Far be it for me to critique a win too harshly, and I think some people are doing just that with this victory. Tennessee essentially had the same game plan in this game as they did against Mississippi State a few weeks ago, and it worked just as effectively in this game as it did that one. The Vols ran the ball much more than they threw it, relied on their defense, and they dominated from start to finish. It wasn’t a flashy win, and there were some execution issues on offense (including another red zone turnover), but overall it was much better than the performances we’ve seen UT have against Group of Five teams in the last few years.
A win is a win, especially after the way Tennessee started the season. The Vols needed to exit the game as healthy as possible and one step closer to a bowl game. They did exactly that with a Homecoming win over a really good Group of Five opponent. The plan was very vanilla, and Tennessee still dominated nearly the whole game.