In the Vols first two SEC games against Florida and Georgia, they allowed a combined 77-points. Saturday, the Tennessee defense allowed only one touchdown, as UT beat Mississippi State 20-10.
Mississippi State is not an offensive juggernaut, and Tennessee made sure they stayed that way, holding the Bulldogs to 267 total yards of offense.
Said head coach Jeremy Pruitt:”Well I think our guys played gap sound. We struck blockers. Changed the line of scrimmage a little bit. Wrapped up tackles. Gang tackled and made some plays in space.”
The Bulldogs Kylin Hill entered the game as the SEC’s leading rusher.
He went no where, finishing with just 13 yards on 11 carries.
Said linebacker Darrell Taylor:”The key was all week he’s a great back, and we just stop the run, and that’s what we did.”
Added linebacker Daniel Bituli:”We also started running to the ball. There was not one play where I saw just one guy tackling the ball carrier. It was eleven guys trying to run to the ball and make the play.”
The Vols pressured Mississippi State’s quarterbacks too racking up seven sacks.
Said Pruitt:”I’m pretty sure we played pretty good up-front defensively. We had some pass rush today. We affected the quarterback.”
Said Taylor:”We were out there playing fast man. We were getting off the rock. Ssomething we’ve been preaching all week. I think the inside guys were doing a helluva job pushing the pocket and making their quarterback step back. We were coming around the edge really fast and making plays.”
Affect the quarterback.
Stop the run.
The Vols then completed their defensive check list.
They got three interceptions.
Said defensive back Nigel Warrior:”This is what we work for. In practice we have over throughout the week, we’ll have at least 25 picks. Like we’re really trying to go get the ball out of the air. I love the D-Line. They make the quarterback panic. If somebody is panicking, and they just throw it up, nine times out of ten it will go to the DB’s or the defense.”