Rapid Reaction: Tennessee dominates Chattanooga to snap losing streak
The Tennessee Volunteers (3-3) snapped their three-game losing streak with a 45-10 rout of Chattanooga on Saturday. Justin Worley led the Vols with 198 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-24 passing, as well as two scores on quarterback keepers. Tennessee’s defense held Chattanooga to 202 total yards and a 5-of-14 third down efficiency.
Here are a couple of thoughts on the game:
What it means: Tennessee got a much needed favorable matchup against an FCS opponent. Coming off three disappointing games, the Vols needed to find their offensive groove and even their record to 3-3. The win doesn’t mean that Tennessee has made the necessary adjustments to its flaws, but its a confidence booster moving forward.
What I liked: Justin Worley had a bounce back performance. Coming off a season-worst three turnover game against Florida, the senior looked efficient passing. Worley still faced constant pressure thanks to another poor performance from his offensive line.
What I didn’t like: The offensive line. Earlier this week, I made the analogy that Tennessee’s line would be better suited playing in the SoCon. I was wrong, the SoCon would dominate them as Chattanooga did throughout the contest. It amazes me how this team finds new ways to struggle each week, even against a far inferior opponent.
Who’s the man: Johnathon Johnson. The former JUCO transfer recorded his first and second Division-1 touchdowns in Saturday’s win. Johnson had 46 yards on two catches.
Key Play: Cameron Sutton’s 42-yard punt return set up Tennessee’s first scoring drive. The Vols took possession from the Chattanooga 38-yard line and drove three plays and five yards in 2:34. Marquez North capped off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone.
What’s next: Tennessee will face Ole Miss next week. The Rebels boast one of the nation’s top defenses, including 6-foot-5, 293-pound man child Robert Nkemdiche, who should dominate the Vols struggling o-line.