Vols Squeak by UMass Minutemen, 17-13

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

On a hotter-than-normal late September Saturday, the University of Tennessee Volunteers hosted the University of Massachusetts Minutemen.

UMass came to Neyland Stadium 0-4, having suffered losses to Hawaii, Coastal, Old Dominion, and Temple. The Vols, still reeling from the heartbreaking loss to Flordia last week, came into this contest 3-1. Predictions had UT steamrolling over the Minutemen with a 20 point spread. Like any prediction, sometimes the outcome is much different than foretold, as was seen on Saturday.

The first quarter started out less than stellar, as neither team got on the board. The Volunteer offense struggled against the Minutemen Defense, which has been deemed one of the worst in the country.

Late in the second quarter, though, John Kelley Jr. broke out a 12 yard run with 4:33 in the half, marking his sixth touchdown of the season. Arron Medley’s extra point was good, and the Vols were finally on the board 7-0. Coach Butch Jones got slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct call with just over three minutes left in the half. It didn’t take long for UMass to answer. With a quick drive and a 5 yard run, the Minute Men had things tied up for a minute. About 25 seconds before the halftime break, quarterback Quinten Dormandy flung a pass to Tyler Byrd for a Touchdown Tennessee. The teams went to the locker room with the Vols up 14-6.

The third quarter continued with much of the same back and forth, with the temperatures getting hotter in the afternoon sun. The Volunteers’ lack of passion started to really shine through, and the offense continued to struggle against the UMass defense. The Volunteers started another drive, looking to extend the gap in their lead, Tennessee got within 30 yards. This time they were limited to a 40 yard field goal by Arron Medley, and the Volunteers extended their lead to 17-6. UMass had an answer in the form of a 13 yard pass from Andrew Ford to Sadiq Palmer. The Minutemen had closed the gap against the Volunteers to only four points.

The Volunteer defense held their own for the fourth quarter, and prevented UMass from scoring again, keeping the Minutemen deep in Vol territory. The Volunteer offence simply didn’t have much left in them, and did not hold true to their traditional fourth quarter performance that the fan base is used to seeing.

The Vols squeezed by with the win 17-13

The lackluster win did have its share of highlights, though. John Kelley drove his way to over 100 yards rushing, once again. Brandon Johnson caught for 123 yards, showing improvement from previous weeks.

The Tennessee Volunteers are gearing up to host the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium on Friday. The 4-0 Bulldogs are coming off a big win against Mississippi State and are ranked first in the SEC East, 7th in the NCAA. Kickoff is set for 3:30 on CBS.

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Source: Angie Stanley, Jefferson County Post Sports

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