The Tennessee Volunteers entered this game following an absolute stomping on the road in Columbus last weekend against the Missouri Tigers. The offense picked up right where the Vols left off, and scored 35 straight points — including an early 28-0 first quarter lead. Tennessee had many positives in this game despite a struggle in the second half.
The Tennessee offense keeps humming
Hendon Hooker once again proved he is the man at Tennessee this season. Hooker completed 17 of his 23 pass attempts with three touchdowns for 225 yards. Hooker also added a rushing touchdown to push his total to four on the day. Running back Tiyon Evans also rushed for 119 yards on 16 carries, including a 45-yard touchdown sprint. Tennessee’s offense scored the first 35 points of the game and showed just how much this Tennessee team has improved since last season.
The Vols defensive depth steps up
Alabama transfer defensive back Brandon Turnage started the season as the 3rd-string safety on the depth chart. Turnage sat behind Theo Jackson and Daneiko Slaughter for the first five weeks of the 2021 season. However, the Alabama transfer got his opportunity due to injury and ran with it. Turnage finished with 14 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. The Vols defense also benefited from linebacker Aaron Beasley’s fumble recovery. All in all, the Vols defense did everything they needed to win despite having multiple 1st and 2nd string players out with injuries.
With this win, the Vols increase their record to 4-2 (2-1 SEC) on the year. Tennessee plays host to Ole Miss next weekend in a crucial game to Tennessee and Josh Heupel’s plans of long term. Will the Vols be able to keep rolling against Matt Corral and the Rebels? We shall see.