2 PDs, 1 TFL, 8 tackles (4 solo)
Given the way the secondary got torched last week and the way Vanderbilt had been playing recently, there was reason to believe Tennessee football would have some real issues with this one. That issue became more prominent when it was clear half the secondary’s rotation would be out, most notably free safety Trevon Flowers.
However, the Vols held Vandy to just over 100 yards passing. Wesley Walker, Jaylen McCollough and Tamarion McDonald were all key in making that happen. Walker had eight tackles, four of which were solo, and one and a half tackles for a loss. McCollough had a pass deflection and a tackle for a loss.
McDonald, though, was the biggest star of them all. He tied Walker for the team leader in overall tackles, and McCollough and Jeremy Banks joined all three of them to tie for the team lead in solo tackles. Add in him tying Banks for the team lead in pass deflections with two, and he made the most plays among the defensive backs.
All year long, McDonald has been a physical player at nickel, and he had a nice open field tackle to bring up a 3rd and long Saturday. Coverage was a question with him, though. Well, he was solid on that front at Vanderbilt, and as a result, he deserves to be on this list.