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Position Grades: Tennessee 59, ETSU 3


Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Nathanael: B-

Darrin Kirkland Jr. was once again a big play-maker for the Vols. After leading the team in tackles last week, he intercepted a pass and returned it 33 yards for a score in this game and had a tackle for loss as well. Will Ignont played well in extended time on the field, but the Vols once again failed to get much of a pass rush from their outside linebackers. Deandre Johnson played well when he was on the field, but Jonathan Kongbo and Darrell Taylor once again didn’t make much noise. Tennessee did do a better job on run defense and containment up the middle, though.

Ben: C

The group receives an average grade from me because it’s still struggling to produce a pass-rush off the edge. Darrell Taylor recorded one tackle for a loss and Jonathan Kongbo was inefficient in many situations. In pass-rushing situations on third down, Kongbo was often replaced by sophomore DeAndre Johnson. Darrin Kirkland Jr. led the group with four tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a pick-six, while Will Ignont stepped up and recorded five tackles. On first watch, there didn’t appear to be as many missed tackles as there were in week one. That’s a positive step in the right direction, but the Vols have to find a way to produce a pass-rush.

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