Tennessee chalked up another one in the win column with their triumph over the Wildcats on Saturday in Neyland Stadium. The Vols won by a score of 49 to 36, although the game was a blowout until Kentucky scored a pair of late touchdowns. Both teams racked up big yards on the offensive side of the ball, Tennessee with 599, and Kentucky with 635. Tennessee ran a very well balanced offense with 223 yards through the air, and 376 yards on the ground. Joshua Dobbs threw the ball for the aforementioned 223 yards on 11 of 17 passes and 3 touchdowns, with only 1 interception. Dobbs also lead the team in rushing as he had 147 yards on 14 carries and 2 touchdowns. Dobbs longest run was a 45-yard scamper for a touchdown. Altogether Dobbs accounted for 5 touchdowns to add to his outstanding stats against Kentucky on his career. Against Kentucky Dobbs has racked up 16 total touchdowns over the course of his career and will finish 4-0 against the Wildcats. To top off all of that for Joshua Dobbs, he also etched his name in the Tennessee record books on Saturday, breaking the career record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, Dobbs career total is now 27. The previous record was set by Jimmy Streater, who had 25. Tennessee benefited from the return of Alvin Kamara in the backfield, as he ran for 128 yards on 10 carries and 2 touchdowns. Kamara’s longest run was a 39-yard sprint in the 2nd quarter. Running back John Kelly continued his feisty play with 94 yards on 16 carries. Jauan Jennings ran 1 play out of the wildcat formation for the Vols. He gained 7 yards on that play and it went for a first down.
In the receiving corps Tennessee had a big day. Josh Malone led the way with 4 receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown score. Tight end Ethan Wolf had a big day. He gained 44 yards on 4 receptions, and scored a touchdown as well. Josh Smith snagged 1 pass on the day, he caught it wide open in the end zone for the Vols first score of the game. Tyler Byrd also contributed with 1 catch, and ran for 44 yards after that catch. Jauan Jennings rounds out the list of wide receivers, he caught 1 pass as well for 19 yards. Jennings can play both sides of the ball, as he intercepted a last second hail mary at the end of the first half, looking all too similar to Tennessee’s game winning pass he caught against Georgia.
On defense Micah Abernathy excelled with 10 total tackles, Todd Kelly Jr. and LaTroy Lewis both contributed 7 total tackles. Corey Vereen was a defensive MVP of sorts for Tennessee, recording 5 total tackles and 2 sacks. The 2 quarterback takedowns added up to -15 yards total. LaTroy Lewis recorded another sack for -8 yards as well. Derek Barnett moved closer to the all-time Tennessee career sack record, taking the quarterback down once. That moved his career total to 30.0 sacks, just 2 shy of tying Reggie White’s record of 32.0 career sacks.
As for the scoring summary, Kentucky jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after just 2 offensive plays, but that did not stand for long. On the next drive Tennessee drove down the field and found the end zone on a 24-yard Joshua Dobbs pass to Josh Smith. Kentucky responded by adding a field goal on the next drive to make the score 10-7 in the Wildcats favor. The Vols then put together a 6 play, 75-yard drive, which ended with a Josh Dobbs leap into the end zone from the goal line. That made the score 14-10 in favor of the Volunteers at the end of the 1st quarter. Kentucky’s offense stalled in the red zone on the first drive of the second quarter and kicked another field goal, that cut Tennessee’s lead to 14-13. Josh Dobbs threw another touchdown in the 2nd quarter to Ethan Wolf from 10 yards out, that made the score 21 to 13 at the half, in Tennessee’s favor. In the 3rd quarter Kentucky added yet another field goal, while Tennessee scored touchdowns on a 51-yard Josh Dobbs to Josh Malone “flea flicker” pass, and a 17-yard Alvin Kamara touchdown score. At the end of 3 quarters Tennessee maintained a 35 to 16 lead. Kentucky cut the score down to 35-22 with a 71-yard Jojo Kemp run in the 4th. Tennessee then extended its lead with 2 touchdowns, one on a 45-yard J. Dobbs run, and the other off of a 29-yard Alvin Kamara run. Kentucky added two late touchdowns to make the final score 49 to 36 in Tennessee’s favor.
Knoxville is celebrating after the big win, and looking ahead to the remaining games in the SEC East title race. Florida beat South Carolina Saturday, meaning that with two Tennessee wins in their remaining games against Missouri and then Vanderbilt, and a Florida loss against LSU in Baton Rouge next Saturday, would give the Vols the SEC East title and send them to Atlanta for the SEC championship on Dec. 3.
Tennessee improves to 7-3 on the season with the win, and will face Missouri in Neyland Stadium next Saturday.