2 tackles (1 solo); 1 sack
To be fair, this is an award for the whole defensive line. Tennessee football held Kentucky to 107 yards on the ground with 36 carries, meaning UK was held ever so slightly to under three yards a carry. Their only successful rushing drives were on their one touchdown drive and the drive right after that ended in the Vols’ first interception.
Chris Rodriguez Jr., the power back, didn’t do much outside of that, though. He finished with 15 carries for 64 yards and that one touchdown. LaTrell Bumphus, Kurott Garland, Bryson Eason, Elijah Simmons and the linebackers were all a part of this success. Obviously, Omari Thomas was huge too, and he deserves a shoutout for coming up with a sack.
However, Da’Jon Terry was the best defensive lineman of the night. Terry’s sack came on Kentucky’s opening drive of the second half, and it set the tone to make clear the Vols were about to turn this game into a blowout with the Wildcats forced into obvious passing downs.
Beyond that sack, though, Terry also blocked Kentucky’s extra point on their only touchdown, which kept the Vols in control. Because of those two plays, he is the defensive tackle who gets the most praise, but all of them put together an elite performance in this game.