RECAP: With starting QB Donald Allen hurt early in the game, Louisiana Tech backup Matt Kubik came on to guide the Bulldogs on a five-play, 97-yard touchdown drive. Kubik completed a 29-yard pass to Tramissian Davis to open the drive, later hit Ryan Moats for 15, then hit Julius Cosby with a 33-yard TD pass. Tech's 7-0 lead lasted just 19 seconds. For the third game in a row, Erik Ainge guided Tennessee to a touchdown on his first possession of the game. Ainge's contribution consisted of handed the ball to Cedric Houston, who bolted 36 yards on the first play of the drive and 37 yards to the end zone on the second. The 7-7 tie was short-lived, as Kubik continued to riddle Tennessee's secondary. He hit Seneca Chambers with a 29-yard pass to open the ensuing possession and later found Davis for 16 to the Vol 37-yard line. Moats bounced outside, broke a tackle attempt by Vol safety Corey Campbell and skirted down the east sidelines for the TD on the very next play, giving Tech a 14-7 lead.
KEY PLAY: The momentum swung Tennessee's way after Houston's big TD run but Tech came back with a 29-yard Kubik-to-Chambers pass on the first play of its ensuing possession to quiet the crowd and stun the Vols. The Bulldogs scored three plays later to go up 14-7.
KEY PLAYER: Kubik. Looking like Chris Leak did one week earlier, Tech's backup QB completed 6 of 7 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in the quarter. UT's key player was Houston, who gained 108 yards on six carries in the quarter.
KEY STAT: Tech shredded UT's defense for 183 yards (133 passing, 50 rushing) in the quarter. Had the Bulldogs maintained that pace all game, they would've gained 752 yards of total offense.
RECAP: Ainge drove the Vols 80 yards in eight plays to tie the score at 14. Gerald Riggs had runs of 19, 13 and 15 yards as UT's offensive line continued to open gaping holes. Fullback Cory Anderson made a spectacular one-handed catch of a flare pass and turned it into an 18-yard gain to the Tech 14-yard line. Two plays later Ainge hit C.J. Fayton in the back-right corner of the end zone and it was 14-all. Ainge was at it again moments later, hitting Bret Smith with a perfectly thrown 60-yard TD pass to cap a three-play 74-yard drive. Ainge wasn't through, though. Tennessee got the ball back on an Omar Gaither interception with 1:06 left in the half. Ainge hit Tony Brown for 21 yards to open the drive, then flipped to Anderson for eight. Houston hit right tackle and bolted 27 yards to paydirt, padding the score to 28-14 with 21 seconds left in the quarter.
KEY PLAY: Ainge's 60-yard bomb to Bret Smith. It broke the 14-all tie and seemed to inspire the Vol defense, which allowed just one first down on Tech's next two possessions.
KEY PLAYER: Ainge and Gaither (tie). All Ainge did was complete 7 of 8 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Gaither stopped Kubik for no gain on a third-and-one play to thwart one Tech drive, then stopped the next one with his diving interception.
KEY STAT: After allowing 183 first-quarter yards, Tennessee's defense yielded just 54 in the second period. Another key stat: UT had 205 rushing yards at halftime, with Houston (11 carries, 150 yards) leading the charge.
RECAP: Ainge, running the team for the eighth consecutive possession, guided the Vols 63 yards in nine plays for a 35-14 lead. He hit Bret Smith for 14 yards to open the march, then found Riggs with a 12-yard screen pass. Riggs bolted 18 yards and Ainge hit Smith with a four-yard TD pass one play later to cap the drive. Tramissian Davis got behind Jonathan Hefney and gathered in a 54-yard bomb from Kubik to the Vol 11-yard line. UT's defense stiffened, however, and Danny Horwedel kicked a 30-yard field goal that narrowed the gap to 35-17. Brent Schaeffer, who directed UT's first two possessions of the game, returned to action for Tennessee's 11th possession of the game and promptly guided the Vols 80 yards in seven plays. The big play was a 38-yard end-around by Chris Hannon. Two plays later Schaeffer hit Robert Meachem, who juked a defender at the 3-yard line and scored untouched for a 42-17 lead with just under 2:00 left in the period.
KEY PLAY: With UT leading 28-14, Riggs took a handoff on second-and-six at the Tech 21-yard line, veered outside and raced 18 yards down the east sidelines. That set up the TD throw to Bret Smith that padded the lead to 35-14 and pretty well sealed the deal.
KEY PLAYER: Schaeffer. After misfiring on all three first-half pass attempts, he completed 2 of 2 in the third quarter for 34 yards and a touchdown.
KEY STAT: UT outgained Tech 142 yards to 71 in the period and outscored the Bulldogs 14-3. 4th RECAP: Schaeffer, directing his second possession in a row, hit Brad Cottam for 16 yards to open the march but the drive stalled five plays later. The Vols tried a little deceit at this point. James Wilhoit lined up for a 51-yard field goal try but punted the ball, which trickled into the end zone. Freshman defensive ends Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Reynolds recorded back-to-back sacks on Tech's second possession of the quarter. KEY PLAY: There wasn't one. Neither team seriously threatened to score. KEY PLAYER: David Yancey. The Vols' fourth-team tailback carried six times for 32 yards as UT ran out of the clock to mercifully end the game. KEY STAT: Tech ran just 11 plays all quarter, thanks to Tennessee's ability to control the ball on the ground. Eighteen of the Vols' 20 plays in the period were rushes.