Linebackers are usually responsible for stopping both the pass and the run, which makes it a little hard to grade them sometimes. But overall, the linebackers had a very good game along with the rest of the defense. Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Darrin Kirkland Jr. both had 6 tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss (Kirkland technically had 1.5 tackles for loss), but the unit as a whole did let Northwestern running back Justin Jackson break some longer runs early in the game, including the Wildcats’ lone touchdown. Still, Tennessee limited Northwestern to just 3.6 yards per carry and held their offense to 261 total yards. And the linebackers were a big part of that.
Average Grade: B+