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Tennessee Drops Opener Against WVU

Jeremy Pruitt’s debut goes south in Charlotte.

Tennessee v West Virginia Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Jeremy Pruitt era at Tennessee did not get off to the start Volunteer fans wanted it to, as the Vols fell in a 40-14 loss at the hands of West Virginia in Charlotte.

Will Grier, in his second-most memorable performance against UT, threw for five touchdowns to kick off what he hopes to be a Heisman-level campaign. Two of those touchdowns went to his big reciever David Sills, who also collected seven receptions for 140 yards. Gary Jennings Jr. also had a massive game on the outside, as Grier found him six times for 113 yards and a touchdown.

For the Vols, Jarrett Guarantano completed 76 percent of his passes, but they could get not get anything going down the field as he finished with only 172 yards through the air. The good news for the Volunteer offense, however, is running back Tim Jordan. Coming into the game, he only had 11 total carries in his time at Tennessee. But he busted out to the tune of 118 yards on 20 carries, nearly averaging six yards per attempt. Outside of him though, the Vols couldn’t muster much on the ground against a stingy WVU defense.

The game started with a Tennessee three-and-out followed by a WVU field goal. UT started to move the ball on their second drive but two negative gains and an incomplete pass led to another punt. Two minutes later and WVU was in the endzone. Tennessee responded with a 17-play drive that eventually stalled out. After that, it was all WVU, as they reeled off the next 17 points and before the Vols put in another touchdown to try to get them back into the game. The Mountaineers shut that idea and responded with a touchdown of there own. They added another one later, giving them a solid win to build off of.

For the Volunteers, there were some bright spots in this game. Ultimately, they just weren’t up to the task of staying in the game against a good team in West Virginia. Unfortunately for Pruitt and Co., there isn’t a ton of time to get it together. Neyland gets play host to back to back cupcakes in East Tennessee State and UTEP before the schedule picks up entering SEC play.

I just got to say I am so excited for college football to be back as I am sure most of you are. It has been a fun first weekend and the action is only sure to pick up.