Flights receives nine votes in USA Today Coaches poll


Tennessee weren’t close to being ranked Sunday afternoon after back-to-back wins at Missouri and at home over South Carolina, but the Flights are starting to garner attention in the polls.

In the latest USA Today Coaches poll, Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC) received nine votes after beating South Carolina 45-20 on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols, which did not receive an Associated Press Top 25 vote, were one of 17 unranked teams that received votes in this week’s coaching poll – Auburn 98; Baylor 91; Texas 74; Pittsburgh 36; Texas-San Antonio 30; Mississippi State 18; State of Iowa 18; State of Appalachians 18; Boston College 11; Air Force 9; Tennessee 8; Freedom 8; Nevada 7; UL Lafayette 3; Houston 3; State of Fresno 3; UCLA 1.

Tennessee was ranked 12th in the coaching poll and 15th in the AP’s Top 25 last season, having started the 10-game season with two straight wins, but fell from both standings after going. losing two straight games in this would ultimately become a six-game losing streak.

Ole Miss (4-1, 1-1), ranked No. 17 last week, held on to beat the then No. 13 Arkansas 52-51 Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. The Rebels are ranked # 13 in the Top 25 AP and # 14 in the Coaching Poll this week.

“Great, result we won”, second-year coach Ole Miss Kiffin Lane said Saturday. “But also … I’m saying it like it’s like you know … good, bad, or indifferent … there’s a process you want to play well, and we haven’t, obviously. In some areas, we had a chance to win the game on offense with four or five minutes to go and then obviously on defense.

“You know they left for two and we stopped on that. We stopped on one play in the second half,” Kiffin said. “It’s a good thing at the right time. But we have a lot of work to do. Obviously there are some disheartening times when you give up 676 yards to an attack that didn’t score last week. I think when you want a championship schedule, you don’t sit here and say it’s okay just because you win the game … because a game goes your way.

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Tennessee have scored 107 points in the past two weeks, defeating Missouri 62-24 before the 45-20 home win over South Carolina on Saturday.

The Flights are set to kick off against Ole Miss at 7:30 p.m. EST on Saturday at Neyland Stadium, with the game televised by SEC Network.

“Obviously the first half I thought all three phases played well,” Tennessee freshman coach Josh Heupel said after the victory over South Carolina. “Some things in the second half that you can’t do. It’s a great learning lesson for our players. Just the competitive edge and the smoothness of a line. You have to be on the safe side of this for 60 minutes. You pull away a bit, you lose focus a bit, and all of a sudden things that were happening don’t happen in the second half.

“So some things we need to be better at, including the coaching staff. Overall, a great victory for our program. Enjoy it tonight and then get down to business for a really good football team (Ole Miss).

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