All the excitement surrounding Tennessee during its surge into the top 10 has morphed into anxiety about a program that has fallen out of the rankings entirely.
Jalen Hurd, left, could be out the door at Tennessee.
The Volunteers remain confident they can turn things around.
"I think it's a compilation of a long football season and he's contemplating that. He won't be ready this week, but he should be questionable by the Kentucky game". In September, Hurd said he hoped to help the Vols earn a national championship. On paper, SC is a team in complete transition. Jones believes the benefits of that meeting will be evident the rest of the season. He is less than 500 yards away from Travis Henry's record of 3,078 yards, but now appears unlike to surpass that with his current role and his intentions to not return to the school as a senior. Hurd left the game for an unspecified injury, and rushed for just 16 yards on eight carries. Tennessee opened the season with five straight wins, including four that were a product of second half come-from-behind efforts. Vanderbilt is obviously a bottom tier team in the conference as a football school, but in terms of pure playing opportunity and the chance to stay close to home they can't be ruled out completely.
Other problems have arisen more recently.
Earlier Monday, reports of unrest within the locker room began adding to the turmoil of the three-game skid.
Dobbs was 12-of-26 passing for 161 yards and a touchdown with a pair of interceptions, but those statistics don't quite illustrate how poorly he played.
"I guess we were surprised, but you know Jalen did all he could for us while he was here", Kendrick said. "But it's all about our football program and football team moving forward".
It's been a rough season so far for Hurd, as he has managed just 3.7 yards per carry this year and has managed to averaged a lowly 2.1 yards per carry in his last two games since coming back from an undisclosed injury.
The loss to SC was a step back in many ways. "We had some leaders step up and decide we are going to hold each other accountable, and we're going to be tough on each other", Tennessee redshirt junior offensive lineman Brett Kendrick said. "People were in the right position but didn't make plays". We've got to execute better.
Alvin Kamara, Hurd's backup and team captain, is now injured and will not play this weekend against Tennessee Tech (TV: SEC Network, 4 p.m.).