The Tennessee Vols’ win against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday night in Knoxville wasn’t very exciting.
In fact, outside of a few splash plays from UT wide receiver Cedric Tillman, the game was…..boring.
But that’s not a bad thing. The Tennessee/Vandy game should always be boring. It should always be a game that UT fans expect the program to win. It should be a game where Tennessee simply takes care of business.
And that’s what the Vols did on Saturday night in the 45-21 win over the Commodores (UT finished the regular season with a 7-5 record with the win).
It wasn’t Tennessee’s best-played game of the year. The Vols’ defense allowed Vanderbilt to sustain long drives that resulted in points. The UT offense had limited opportunities to put points on the board. The Commodores essentially slowed down Tennessee’s offense by keeping the ball as long as possible. It’s a good strategy, but it requires the team that’s holding the ball to score on every possession. Vandy wasn’t able to do that.
It would’ve been easy for the Vols to blow the game against Vandy. Most folks have had this game circled as a win for Tennessee for a couple of months. There wasn’t a lot of energy in the stadium (only 77k fans attended the game). It had all the makings of a “trap” game.
Instead, the Vols clocked in, took care of business, and went home. 441 total yards, including 285 rushing yards. Not a bad day at the office.
When Jeremy Pruitt was fired last season, I don’t think anyone thought the Vols would go 7-5 this season. The program was at its lowest point ever. Even 6-6 seemed like a stretch for the Vols this season.
Josh Heupel has completely changed the trajectory of Tennesse football in less than a year.
Fans should be excited about where the Vols could be in just a few years.
And that excitement shouldn’t be dampened because of a “lackluster” regular-season finale win by 24 points against Vanderbilt.
Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports/Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports