Josh Heupel saw improvement from his team in one area in the loss to Georgia, but a key stat led to a crushing loss to the Bulldogs.

There was a big improvement from Tennessee in the penalty department. An area where the Vols have struggled all year, they had just 3 penalties for 20 yards against Georgia on Saturday.

“In the football game the other day, I said it afterwards, we played hard, we played smarter football too,” Heupel said in his press conference Monday. “If you look it our penalties, we were cleaner than we had been.”

But the lack of penalties was marred by poor production on 3rd downs. Tennessee converted just 2 of its 11 3rd downs, compared to Georgia’s 9-of-13.

“You can look at one stat, you can look at 3rd downs in particular and getting you to the next set of downs,” Heupel said. “They were able to convert, a lot of that was in man-t0-man situations, and make plays. Offensively, we were not able to do that and not able to sustain anything.”

Tennessee is looking to bounce back from a pair of losses as it takes on Vanderbilt to close out the season.

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.