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Position Grades: Tennessee 20, Mississippi State 10

Linebackers

Photo by Jake Nichols/RTI

Nathanael: A-

Darrell Taylor found the Darrell Taylor of the Georgia, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt games of last year and put together his best game of 2019 so far. The redshirt senior got two sacks, two tackles for loss, and five total tackles. Daniel Bituli led the team with seven tackles, and the linebackers were just as crucial in stopping Mississippi State’s rushing attack as the front seven. Kivon Bennett got a sack off the edge as well. There were some issues with the group, especially later in the game, but overall this was a very solid performance. Henry To’o To’o didn’t play as well and ended up having a costly targeting call, and Quavaris Crouch struggled at inside linebacker in pass coverage. But all in all, this was a good performance by the group of linebackers.

Ben: C+

I didn’t think Tennessee’s linebackers had a very good day in coverage. There were several instances in which there were open Bulldogs over the middle of the field as a result of a coverage bust. On the flip side, they were very good against the run. Tennessee consistently filled the correct gaps and most importantly, gang-tackled. Kylin Hill entered the contest averaging 119.0 rushing yards per game — an SEC-best. Tennessee was able to hold him to just 13 rushing yards, which may turn out to be the most impressive storyline of any game this season.

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