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Position Grades: Vols 24, No. 11 Kentucky 7

Linebackers

Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Nathanael: A+

Darrell Taylor alone earns an A+ for this unit, but he wasn’t the only one who had a great game. Taylor’s four sacks and a forced fumble were huge, and he nearly broke a school record for most sacks in one game. He truly had a phenomenal day on the field. But he also had some help; Daniel Bituli was everywhere on defense, totaling eight tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Deandre Johnson got a sack as well, and he did a lot to get pressure on Terry Wilson. The linebackers were a perfect tag team with the defensive line to hinder Kentucky’s run game.

Ben: A+

Tennessee’s linebacker were phenomenal, specifically in stopping the run. Not only did they team-up with the D-line to bottle up Snell, but they did a great job of bottling up Kentucky’s dual-threat quarterback Terry Wilson too. The Vols held Wilson to -6 rushing yards, which is the first time he’s been held to negative rushing yards all season. Wilson had rushed for at least 80 yards three different times this year.

Darrell Taylor led the way on defense, generating a consistent pass-rush and picking up four sacks in the process. Taylor even forced, and recovered, a fumble. Daniel Bituli also had a tremendous day, tallying a team-high eight tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss.

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