Report Card: Tennessee 50 Kentucky 16

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    Jalen Reeves Maybin-1

     Linebackers

    Daniel: Somewhat of a quiet, but effective night for the linebackers. A.J. Johnson topped the 100-tackle plateau for the season with five more stops on the night and added half a sack. Jalen Reeves-Maybin had five tackles, a TFL and half a sack. Chris Weatherd, Jakob Johnson and Cortez McDowell got some valuable reps as well later in the game. No-game changing plays from these guys, but the run fits were pretty solid all night as the Vols held the Wildcats to just 2.8 yards per carry and the strong pass rush was aided by the LBs on several instances.  Grade: B+

    Houston: The production this group has gone down in recent weeks, but I think that may be because they are finally getting some help from their defensive line and safeties in run support. Jalen Reeves-Maybin had a few nice plays early to keep Kentucky from gaining any momentum and A.J. Johnson – although short on tackles – helped clog the middle and forced Kentucky ball carriers to bounce plays to the outside when they didn’t want to. The starters did their job, younger guys got reps and Kentucky was never able to run the ball. It wasn’t flashy, but it didn’t need to be. Grade B+

    Reed: Tennessee isn’t getting a ton of big plays from this group, but they generally played solid assignment football on Saturday. Jalen Reeves-Maybin was very active with five tackles (1 for a loss) and came close to a few big plays. He absolutely destroyed a Kentucky running back who tried to block him on one passing play – JRM didn’t get to Towles there but he rushed the throw (an incompletion). A.J. Johnson added 5 tackles and made a couple of plays behind the line. The Vol linebackers were solid in run support with the exception of a couple Towles draws. As a whole, it was a good, though not spectacular, game. Grade: B

    Average Grade: B+

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