Tennessee’s winning streak against Kentucky in Neyland Stadium sure felt like it was in jeopardy before Saturday.
But once the game started, it was never in question. The Vols (5-5, 2-4 SEC) dominated the No. 12 Wildcats (7-3, 5-3), winning their 17th straight against UK at Neyland.
Here are grades for the offense, defense, special teams, coaching and a game ball for UT after its 24-7 win:
Did Tennessee’s offense light it up Saturday? No. But it was a superb performance from the Vols, who had 24 points midway through the third quarter — almost reaching their season average of 24.3. They finished with more than 400 yards in a conference game for the first time this season.
Jarrett Guarantano was crisp and efficient, while taking care of the ball. He broke a school-record for most passes without an interception in the third quarter, when he reached 144 attempts without a pick.
Marquez Callaway provided the biggest highlight of all, outdoing a pair of Kentucky defensive backs to reel in a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.
Jordan Murphy had his best game as a Vol, catching a 38-yard pass and running for 59 yards on an end around.
Running back Ty Chandler also returned from injury and gave the UT offense a big boost. He had 16 rushing attempts for 89 yards. But the sophomore also had one of two Tennessee turnovers, as he and senior running back Madre London fumbled in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee’s defense was no good two weeks ago at South Carolina. It has been outstanding the past two weeks.
The Vols stifled Kentucky’s running game and Benny Snell, especially in the first half. They allowed only 1 yard in the second quarter and shut UK out in the first 30 minutes.
Darrell Taylor put a lot of pressure on UK quarterback Terry Wilson. He had four sacks, also forcing and recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Daniel Bituli had a handful of tackles for loss.
Marquill Osborne sealed the game with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions.
UT held UK to 262 total yards, including 77 on the ground. Snell finished with 81 rushing yards on 20 attempts.
Tyson Helton might as well have turned to the Tennessee crowd and shushed them Saturday. Instead, he did it figuratively with his play-calling.
The Vols offensive coordinator took deep shots on the opening play of UT’s first four drives, with big payoff. Guarantano connected with Murphy and Josh Palmer for long gains. The Vols drew a pass interference penalty on another.
But it wasn’t just those plays. Helton’s best play call was when Guarantano went under center on second-and-goal and threw a play-action pass to Dominick Wood-Anderson for a touchdown.
UT was well-prepared and executed well. It was impressive.
Joe Doyle provided a wonderful punt and a big dose of celebratory excellence at the same time. He perfectly placed a punt at the Kentucky 3 in the first half.
He raised a fist, then pretended to grab a golf club and take a chip shot.
Shy Tuttle blocked a field goal. It was his second block of the season after he blocked an extra point at South Carolina.
Marquez Callaway had a good punt return early. Brent Cimaglia was perfect on his field-goal attempt.
The Vols did allow a 15-yard punt return to UK, but that was the lone blemish.
Vols game ball
The outside linebacker had four sacks, besting his three at Georgia earlier this year.
ADAMS: UT Vols football at its best again brings out worst in Kentucky at Neyland
ANALYSIS: Tennessee 24, Kentucky 7: Jarrett Guarantano, Vols defense fuel upset of Wildcats
Source : https://www.knoxnews.com/story/sports/college/university-of-tennessee/football/2018/11/10/tennessee-vols-football-kentucky-grades-report-card-jarrett-guarantano/1886819002/