This was easily the best game Tennessee’s secondary has played all season, and it wasn’t just because of Bryce Thompson’s three interceptions. Yes, Alontae Taylor struggled some, but that doesn’t really bring down the grade any, in my opinion. Thompson tied a school record with three interceptions in one game, and he made an impact even beyond just that, tallying a quarterback hurry and three tackles as well.
The Vols’ secondary wasn’t just a one-man show, though. Nigel Warrior continues to put together a strong senior season, as he led the team with six tackles and was crucial in stopping the run. Shawn Shamburger showed off his blitzing ability once again, registering a bone-jarring sack to go along with three total tackles and a quarterback hurry. Jaylen McCollough nearly picked off a pass, and Warren Burrell played well in his minimal snaps.
Bryce Thompson alone gives the Vols secondary the best grade possible. Thompson picked off a career-high three passes and became the first Vol to intercept three passes in a game since Deon Grant. The sophomore corner wasn’t the only DB to have a strong game, though. Nigel Warrior had a team-high six tackles, and Shawn Shamburger had a sack, a tackle for a loss, and a quarterback hurry. Jaylen McCollough nearly had an interception as well.