With no hope of reaching the College Football Playoff, Tennessee football still put together a complete performance and reminded everybody who dominates the state. The Vols beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 56-0 in Nashville Saturday to close out the 2022 regular season.
Ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll and No. 9 in the Coaches Poll, Rocky Top never allowed this one to be in doubt. They marched down the field and scored a touchdown on the opening drive to go up 7-0 and went into halftime up 21-0 en route to their fourth straight win in this series.
With the win, Tennessee football finishes the season at 10-2, it’s best record in the regular season since 2003. A New Year’s Six Bowl is all but assured now as a result. Vanderbilt’s season, meanwhile, comes to an end, as they finish with a 5-7 record. These are our five takeaways from the Vols’ win in Nashville.
Here’s what we learned from the Tennessee football Volunteers’ victory over the Vandy Commodores.
5. This was a strong response given everything that happened.
It’s hard to overstate just how low morale was on Rocky Top given everything they threw away in last week’s loss. Aside from the fact that the loss was humiliating itself, as they fell 63-38 to the South Carolina Gamecocks on the road. That cost them a spot in the College Football Playoff and Hendon Hooker’s Heisman candidacy given his season-ending injury.
On top of that, UT found itself with four players hurt on the offensive line hurt, most of its secondary out, obviously Hooker out and its top two wideouts, Bru McCoy and Cedric Tillman out. Oh, and as we mentioned, they were playing a Vandy team on a two-game winning streak riding as high as they possibly could.
None of that stopped Tennessee football, though. As we mentioned, they scored on the opening drive. They then scored on their third drive and poured it on in the second half after a bit of a sloppy second quarter. Responding like that took major emotional maturity.