Tennessee football: Five takeaways from 56-0 win vs. Tennessee Tech

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Tennessee Head Coach Josh Heupel during a NCAA football game against Tennessee Tech at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.
Kns Tennessee Tenn Tech Football

It was sluggish at times, but Tennessee football continued its one tradition of at least doing what it should do when it faces FCS programs. Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers and In their first meeting with the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles since 2016, when they won 55-0, the Vols walked away with a 56-0 victory.

Rocky Top scored on its second and fourth possessions to go up 14-0 at the end of the first. They had two more touchdowns in the second to head into halftime up 28-0. Their best quarter came in the third, as they scored a touchdown on every drive and had a defensive score to get 21 points.

With the win, UT improved to 2-1 in the process while TTU fell to 0-3. Up next for Tennessee football is the start of SEC play, a trip to the Florida Gators. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles will begin Ohio Valley Conference play against the Eastern Illinois Panthers. Here are five things we learned from the Vols’ second win of the season.

5. Josh Heupel showed he is a gambler.

Honestly, this is concerning in a way, as the Vols were 4-of-14 on third downs. However, Josh Heupel was aggressive and went for it five times on fourth down. One of them was on the opening drive from his own 31-yard line, and although they eventually had to punt on that drive, it was still a good decision.

Most importantly, though, the Vols converted on all but one of those fourth downs, and one of the conversions ended up being a touchdown play. Another conversion came on a drive that ended in a touchdown. As a result, the moves worked out overall, and the first conversion did help with field position on a punt.

These decisions show that Heupel is willing to be aggressive and do what every coach should do, which is go for it on fourth and manageable and not abuse the punt. That’s the most overused play in the sport, and Tennessee football may be ahead of the curve by not going to it too often.

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