Missouri defeated Tennessee 50-17 on Saturday night in Columbia.
The Volunteers had to play a ton of freshmen, and most of the night, the team looked inept on defense.
Butch Jones met with the media after the game to discuss why his team was defeated by such a large margin. As expected, he also was asked about his job security.
Here’s what he had to say, in general:
“Bottom line is you can’t turn the football over, you have to be able to stop the run, and be able to get off the field … and we weren’t able to do that. We have to remember this feeling and move on.”
Young players on the field:
“At one time, we had eight (freshmen on offense). It is what it is. Not an excuse. They gained some significant playing time. I hope they learn from this. You never forget how this feels. I give those kids a lot of credit. I thought they battled. These are growing pains and lessons, and I hope they learn from it.”
Defense allowing big plays:
“Everyone on defense is tied to a string. We talk about gap integrity. All it takes is one individual to be out of their gap and you’re going to give up a big football play.”
On job security and having athletic director John Currie’s support:
“At least you’re consistent with your questions. The message (in the locker room) is the same. We have two games left. It’s all about this football team and how we finish. We work exceptionally hard each and every day. It’s very disappointing when you invest to not win on Saturday. It’s about these players and these seniors. It’s not about the coach or anything else. How do we finish?”
On QB Jarrett Guarantano:
“During the course of the week, Jarrett really wasn’t able to practice. I give him credit. He worked overtime in the training room to be ready to go in case he needed to play in an emergency situation. He was taking the mental reps he needed to in practice.”
On what he told the team:
“Yeah, a lot of that is between myself and them. We’re a family. But we have two games left in Neyland Stadium. How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to finish this off? Seniors … these kids come to work every single day, and they have really been remarkable. They’re very prideful and they understand what’s at stake. We’ll regroup, come back and have another good week of practice.”
Offensive lineman Coleman Thomas was banged up:
“Coleman left the game. I’ll know more about him when we get back (to Knoxville).”