During Saturday’s game between the Tennessee Volunteers and South Carolina Gamecocks, the field conditions at Neyland Stadium came under fire as multiple players found themselves tripping over the turf and losing their footing.
Eventually, the Volunteers scored a 27-24 win over the Gamecocks.
With all of the concerns over the field condition at Neyland, Volunteers head coach Butch Jones took some time to address the issues during his press conference earlier this week to state he was “well aware” of any concerns.
“It is difficult when you’re slipping, and I think sometimes it creates hesitation amongst your players,” Jones said, via the Times Free Press. “But I also think it’s been an unusual season in terms of grass. I’m not a grass expert or a field expert. I think the unusual season with the rye grass, all that goes into it.
“I can tell you this: We’re well aware of it. We’re taking every precaution. Everything we can, we’re doing. And we had a meeting today on it, and we’ll continue to work to have the best playing surface in the country. We were slipping, but there’s been a lot of places around the country that’s been like that.
“We’re well aware of it, and we are working to get it corrected as much and the best that we can at this particular time.”
While opponents may be concerned about the field condition, Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs said that the Volunteers do not see it as a big issue.
“We know our grounds crew is going to do whatever they can given the circumstances to come out and give us the best playing surface,” Dobbs said.
“We’re thankful for the people we have and the ability to go out and compete at Neyland on the surface we have. As a player, we kind of just focus on what we can control.”
Dobbs and the Volunteers could possibly benefit from being used to playing on their less than ideal field condition, so that could be why they feel they do while opponents are unhappy.
As for how the Volunteers can improve the condition, they will likely resodd the field in the offseason and look for a way to prevent further issues for a third straight season.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports