RECAP: The first period of this game had all the excitement of a dental checkup. Each team managed just two first downs and neither team amassed as much as 50 yards of total offense. Duke was 0 for 3 on third-down conversion attempts, while Tennessee stopped itself with three penalties for 30 yards. The Blue Devils advanced to the Vol 45-yard line on one occasion; the deepest Tennessee got was its own 46. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz ...
KEY PLAY: On third-and-five at the UT 32-yard line, Casey Clausen threw long to C.J. Fayton, who appeared to bring the ball down only to lose control as he was falling to the ground. The play probably would've gained 30 yards and put Tennessee in position to score on its second possession.
KEY STAT: The two teams combined for just 87 yards of total offense -- 46 by Tennessee, 41 by Duke. An offensive display, it wasn't.
RECAP: Continuing a drive that began at the end of the first quarter, Tennessee got its first big play of the game when Clausen hit Tony Brown with a 40-yard pass to the Duke 29-yard line. James Wilhoit nailed a 45-yard field goal to give the Vols a 3-0 lead. A 17-yard pass from Chris Dapolito to Andy Roland helped Duke advance to the UT 36-yard line, at which point Brent Garber hit a game-tying 54-yard field goal. A 17-yard completion from Clausen to Mark Jones, plus runs of 15 and 12 yards by Jabari Davis, helped Tennessee move to the Duke 20-yard line, from which point Wilhoit booted a 37-yard field goal for a 6-3 lead. Duke marched from its 9-yard line to the Tennessee 20 in the final 2:10 of the quarter, tying the score at 6-all on a 37-yard Garber field goal on the last play of the half.
KEY PLAY: As happened in the first quarter, the big play of the second period was a play that DIDN'T quite come about. A big hit by Vol end Constantin Ritzmann on Duke QB Chris Dapolito caused an apparent fumble. UT safety Gibril Wilson scooped up the loose ball and raced 54 yards for an apparent touchdown, only to have the play belatedly ruled an incomplete pass. Replays were inconclusive but that call cost Tennessee a touchdown and allowed Duke to move on to kick a field goal that tied the score at 3-3.
KEY PLAYER: Four-way tie: Clausen, Chris Douglas, Wilhoit and Garber. Clausen completed 6 of 10 pass attempts for 90 yards. Duke's Douglas was just as instrumental for the Blue Devils, carrying 11 times for 59 yards. Wilhoit and Garber hit two field goals each to account for all of first-half scoring.
KEY STAT: Tennessee returned three punts in the first half, and incurred a penalty each time -- minus-10 yards for illegal block in the back, minus-10 for holding, then minus-15 for personal foul. All told, UT was penalized six times for 70 times in a mistake-plagued first half.
RECAP: A 25-yard run by Jabari Davis and a 14-yard completion from Clausen to Tony Brown fueled another mini-drive that produced another Wilhoit field goal -- this one being a 29-yarder that produced a 9-6 Vol lead. Duke marched from its 20-yard line to the Vol 8 but Mondre Dickerson sacked Dapolito for a nine-yard loss on third-and-goal, then Duke's Matt Brooks missed a potential game-tying 34-yard field goal attempt.
KEY PLAY: Yet another non-play. With Tennessee facing second-and-10 at the Blue Devil 14-yard line, James Banks broke free on a slant route. Clausen's pass was a tad high but quite catchable. The ball skipped off Banks' hands in the middle of the end zone, however, and the Vols had to settle for yet another Wilhoit field goal and a 9-6 lead instead of a 13-6 lead.
KEY PLAYER: Jabari Davis. The Vol tailback carried six times for 40 yards in the period. He gained 25 yards on the drive that produced a field goal that put Tennessee on top 9-6.
KEY STAT: Duke kept the ball for 22 plays to UT's 11 in the period and outgained the Vols 98 yards to 75. Still, UT scored the only points of the quarter.
RECAP: Troy Fleming belted Duke's Jamin Pastore on a punt return, causing a fumble that was recovered by Vol teammate Corey Larkins on the Duke 37-yard line. Tennessee scored six plays later -- the key plays being runs of 18 and 9 yards by Jabari Davis. Chris Hannon got the game's first touchdown on a nine-yard pass from Clausen, giving UT a 16-6 lead. After Duke's Brooks missed a 37-yard field goal try, Tennessee salted the game away with another six-play touchdown drive, this one covering 80 yards. A 42-yard pass from Clausen to Banks was the big gainer. Gerald Riggs Jr. scored standing up from the 12-yard line to cap the drive and pad the score to 23-6.
KEY PLAY: The 42-yard hookup between Clausen and Banks moved the ball from UT's 20-yard line to Duke's 38. Riggs scored four plays later to put the game on ice.
KEY PLAYER: Riggs. The little-used tailback finally got a chance to shine, and shine he did. On UT's final touchdown drive, he carried four times for 30 yards, including the last 25.
KEY STAT: Tennessee went four-for-four on scoring opportunities in the Red Zone (20-yard line on in), while Duke was a mere one-for-three in the same area. That proved decisive.