In the words of the great “Voice of the Vols”, John Ward…It’s Football Time in Tennessee!! Yes, the University of Tennessee Volunteers opened the 2011 season last night at home against the Montana Grizzlies. I wasn’t able to attend the game, although I was in Knoxville. I did, however, get to watch, and I liked what I saw!
The Vols opened things up early taking a quick 14-0 lead on Tyler Bray touchdown passes…47 yards to Da’Rick Rogers then 81 yards to Justin Hunter. Bray had nearly 200 yards passing in the first quarter. He finished the night 17 of 24 for 293 yards and 3 touchdowns. Da’Rick Rogers caught 5 passes for 100 yards, while Justin Hunter finished with 6 receptions for 146 yards. Each receiver caught a TD pass.
Tennessee’s running game struggled early, but they managed to get things together late in the second half. Still, the Vols only rushed for 128 yards, and 98 of those came from senior Tauren Poole.
Defensively the Vols looked pretty good. They kept pressure on Montana QB Jordan Johnson most of the game and forced 3 turnovers, one of which was an interception by Art Evans returned 37 yards for a UT touchdown.
Overall I was impressed with Tennessee’s first game of the 2011 season. They came out with a good game plan and executed it well. They had their share of mistakes (giving up a safety and fumbling 6 times…all of which TN recovered), but all in all they played a good game. Next week they face a tougher opponent as they take on Cincinnati. That game, in my opinion, will be a true test of how the Vols will perform under pressure. If they play as well or better than they did last night, they should walk away with another victory and some confidence as they travel to Gainesville, FL in 2 weeks to take on the Gators. I can’t wait!