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Just when you thought Butch Jones’ seat couldn’t get any hotter for now, UMass gave the Vols a major scare

This was not supposed to be a game that would add to Tennessee’s worries.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The embattled Volunteers and head coach Butch Jones entered as 28-point favorites against 0-4 UMass. After a rough offseason and opening month, this was supposed to be UT’s breather week before Georgia, Alabama, and some potentially troublesome opponents show up on the schedule.

And then you look up and realize it’s scoreless in the first quarter, a one-score game at the half, and only a 17-13 Vols lead entering the fourth quarter. That score held until the end, but not before the Minutemen had multiple chances to win, including a last-minute drive.

Making things even more embarrassing for the Vols: UMass starting QB Andrew Ford left with injury after 17 attempts, so a portion of this was against backup Ross Comis.

Offensive issues have continued for UT, with QB Quinten Dormady being replaced at one point by Jarrett Guarantano, who’s averaging negative-0.8 yards per attempt. Dormady fumbled the ball early on.

So let’s recount Butch Jones’ last six games:

6. After starting as the SEC East favorite, the Vols headed to Vanderbilt at 8-3. Jones accidentally created the Life Championship meme, then lost to the in-state rival.

5. Beat Nebraska! Nebraska’s coach might be fired soon.

4. Beat Georgia Tech in a game that had UT fans screaming FIRE BUTCH JONES the entire time, even after the W.

3. Beat FCS Indiana State.

2. Lost to Florida after absolutely baffling play on offense in the red zone and on a blown defensive coverage to end the game.

1. The UMass game! All caught up!