All of a sudden, Tennessee football has defensive stars stepping up to win games for the. Against the Kentucky Wildcats, the Vols had three different players come away with an interception, and four different players were in on a sack. Josh Heupel proved he can win in ways other than just outscoring opponents, and that should terrify the SEC.
The fact that the Vols did this against a ranked team coming off a bye with a quarterback who is considered a first-round NFL Draft prospect next year only furthers the momentum for this defense. As we get set to break down the best players in the game, the defensive stars honestly left too many to count.
To be fair, it’s not like the offense still didn’t have its share of stars and standout performances. Against an elite defense, UT still put up 44 points. Let’s break down everybody most involved in this blowout. Here are the top five performances in Tennessee football’s win over Kentucky.
These were the best Tennessee football players in the Volunteers’ victory against the Wildcats.
4 tackles (3 solo); 3 TFL
A few defensive players just missed the list, as they all were among those who made big plays largely when the game was in hand in the second half. Byron Young was one of those, who had one and a half sacks in the second half. Tyler Baron was in on a sack too. Aaron Beasley had five tackles and a tackle for a loss.
However, very few players stood out more in the historic second-half performance for the defense than Wesley Walker. In addition to playing a key role in coverage, Walker’s physical play was a huge reason Kentucky was held to under 100 yards passing for the night.
All three of Walker’s tackles for a loss were on pass plays where he wrapped up the receiver, and they came in the second half. He didn’t miss in open space, and without those plays, Will Levis would’ve gone over 100 yards. Tennessee football may have finally found its rotation in the secondary, and Walker could be a big part of that.