Tennessee Vols Football: Another Brutal October Finally Comes to an End

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IOctober 30, 2011

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Justin Worley #14 of the Tennessee Volunteers tries to get away from Antonio Allen #26 of the South Carolina Gamecocks at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

October was deja vu all over again for the Tennessee Vols. After losing eight of his first nine October games by a combined score 245-90, Derek Dooley may soon be leading a petition drive to get it completely removed from the calendar. 

The sad part is, Tennessee had more than enough opportunities to stop the bleeding in the latest episode of "October is for Losers" against South Carolina on Saturday night in Knoxville. 

Thanks to some big time plays from the Tennessee defense, the offense started four drives inside the South Carolina 30-yard line. Yet, the Vols offense only mustered three points. 

Of all the ways to end another horrifying October that was probably the most cruel and, ultimately, fitting way to close out the disastrous month. 

You knew October would be difficult as soon as it became apparent that both LSU and Alabama would be juggernauts by the time those two games rolled around. 

What was not totally expected, however, was four quarters of near defensive domination by Georgia and a double-digit loss to a Marcus Lattimore-less South Carolina team. 

Even more unexpected was the loss of Tennessee's Most Valuable Gunslinger Tyler Bray for the final three games of the month and at least the first couple games in November. 

Everything that possibly could go wrong this season has gone wrong for the Vols. Whether it was losing wide receiver Justin Hunter in September, Bray's injury, or the team's youth and lack of depth causing second half collapses, 2011 has been an unwelcome addition to the growing list of recurring nightmares on Rocky Top.

November features what should be winnable games against Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. But a road trip to top 10 Arkansas and a home date with rejuvenated Vanderbilt could force the Vols to relive those October failures in a new month.