In-Game Blog…Vols defeat Western Carolina 55-10.

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    -Marquez North officially got the start over Pig Howard at the outside receiver position.

    -The crowd is easily the most impressive thing as the game begins. Tonight will, amazingly, be close to a sellout.

    First Quarter: Tennessee leads 10-0

    Cam Sutton got things started for Tennessee on WCU’s opening drive as he forced a fumble after giving up a completion, and then held up the receiver until help could arrive and recover the ball. Joshua Dobbs made quick work the the Catamounts’ secondary on the ensuing drive, going 4-of-4 for 41 yards – including a 25-yard strike to Preston Williams for a touchdown.

    The defense did their part in the first quarter, allowing only 35 yards to the catamounts and forcing three punts to go along with the Cam Sutton forced fumble. The offense is clearly looking the dial in on the passing game, which has led to some nice plays but also some inconsistent play. Joshua Dobbs missed a wide open Marquez North in the back of the end zone that forced the Vols to kick a field goal, but Dobbs has looked solid, going 8-of-9 for 84 yards and the touchdown to Williams.

    All in all…a nice start for the Vols.

    Halftime: Vols lead 41-3

    Well, that quarter went about as well as it could for the Vols. Joshua Dobbs’ night appears to be done as he gave way to true freshman Quinten Dormady. Dobbs finished the night 15-of-21 for 144 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t the sharpest half for Dobbs, but it was sharp enough to move the ball and put up points. Jalen Hurd has 11 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, while also adding two catches for 12 yards and another score. Alvin Kamara has 6 carries for 41 yards and a score as well.

    Tennessee’s defense continues to smother the Catamounts’ offense. LaDarrell McNeil picked off a pass and put together a nice return deep into Catamount territory – not bad for his first game action of the season. Kahlil McKenzie also forced a fumble that was recovered by Shy Tuttle, so the freshman defensive linemen are starting to get comfortable and make an impact for the Vols.

    All told, this game is exactly what we thought it would be. Hopefully some of the younger players can continue to see extended action in the second half.

    Third quarter: Vols lead 55-3

    Alvin Kamara housed a punt to give Tennessee the first kickoff and punt return touchdown game since at least 1957. Quinten Dormady also hooked up with Preston Williams on a 24-yard laser after Dormady escaped some pocket-pressure and rolled to his right. This game is going perfectly to plan for Tennessee. The Vols are getting tons of action for the young players and haven’t shown any hangover from the Oklahoma game last week.

    Total yards:
    Tennessee: 400
    WCU: 166

    Final: Vols 55-10

    No injuries. No injuries. No injuries. That was easily the biggest accomplishment for the Vols on this night. They took steps in the passing game, sure. And they were still able to run the ball, of course. But the biggest takeaway from tonight was that the Vols are a relatively healthy football team heading into the start of SEC play in Gainesville next weekend. We knew that tonight would be a big win for the Vols, but getting the win and getting out healthy is a huge bonus.

    More coming later.