The LSU Tigers were never competitive against the No. 8 team in the country, falling behind after a Jack Bech muff on the opening kickoff set up a quick Tennessee touchdown. The Vols immediately took control of the game from there and never looked back.
Coach Brian Kelly took responsibility after the game and did so again when he took the podium Monday and reflected upon the loss.
“A quick look back over the weekend, which was not certainly a weekend that I’m anxious to look back at,” Kelly said. “But you have to take the good with the bad. And indeed, that was not anything we wanted to put up there as a performance to be duplicated.
“The fact of the matter is, Tennessee played well; we did not start very well. Our attention to detail, the fundamentals, clearly has to get better. We’ve got a coach our team better. If you look at it… it’s a number of little things here and there. We certainly can’t start the way we did, as I mentioned, in terms of spotting a really good team ten points. (Our) guys battled, but again, you have to play clean against a top-ten team. we did not do that, and we got what you deserve in a game like that. If you don’t play smart football, if you don’t play clean, you’re gonna get what you deserve. So hats off to Tennessee.”
The Vols are a good team, and LSU is still overachieving for what should be a rebuilding year. But Saturday’s game provided clear evidence that this team has a way to go before competing with the best teams in the conference.