Tennessee pulled off a Homecoming win, Saturday, but coach Jeremy Pruitt likely has little reason to celebrate.
Tennessee was held to just 192 yards in total offense in its 14-3 win over Conference USA opponent Charlotte.
The Vols’ run game was held to an abysmal 20 yards for the game against the 49ers’ stifling run defense, which came into the day as the number six ranked run defense in the country.
Charlotte bested Tennessee in nearly every statistical category, including total yards (244), first downs (13), and time of possession (33:13).
The Volunteer defense held strong to keep the 49ers out of the end zone, holding Charlotte to just 5 of 15 third down conversions and completing only 13 of 25 pass attempts.
Marquez Calloway opened the scoring with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown midway through the first quarter to give Tennessee a 7-0 lead.
Led by quarterback Jarrett Guarantano’s efficient passing, Tennessee followed Calloway’s special teams score with what would eventual be its only scoring drive. Guarantano found Josh Palmer for a 16 yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone.
That’s where the scoring stopped for Tennessee. The 49ers cut into the lead with a chip shot, 20 yard field goal just before halftime, but neither team came close to scoring again in the second half outside a missed, 33-yard field goal attempt by Tennessee kicker Brent Cimaglia.
Tennessee will need to address its offensive woes quickly before facing Kentucky and Missouri in the next two weeks before ending the season at Vanderbilt.