Takeaways from Tennessee’s opener against Bowling Green
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Volunteers knocked off the Bowling Green Falcons 59-30 nearly five hours after the game kicked off.
The Tennessee offense had a banner day, racking up over 600 yards of offense with Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd carrying most of the load.
Tennessee newcomer Alvin Kamara racked up 144 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns while showing Tennessee fans the quickness that his teammates have been raving about all spring and summer practice. Running mate Jalen Hurd finished with three touchdowns and 123 rushing yards. Volunteer fans really got a glimpse of what may end up being the best running back tandem in the conference.
The Volunteers’ resident aerospace engineer, Joshua Dobbs, finished the day with 205 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns to Ethan Wolf. Dobbs looked greatly improved throwing the long ball as well as medium range touch passes. Dobbs also did not commit any turnovers, which will be an important stat as league play approaches.
Five different Tennessee receivers caught at least two balls today with Jauan Jennings leading the way with 58 receiving yards. While the receivers only racked up 205 yards of receiving, they did a good job of minimizing drops and blocking downfield for the running backs.
There was a lot of talk this offseason about how Tennessee was going to live and die by how well the offensive line played. Granted, it was against Bowling Green defense that isn’t exactly all-world, but the offensive line looked showed improvement. Any time a team racks up nearly 400 yards on the ground, then you know they’ve had a good day. The line looked a year older and a year better.
But all was not well on the other side of the ball for the Vols. Tennessee’s secondary had a tough day containing a Bowling Green offense that can be very explosive. Emmanuel Moseley had an especially tough day after being burned multiple times on fly routes. The entire Vol secondary gave up several big plays, especially in the first half. At the end of the day, though, UT’s secondary woes are fixable. This is a talented unit that lost two starters over the offseason and BGSU’s quarterback and wide receiver unit are arguably one of the most talented they’ll face this season.
Tennessee had a great day in the punt return department. Cameron Sutton had a pair of long returns that put the Volunteer’s offense in great field position. Evan Berry also had nice kick return as well, and it was only stopped by a facemask tackle from the Bowling Green kicker.
Aaron Medley had a rough day, only making one out of three field goal attempts with a long of 26, but he did make all of his extra points.
Tennessee will most likely still be ranked in the top 25 headed into next week, but if they want to knock off Oklahoma and keep the hype train chugging, they’ll need to improve the back end of the orange swarm.
Edited by Nathan Odom