Two days after accepting the obvious blame for his coaching lapses during his team’s 26-20 loss at Florida, Tennessee coach Butch Jones made excuses about blowing a first and goal situation that resulted in an interception.
The Vols had possession at Florida’s half-yard line and instead of running the football with John Kelly — who finished Saturday’s game with 237 all-purpose yards, including 141 rushing — opted to call three consecutive passing plays, which resulted in quarterback Quinten Dormady throwing a pick to Duke Dawson.
Jones claimed that Dormady had “tweaked his knee,” which eliminated the team’s first choice of running a QB option play during his weekly press conference. The coach also claimed that putting in dual-threat quarterback Jarrett Guarantano wasn’t an option because it wouldn’t be “fair” to make the redshirt freshman “play under center” because he had only practiced out of the shotgun.
“That can’t happen at the goal line, you have first-and-goal at the 1, we had a run play call,” said Jones, whose team trailed 6-3 with 7-and-a-half minutes left in the third quarter when the play occurred.
“We would we have liked to have run it on second down, absolutely, the plan was to get under center and do QB sneak outside, but then Quinten tweaks his knee,” Jones said, referring to a low hit the Vols QB took as he delivered an incomplete first down pass. “We didn’t think it was fair to Jarrett to ask him to go in there and take the snap under center …. so there’s a lot of nuances that occurred.
“We get the ball down there, we need to run the ball and score touchdowns.”
However, one fan provided photographic evidence disputing Jones’ ridiculous excuse via Twitter on Monday.
So yeah, that one’s on you, Butch.