After a 2-0 start while outscoring the likes of Autin Peay and Western Kentucky by a 97-20 margin, it was starting to look as though the Tennessee Volunteers were on the verge of becoming a respectable program again, but that thought was quickly halted when the Vols surrendered 687 yards of total offense to second-ranked Oregon, who used eight consecutive touchdown drives to annihilate UT by a 59-14 margin.
Reality is really going to set in over the next month, as the Vols face a brutal stretch of games that includes at Florida next week, and then an October stretch that will see them face three top-10 teams in Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.
New head coach Butch Jones has a lot of work to do to get the Vols back to even respectable status, but as long as he can ensure his young group of Vols keep improving while he continues to build what is currently one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, Rocky Top will rise back to prominence eventually.
The first loss of the Butch Jones era at Tennessee was the worst in program history since the Vols lost by 45 to Georgia Tech in 1905. In the modern era, the worst loss prior to Saturday had come in 1981 when Tennessee lost the season opener at Georgia, 44-0.