Tennessee football: Five takeaways from Vols win 28-10 win vs. Vanderbilt

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1. Jim Chaney finally returned to the run game.

It made sense against the Missouri Tigers, but it nearly cost Tennessee football against the Kentucky Wildcats. The Vols had not been establishing the run game the way they needed to, and it had become a huge problem. But with the inclement weather, Chaney decided to go back to what he is known for.

What he is known for is the ground attack. As we already mentioned, Eric Gray was the star. He got things going with a 56-yard touchdown run to give the Vols a 7-3 lead. Then he had a 94-yard run, the longest play of the year, to put them up 21-3. In the second half, only up 21-10, he had his third touchdown run to put them up 28-10.

Gray, a freshman from Memphis, finished the game with 25 carries for 246 yards along with those three touchdowns. He was the star of the game despite being a freshman on Senior Day, and he stood out above even more known playmakers at running back, in particular Ty Chandler. He only had 207 yards coming into the game.

But helping Gray was Tim Jordan, who had 11 carries for 40 yards to finish the game as well. Jarrett Guarantano had a key first down run at one point as well, and he finished with three carries for 13 yards. So Chaney’s return to the run game was clearly a positive. And it was the reason for UT ending this losing streak.

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