Already down 7-3, Tennessee faced some unexpected adversity in the first quarter when senior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin was called for targeting against a punt returner.
Replay upheld the controversial call, sending Reeves-Maybin to the locker room for the evening.
Here’s another look at the JRM targeting call that got him tossed https://t.co/LKvszGE2tr
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) September 2, 2016
“Jalen brings a lot,” Butch Jones said after the game. “Obviously he went out, but that’s football. Next man in. And that’s what we talk about with competitive depth. I thought Cortez (McDowell) came in and did some good things.”
McDowell, a junior reserve defender who is more frequently used on special teams, did step up with nine tackles, including some clutch plays late.
But the conversation after the game centered on Reeves-Maybin and a controversial call that didn’t end up costing UT the game, but certainly gave the Vols extra adversity on an evening where there was already plenty.