LSU score vs. Tennessee takeaway: #8 Volunteers string losing streak against #25 Tigers in explosive fashion

The No. 8 Tennessee made his first trip to LSU in more than a decade, a momentous moment as the Volunteers took an early lead and never looked back in a 40-13 victory over the Tigers n 25. The win ended a five-game losing streak for Tennessee in the Interdivisional Series and marked the program’s first win over LSU since 2005.

Star quarterback Hendon Hooker led the way for Tennessee (5-0, 2-0 SEC) with 239 passing yards and 56 more rushing, and the oft-maligned Volunteers defense also delivered at key times for help second-year coach Josh Heupel. the club go 5-0. LSU’s depleted offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Jayden Daniels, giving up five sacks to a Tennessee unit that ranked 95th in total defense at the start of the day.

The Volunteers also capitalized on a series of errors from LSU, starting on the opener of the game when the Tigers’ Jack Bech fumbled the kickoff, which led to a quick Tennessee touchdown. The Volunteers never looked back from there. LSU (4-2, 2-1) had football in Tennessee territory trailing just 20-7 at the end of the first half, but Daniels was sacked on fourth down, leading to a a 32-yard field goal from Chase McGrath of Tennessee. on the last play of the first half.

Jabari Small rushed for two touchdowns and had 127 yards on 22 carries for the Volunteers, and his 49-yard run midway through the fourth quarter helped slam the door as he reversed position on the field and then allowed in Tennessee to run several clock minutes.

Here are the takeaways from Tennessee’s convincing SEC road victory.

No Tillman, no problem

Tennessee played without star receiver Cedric Tillman for a second straight game as they recovered from an ankle injury sustained in Week 3 against Akron. Tillman caught 64 passes for 1,089 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and was off to a fast start in 2022 before the injury. But the Vols got off to a 2-0 start in SEC play without him as others stepped up in his absence.

USC transfer Bru McCoy had another huge game as the former five-star prospect caught seven passes for 140 yards. McCoy racked up 70 yards after the catch while using his physical frame to fight for extra yards. McCoy has 12 catches for 242 yards over the last two games. Fellow receiver Jaylin Hyatt also shone in Tillman’s absence. The junior caught four passes for 63 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Tigers, including a 45-yard bomb from Hooker that put Tennessee ahead 20-0 with 14:39 left in the second quarter. Hyatt now has 287 receiving yards and four touchdowns in its last three games.

LSU’s offensive line takes a step back

LSU starting left tackle Will Campbell missed the game after being hospitalized Friday due to dehydration. Despite being just a true freshman, Campbell had established himself as a constant presence up front for the Tigers early this season. Then, in the second quarter, starting left guard Garrett Dellinger left the game with a knee injury.

Dellinger was already less than 100% healthy after undergoing surgery for a broken right hand last week. Attrition up front was evident as the Tigers struggled to establish the running game and failed to protect Daniels in key moments. LSU’s trio of running backs Josh Williams, John Emery Jr. and Noah Cain totaled just 17 yards on 12 carries. The Vols beat LSU 263-89 in sack-adjusted yards and had Daniels on the run throughout the day.

Vols’ victory sets up a seismic showdown

Breaking a five-game losing streak against LSU is one thing. Now the Volunteers face the much more daunting task of ending a 15-game losing streak against Alabama. The top-ranked Crimson Tide heads to Tennessee next week for the SEC on CBS Game of the Week, and it looks like a showdown of seismic proportions.

It was a top-10 game six years ago when the Volunteers were 5-1 and ranked 9th in Butch Jones’ fourth season as coach. But the Crimson Tide crushed Tennessee 49-10 that day. Now, once again, Tennessee has a chance to host Alabama with both teams firmly in the SEC and national title races. Given the vulnerability shown by Alabama in a 20-19 win at Texas earlier this season and questions surrounding Heisman Trophy quarterback Bryce Young’s shoulder health, Tennessee could be a pick. fashionably upset after what he showed against LSU.

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