Well it's official, the Vols are not back. After the 63-7 destruction of WKU in week one, the expectations of many in Volnation were an outside shot at a SEC title, a BCS game, and 10 wins. Then UCLA came into town and made us all realize that the Vols are not there.... yet.
We all know what happened in the game, the O-Line sucked, Crompton turned back the clock to 2008, and the UCLA defense shut down the only viable offensive attack we had, the rushing game. The silver lining is that for everything that went wrong, the Vols were two yards away from winning the game. Everything went against the Vols this game. I believe that next time a team drops the ball on the ground as much as UCLA did, the Vols defense will recover more than one. While Crompton handcuffed CLK in his play calling, I am sure that CLK will mature as a coach as the season continues and respond differently. While in the redzone, I personally wanted to see Nukeese at QB to give us a new look. The fact of the matter is that there are several pieces of this team that are freshman. One of my favorite quotes is, "The good thing about freshman is that they don't stay freshman forever." Our team is young, our coaching staff is learning. UCLA is not a pushover, they would be a middle of the pact SEC team with a great coaching staff and solid defense.
What excites me the most is not what happened on Saturday, but rather what happened on Sunday. Incase you haven't heard, UT got three highly coveted recruits.
1) 5* WR/ATH Demarco Cobbs
2) 5* DT Brandon Willis
3) 4* DE Corey Miller
We beat out the likes of Florida, OU, LSU, Bama, Ole Miss, UGA, and USC. After these commits, we have the number three ranked class in the country as of right now. The fact that we were able to get these kids to commit after a loss like UCLA is what makes me certain that in a few years the Vols will be back. Kiffin is playing with Phil's players. We cannot be quick to discredit the job that Lane has done after the UCLA loss. I still believe that we one consistent QB away from being a SEC contender. While the UCLA loss was disheartening, I choose to look at this weekend as an important building block in the process of bringing the Vols back to glory.