Maybe Tennessee doesn't need much of a passing attack after all. Joshua Dobbs had a decent day through the air-13/21, 140 yards, 2 TD-but the story wasn't through the air. It was on the ground, where Jalen Hurd (19 carries, 120 yards, 1 TD, plus 4 catches for 35 yards), Dobbs (11 carries, 93 yards), and Alvin Kamara (16 carries, 99 yards, plus 2 catches for 52 yards) formed the core of a devastating ground attack that Vanderbilt had no consistent answer for.
Vanderbilt's Ralph Webb (21 carries, 149 yards) came to play, and on the whole Vanderbilt was more successful on the ground than anyone expected, breaking 200 yards on the ground. Kyle Shurmur was ....fine for him, hitting around 50% of his throws for three TDs (which, to be fair, is good). Even those moderate numbers represented pretty substantial improvement for an offense which struggled to keep up with their defense.
That Vanderbilt defense gave up over 500 yards on the day, 27 first downs, and allowed Tennessee to go 7-12 on third down.
Oh, and Cameron Sutton ripped off an 85-yard punt return touchdown. You know, kind of the usual. Tennessee's six return TDs on the year is ...a lot. Yeah.
The leading tackler on the night: the turf, which recorded at least ten tackles by my reckoning. Maybe the turf should be fixed by, oh, March or so. If I was being generous, let's say August.
We'll have plenty of time to talk bowl games, but in the meantime, have you seen this evening slate? Come join us in the comments. Tennessee has their first eight-win regular season since 2007. Let's enjoy this.