14:27: Outstanding play by Jordan Williams on this play to get a hand up and deflect the pass. With Sutton in man coverage against Treadwell, his weakness is if Treadwell runs a quick slant, which he does. Williams keeps his eyes on the quarterback and gets his arm vertical as Wallace releases the football to prevent a big play. Batted balls don’t always show up in the stat-sheet, but they are a characteristic of well coached defensive linemen.
14:22: Tennessee did this a few times on the night and it really confused Bo Wallace early. Jalen Reeves-Maybin played safety in high school, so he is at least familiar with coverage schemes and responsibilities, and the Vols used him as a safety on this play. He sprints from the line of scrimmage to the deep middle of the field at the snap of the ball to give Bo Wallace a cover-3 zone look with eight players in coverage and three rushers. Bo hesitates early and then tries to force a ball to Treadwell when he had two players open on the right side. Great call by Jancek to give Wallace a different look and confuse him early.
13:36: Nice wrinkle by Bajakian to fake the run-action, let Worley move away from the pressure and hit Malone for a first down here. Ole miss was expecting run and this was a nice call to fool them and pick up an early first down. Great job by Marquez North to block all the way across the field as well.
13:12: This is an example of everything that is wrong with Tennessee’s running game. The three linemen on the right side of Tennessee’s line all fall to the ground upon initial contact and fail to reach the second level of the defense. Marcus Jackson and Ethan Wolf pull to the opposite side and provide great seal blocks for Hurd, but nobidy got to the second level because they are all laying on the ground. Two linebackers meet Hurd in the hole and the run gets next-to-nothing.
12:42: Need a little bit better throw there, but Hurd should have caught that.
12:36: Worley has less than two seconds before the pocket has been demolished and he is forced to abandon his reads down the field. He avoids the sack, but his pass to Lane isn’t enough to move the chains.
11:45: Cam takes on the lead blocker and forces the RB inside to A.J. Johnson. Great fundamental play.
11:06: I think part of the plan for Tennessee’s defense was to try to get into Wallace’s head. Here, A.J. jaws with him after the play and Wallace forces an incompletion on the next play.
10:51: This play is one block away… Helm loses his balance and the defender comes free to hit Hurd in the backfield.
9:54: Mack Crowder does nothing on this play, yet Worley is still able to find Pig Howard for a first down thanks to Jalen Hurd’s pass protection.
-Blackledge nails it on Worley…With time and a clean pocket, he is a good quarterback.
9:28: Kyler Kerbyson whiffs on his cut block, but you can’t have this type of mistake from your quarterback. It’s first down, you’re moving the ball…He HAS to throw this ball away or run out of bounds.
8:54: Jancek fakes the overload blitz on the left and sends A.J. Johnson from the right. Ole Miss blows the protection and A.J. is able to force Wallace to take off running.
8:34: Cam Sutton is an All-American.
7:16: Coleman Thomas gets beat and Worley, again, has two seconds before the rush is upon him. Not much you can do.
6:40: Jashon Robertson and Mack Crowder get demolished…Worley has to improvise and the pass is incomplete.
5:45: Williams gives up the middle on a slant when Tennessee is blitzing from the middle. This is a huge no-no and is one of the reasons the Emmanuel Moseley (true freshman) came in for him. Moseley immediately makes a nice tackle on the next play and shows that, in time, he will be a very good player here.
3:32: PERFECT defense against the back-shoulder fade by Emmanuel Moseley. They worked on this all week in practice and it paid off on this play.
3:22: Croom misses the block that would have sprung that play for a big gain.
1:28: I think this was the first game all season that Vereen hasn’t played with a knee brace. If this is what Tennessee can expect from him moving forward, then this defense will go to the next level.
:02: If you give Worley a chance to step into his throws, this is what you get. This is a great throw by #14.
15:00: Outstanding play call and great execution to hit the middle-screen here.
14:35: Both offensive tackles get destroyed on this play. Kyler Kerbyson barely touches the blitzing linebacker and Coleman Thomas gets pushed backwards as soon as the ball is snapped. The result is a sack.
11:37: Unreal coverage and unreal effort by A.J. Johnson to fight off the block and get to Bo Wallace for the sack.
10:25: Here, a freshman mistake costs the Vols a touchdown. The safetly over Josh Malone drops underneath before the snap of the ball, leaving the middle of the field unprotected. Malone is supposed to adjust his route to the inside and get his head around immediately when he sees the safety drop, but he doesn’t and the pass falls incomplete.
9:24: A.J. Johnson is really good at playing the game of American football. Great pursuit to hit the running back for a four-yard loss.
8:40: Great pressure by Chris Weatherd to force Wallace into the incompletion here. He is going to be a force in the coming weeks.
-Penalties early in possessions are kryptonite to this offense. They just aren’t good enough to overcome early mistakes when they are backed up in their own territiry.
5:30: Just an unlucky play for Emmanuel Moseley right here. He has great coverage on Sanders early, but Bo Wallace is able to buy time with his feet and Sanders breaks downfield for a big gain. On the very next play, Ole Miss uses a play-action fake to freeze the safety and Sanders beats Moseley one-on-one for the touchdown. That’s the upside and downside of playing a true freshman on the road against the #3 team in the country – all in about 10 minutes of game time.
4:15: Just a terrible panic-play by Justin Worley. It’s 3rd and 16, a punt is a good thing, and Worley lobs up a pop-fly for Ole Miss to intercept. Again, that is a play that you CAN’T have from your senior quarterback in that situation. The defense is playing well, but Ole Miss now has all of the momentum and Tennessee’s offense looks like they start to lose confidence.
2:20: Ole Miss executes and converts on 4th and one. The defense has to feel deflated here. They’ve played outstanding football but the offense has two turnovers and continues to shoot themselves in the foot. Halftime can’t get here fast enough.
1:46: Another panic-throw by Worley into TRIPLE-coverage. He’s pressing now.
-Bajakian is trying to get to halftime now to calm Worley down, and who can blame him. He’s been hit, pressured, confused by coverages and has thrown two interceptions. It becomes impossible to call productive plays at this point.
:03: I saw a lot of people complaining about this timeout taken by Butch Jones and I wanted to explain it. When you play 10 vs. 11 in the game of football, I promise that the team of 11 will win every. single. time. I get that this is a rushed situation for Ole Miss, but most teams have a special call or signal if the opposing team isn’t aligned properly or trots out 10 men onto the field. If Ole Miss had faked this field goal against a 10-man defense by Tennessee, the odds of a touchdown are extremely high. The timeout call, although certainly debatable due to time constraints, was the correct call here.
14:36: Jacob Gilliam is in at right tackle here and he gets some good push in the run game, as does right guard Jashon Robertson. The Vols get three yards, but there could’ve been more if Jalen Hurd had bounced that one to the outside.
13:59: Classic example of what Worley can do here when he actually has some time and space. He gets to step into his throw, finds Josh Malone on the post route and picks up a big first down.
13:27: Probably the best pure run of the day for Tennessee here. Kyler Kerbyson does a great job of sealing the left edge and tight end Alex Ellis actually runs counter to the play – messing up the Ole Miss linebackers’ reads – and getting them off balance. Hurd has the speed to get around the corner, does a great job running hard and with the ball completely secured and picks up about 15 yards.
12:53: Here’s the ill-fated double-reverse that ended up knocking the Vols out of field-goal range. I didn’t hate the call. It worked at Georgia in a similar spot, but too much penetration by Ole Miss here, much of it given up tight end Daniel Helm. They blitzed to the side that Malone ended up running to and there are just too many bodies in the backfield for him to find the edge. The argument for this play would be that the Vols knew they had to find ways to generate some offense since they were overmatched. The argument against would be the timing. The Vols were putting together one of their best drives of the day and were in field-goal range, which could’ve made it a one-score game.
12:06: Matt Darr had a solid night, but this wasn’t his best effort. He hits it a good 5-10 yards too far here, it goes in the end zone for a touchback and the punt only netted 17 yards – essentially wasting much of the progress of the previous drive.
12:00-10:00: Just a couple nice grabs by Laquon Treadwell here. Tennessee did a good job corralling him for much of the night, but he shows why he’ll be an NFL player someday during this stretch.
9:38: Probably should’ve been defensive holding on Cam Sutton here – he had Treadwell’s jersey while the ball was in the air. Sutton even holds well apparently.
9:17: Another good run for Hurd here, this time behind Kerbyson at right tackle. The right side blocks down, Marcus Jackson gets a nice kick-out block on his pull to get Hurd about six yards and then he uses his strength and balance to fall forward for a few more.
8:22: Good protection and throw here to Malone again for the first. But Worley missed a wide-open Von Pearson in the middle of the field. If he hits him in stride, he’s probably still running. A flat-footed Ole Miss safety would’ve been the only person Pearson would’ve had to beat.
8:08: That’s a catch Marquez North has to make. He clearly pushed off and should’ve been flagged, but he wasn’t and he still couldn’t haul it in for what would’ve set the Vols up in the red zone, still only down 11 at this point in the game.
7:25: Here’s Worley’s third INT. Butch Jones talked about this one in the post-game and put it on Josh Malone. The o-line gave Worley some time, he then scrambled out of the pocket to buy some more and throws it to a spot where he thinks Malone is headed. But the freshman stops on the route and Golson is there again to grab the interception.
7:10: Vols get a couple good snaps from DT Owen Williams here, who was questionable coming into the game with a thumb injury.
5:52: Ole Miss holds here but the Vols still get through for another sack and they end the Rebels’ chances to capitalize on the turnover. Just another great example of the defense keeping the Vols in the game. It’s 14-3 midway through the third quarter, the offense has already turned it over three times and the defense still has UT in this game.
4:28: Gilliam just gets smoked here by Marques Haynes – one of the best pass rushers in the league. Haynes hits Worley from behind, pops the ball out and the Vols are fortunate to hop on it. Hard to say much here except that’s just where UT is on the o-line with a former walk-on with a torn ACL playing right tackle against one of the best defenses in the nation. Two other things on this play: 1. Ethan Wolf jumps early but the refs miss it. 2. Marcus Jackson got rolled up on at the end and was out for the rest of the game.
3:50: Nice run by Ole Miss RB Jaylen Walton. The Rebels simply had the numbers advantage on the left side. Tight end Jeremy Liggins sealed Derek Barnett down, two linemen pulled around and take out the two UT defenders that step up in run support and Walton shows nice speed down the sideline to set up Ole Miss in the red zone.
2:17: Nice hold by the defense here after the long run. The Vols forced third and long, which Ole Miss struggled on all night, and Wallace forces one into the end zone where it’s tipped by Justin Coleman and almost intercepted by Brian Randolph. The Rebels settle for a field goal.
2:04: Evan Berry just coughs this one up on the return. That was really the only concern with putting the freshman back there – could he field it and then hold onto it? I don’t think UT was coming back anyhow, but that pretty much sealed it right there.
1:55: We’ve praised John Jancek regularly for always having his defense in a good situation, but I think this was an exception to that rule here. The Vols run a zone blitz, sending five off the right side (but it takes a while to develop) and Corey Vereen, a defensive end, is left to run with athletic tight end Evan Engram. That’s a mismatch. Wallace spots it, lofts it up to him and Engram makes the great grab for a touchdown and an immediate payoff from the Berry fumble.
1:50: The patchwork offensive line gives up the unholy trinity of plays here on this drive: a sack, a holding penalty and a negative run.
14:45: This was just a short pass to Treadwell, but few noticed what Todd Kelly Jr. was able to do here. He fights through a block by left tackle Laremy Tunsil and then arm tackles Treadwell on the play. That may not sound like a massive deal in the scheme of the game, but those could both legitimately be first-round picks for Ole Miss.
Early 4th: I thought fatigue set in a little bit on this drive for the Tennessee defense. Ole Miss found pretty consistent room on the ground, the receivers started finding some room in the secondary and the Vols didn’t do a great job reading their keys on this drive that took the clock down under the 8:00 mark.
7:52: Despite the fumble earlier, you can see Berry’s athleticism on this kickoff return as he runs, jukes and spins his way to the 35.
7:16: That post to Josh Malone was there several times on the night. Look for the Vols to keep going to that in the future.
6:53: Marques Haynes chases Worley, who was rolling left, all the way down from the right side for a big hit after he releases the ball that appeared to cause Worley’s shoulder issue. Hard to really blame Jacob Gilliam here too much because the backside end shouldn’t be able to run down the QB on a play rolling to the opposite side, but Worley held it too long and took the hit. Obviously the question falls on the coaching staff here of if Worley still should’ve been in the game at this point.
6:17: Nathan Peterman again shows his problems holding onto the ball. Ole Miss knocks it out at the end of this run, but the Vols are able to recover it. The four turnovers were bad for UT, but we should remind you that it could’ve been six if they didn’t recover two of their own fumbles. Maybe should’ve been a blow to the head on Ole Miss, but the refs said the Peterman wasn’t defenseless, so they let it go.
5:29: No chance for Derrell Scott on fourth & short here. Isaac Gross blows past Austin Sanders (who tried and couldn’t hold him) and stuffs Scott before he can even get close to the line of scrimmage and the Rebels get the stop.
5:00: Vols start to mix some backups in here on defense as Dewayne Hendrix, LaTroy Lewis and others get some reps. Ole Miss moves the ball down the field pretty easily on this drive.
1:12: Hugh Freeze is a classy coach and I have no problem with teams running their offense to the end, but I was a little surprised to see him take a shot to the end zone at this point.
:38: Mark Dodson takes in an 8-yard touchdown run with under a minute left to stretch the lead to 34-3. No complaints from me here on this play, the hole was wide open, I didn’t think Tennessee gave great effort on the play and Dodson ran the play as it was designed on the score. That didn’t feel like running up the score on that particular play.