The answer to that question for the Vols is…not much! Once again the Vols offense was not much of a factor. QB Jonathan Crompton managed to go 20-of-43 for 259 yards. The good news is that he did not throw an interception (he threw 8 in the first 4 games). The bad news is he did turn the ball over when he couldn’t handle a snap. The running game was pretty good again with Hardesty and Brown combining for 131 of the 151 rushing yards. Unfortunately, the Vols could not make the big plays when needed on offense.
Defensively the Vols did not perform quite as well as in previous games, but they still looked good. It’s very difficult to expect the defense to keep stepping up and make big plays when the offense keeps them on the field. Still, the Vol defense held their own. Auburn came into the game averaging 45 points and 526 yards per game. Tennessee only allowed 26 points and 459 yards. They forced the Tigers to punt 6 times and limited them to field goals on 4 drives.
Unfortunately, the Vols are now 0-2 in SEC action and have a tough road ahead. They face Georgia at home this week then get a bye before heading to Alabama to take on the #3 ranked Crimson Tide. With 6 SEC games remaining it’s going to be a tough road. I personally don’t see the Vols winning many of these games down the stretch, especially if they continue to struggle offensively. I hope I’m wrong.