Quarterly Report

What follows is a quarter-by-quarter recap of Tennessee's 31-30 defeat of Air Force Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. Each quarter is broken down into a recap, a key play, a key player and a key statistic.

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UT 0 Quarter 1 15:00 0 AF
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Air Force took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Quarterback Shaun Carney fooled the Vols time after time with nifty keepers but it was tailback Chad Hall who got the TD on a five-yard option pitch. Erik Ainge hit Robert Meachem with a 44-yard pass on UT's third scrimmage play but the drive stalled and Tennessee settled for a 35-yard James Wilhoit field goal.
KEY PLAY

Carney made a dazzling 17-yard run on an option keeper that carried to the Vol 7-yard line. The Falcons scored the game's first touchdown two plays later.

KEY PLAYER

Carney. He was a one-man show in the opening quarter, rushing 10 times for 48 yards and completing 3 of 3 passes for 56 yards.

KEY STAT

Air Force's ball-control offense did just that, keeping possession for 12:28 to Tennessee's 2:32. Also, Air Force converted five of five third-down opportunities.



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UT 3 Quarter 1 00:00 7 AF
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Zach Sasser nailed a 22-yard field goal four plays into the period, padding the Air force lead to 10-3, but UT scored touchdowns on its next two possessions. The first was a four-yard pass from Ainge to Meachem that capped a 16-play, 74-yard drive. The second was a five-yard toss to Jayson Swain with 28 seconds left to intermission that concluded an eight-play, 75-yard march.
KEY PLAY

With less than a minute left to halftime, Ainge hit Mitchem on a 20-yard crossing route that carried to the Air Force 8-yard line. The Vols scored the go-ahead TD two plays later.

KEY PLAYER

Ainge. The Vol quarterback completed 11 of 12 passes for 99 yards and two TDs in the quarter.

KEY STAT

Tennessee outgained Air Force 149 to 29 in yards and 10 to 1 in first downs during the period.



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UT 17 Quarter 2 00:00 10 AF
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Demetrice Morley slipped down at the 1-yard line while fielding the second-half kickoff but Tennessee promptly drove 99 yards in 11 plays to go up 24-10. With No. 1 tailback Arian Foster slowed by an ankle injury, backup Montario Hardesty plowed over from three yards out for the score. Air Force answered with a seven-play, 75-yard TD drive that ended with Carney knifing over from a yard out.
KEY PLAY

On third-and-eight at the Vol 28-yard line, Ainge hit Jayson Swain for 24 yards, then connected with Lucas Taylor on a 45-yard bomb to the Air Force 3-yard line. Hardesty scored on the very next play.

KEY PLAYER

Ainge again. The junior QB completed 7 of 8 passes for 121 yards in the period. Between the second and third periods he completed 15 consecutive passes at one stretch.

KEY STAT

Tennessee had the ball for 12 minutes, Air Force only three.



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UT 24 Quarter 3 00:00 17 AF
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Ainge connected with Meachem on a five-yard pass that capped a 12-play, 73-yard TD drive. Leading 31-17, Tennessee drove to the Air Force 14-yard line with 7:00 remaining but couldn't deliver the knockout punch. Delay and false start penalties created a first-and-20 at the 24, then Ainge was intercepted by Julian Madrid. Air Force marched 78 yards in 12 plays to pull within 31-24, then recovered an onsides kick and marched 58 yards in six plays for another TD. With 1:35 remaining, a potential game-winning two-point conversion run by Chad Hall was snuffed for a three-yard loss by Vol defensive end Xavier Mitchell.
KEY PLAY

Mitchell's minus-yardage hit on the two-point conversion play. It saved the game and averted a humiliating home-field setback.

KEY PLAYER

Carney. He was 4 of 5 passing for 71 yards and directed the Air Force option flawlessly in bringing his team from 14 points down in the final 7 minutes.

KEY STAT

Tennessee had just seven possessions in the game. The Vols scored on the first five (a field goal, followed by four TDs). UT did not punt all evening.



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UT 31 Quarter 4 00:00 30 AF
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More in-depth info...

Game #: 1118
Site: Knoxville
Date: Sep. 9
Conference: MTNW
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Falcons - DeBerry


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