two-hour practice (Tuesday),” Jones said, according to the Associated Press. “They got a phone call. We’ll have to make the most of our walkthrough on Sunday when we get there, and I know our players are looking forward to it.”
Georgia Tech will also have the “advantage” of playing in front of what we assume will be a pro-Yellow Jackets crowd in Atlanta. But the Volunteers enter this game ranked (No. 25), while Georgia Tech does not. Tennessee should win if it plays up to its potential, and oddsmakers have them as a slight favorite to do so.
The fact that Jones is already complaining about fairness is not a good sign. Unless he can turn it into an “us against the world” mentality for his team, he might just be setting the Vols up for failure.
Besides, the real concern should be shutting down Georgia Tech’s famed triple-option offense, which is a rough one to start the season against. Tennessee needs to play an extremely disciplined game, which wasn’t exactly something it did well last year.