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Position Grades: Tennessee 17, Kentucky 13

Defensive Line

(Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

Nathanael: C+

After getting bullied by Kentucky in the first quarter and even for most of the second quarter, Tennessee’s defensive line adjusted and played a lot better in the second half. Yes, Kentucky ran for 300 yards, but it took them 64 carries to do so. The Vols really did a good job of containing Lynn Bowden Jr. in the second half, and Asim Rose was bottled up very effectively. Still, all four of Kentucky’s main runners ripped off a run of 20 or more yards at least once, and the Wildcats still largely controlled the line of scrimmage. But any time Kentucky tried to pass, the pressure from UT’s front seven was phenomenal. Matthew Butler made a bad “roughing the passer” penalty, but otherwise this unit played okay all things considered. Butler had a sack, and LaTrell Bumphus had two tackles for loss.

Ben: B

Kentucky rushed for 302 yards, the most Tennessee has allowed all season, but the defense stopped the run when they needed to, particularly in the second half. Adjustments were made at halftime to contain Lynn Bowden Jr., and the players did a great job of executing. The Vols produced six tackles for a loss on the night, and four of them were from the defensive line. LaTrell Bumphus had two, and Matthew Butler had one, as did Darrell Taylor.

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