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Position Grades: No. 17 West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14

Defensive Line

Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Nathanael: C

Tennessee’s defensive line actually performed fairly okay to me. Shy Tuttle got some good push on the inside and picked up a sack, and Alexis Johnson played well too and picked up a TFL. Kyle Phillips made some pressures and attacked on the outside, and all in all this unit was decent at stopping the run. But the depth here was the real issue, and whenever those three weren’t on the field, issues arose.

Ben: C

Shy Tuttle had an impressive game up front, recording five tackles, a sack, and a tackle for a loss. Unfortunately, Tuttle was the only Vol up front who made any big plays, and that’s why the group gets a “C.” They were average on Saturday. Kyle Phillips looked better moving around, but he only recorded two tackles while the other starting end, Alexis Johnson, recorded four tackles and a tackle for a loss. Tennessee lacked pressure up front the majority of the game and struggled to defend West Virginia’s rushing attack. If the Vols are going to make a bowl game, they’re going to have to make corrections in a hurry.

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