1. Defense was completely dominant.
Obviously this would be the story of the day. Will Levis is supposed to be an NFL quarterback, and Tennessee football’s secondary has giving up over 300 yards through the air in each of the past four games. They held Levis to 98 yards today and came away with three interceptions.
Doneiko Slaughter laid a hit that resulted in the first interception to Juwan Mitchell. Brandon Turnage had the second pick. Slaughter had the third pick himself. With Jaylen McCollough back at safety, it looked like a new secondary, and the Vols’ pass defense was shockingly elite throughout the night. However, they weren’t alone.
Up front, the rush defense remained a force. Chris Rodriguez Jr. did lead Kentucky on two drives, their sole touchdown drive and the drive in which Levis threw his first pick. Outside of that, though, he didn’t really do anything, and neither did the whole team.
Kentucky was held to 205 yards of total offense, Levis was sacked four times, and the Vols never let them get going. You can’t say enough about just how great Tennessee football’s defense was the whole time in this game, and if this is what’s in store going forward, then the Vols could become truly dominant.