Josh Heupel discusses Senior Day bounce-back win over Missouri: 'Our best football is still out in front of us'
Josh Heupel saw Tennessee’s seniors enjoy a successful final game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday. The Volunteers held a slim 28-24 lead against Missouri in the 3rd quarter before exploding for 38 unanswered points in a 66-24 laugher.
“Pretty calm,” Heupel said during his postgame press conference when asked about his team’s temperament in a close game in the 3rd. “Certainly, the guys on the sideline, they don’t panic. A week ago, I don’t think we settled into the game and did the ordinary.”
It was a complete about-face for a Tennessee offense that scored its least points of the season against Georgia a week prior in a 27-13 loss. In fact, not only was it the Vols’ 3rd 60-plus point performance of the year, but it was the most points they had scored against an opponent in 2022.
“I just want to say thank you to our fanbase. First undefeated season at home in quite some time,” Heupel said. “When Neyland is rocking it is unsurpassed by anyone.”
Tennessee racked up 724 yards of total offense, a program record. That perhaps raises some questions as to whether Heupel was looking to impress the College Football Playoff committee with style points after a rough showing at Georgia.
“How we’re judged down the road is somewhat out of our control, but our best football is still out in front of us,” he said.
Here’s what else Heupel said after the game:
Josh Heupel on #Vols WR Cedric Tillman not playing today: Ced could have played, but everything going on (weather) that doesn't have anything to do with his ankle, we felt like it was best if he didn't play.
— GoVols247 (@GoVols247) November 12, 2022
Heupel added that Tillman will be ready to go for South Carolina game. https://t.co/lgAwy3wusX
— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) November 12, 2022
HC Josh Heupel: We try to build a program where everyone is connected and is a true family #Vols
— Casey Kay (@caseykaytv) November 12, 2022
Josh Heupel on LaTrell Bumphus: "He's been through a lot of adversity while here at this program, and he's had a lot of injuries to go through. I don't know if there is anyone who cares more about the power T than he does. One of the most selfless people I've ever been around."
— Jack Foster (@jackfostermedia) November 12, 2022
Heupel on Dylan Sampson: Planned on playing him here over the last couple of the weeks…He's a young that we have trust in. I think he's got really good vision and get into space. He was dynamic with the ball in his hands. He played really good football.
— VolReport.com | Tennessee Volunteers on Rivals (@TennesseeRivals) November 12, 2022
Josh Heupel on the Vols' response in the second half of the game: "We weren't as clean as we could be in the first half. Our guys didn't blink and came back. I'm proud of that."
— Josh Lane (@josh_lane20) November 12, 2022