INSTANT REACTION: Tennessee 24 UTEP 0

Photo Credit: UT Sports

It certainly wasn’t perfect but Tennessee rolled over UTEP 24-0 on Saturday afternoon in Neyland Stadium.

Defensively, the Vols completely stifled the Miners. They held UTEP to just 134 total yards and obviously, they allowed no scores of any kind. The pass rush was still lacking for much of the game but UT managed to get two sacks. They couldn’t force any turnovers like they did last week, but on the whole, the defense did what they were supposed to do.

Now, let’s talk about the offense. Tennessee’s offense, and more specifically it’s offensive line, needs to get its act together. Yes, the Vols scored 24 points, but consider the fact that FCS Northern Arizona laid 30 on the Miners and UNLV scored 52 points against them over the last two weeks.  Time and time again, the offensive line looked sloppy and committed thoughtless penalties. The unit just isn’t very good and without more depth and talent, I don’t see them getting much better this season.

At the skill positions, the Vols really aren’t half bad. Ty Chandler looked great and rushed for 158 yards, Brandon Johnson came up with 51 receiving yards, and Jauan Jennings found the end zone for a touchdown. Jarrett Guarantano had another solid showing under center, going 12-16 for 168 yards through the air and he even picked up 20 yards on the ground. But there’s no denying that Tennessee’s offensive front is a massive problem. If they have a performance like this against lowly UTEP, what will happen next week against Florida?

Perhaps, we can chalk up this lackluster performance to Tennessee looking ahead to Florida and it being a noon game. Hopefully, that’s what happened because if it’s not, this doesn’t bode well for UT as they now head into SEC play.

I don’t want to be doom and gloom, a win is never a bad thing, but I also have to call a spade a spade. Florida is up next and Tennessee has plenty to work on before the Gators come to town.

TEAM GRADES

Quarterbacks B+

Running backs A

Wide receivers B+

Offensive line D

Defensive line B+

Linebackers A-

Defensive Backs A-

Special teams B

Coaches B

FINAL STATS