Vols 39, USM 19

Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of Tennessee's 39-19 thumping of Southern Miss Saturday night at Neyland Stadium:

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UT 0 Quarter 1 15:00 0 SM
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Defense was a lost art in the opening quarter as Tennessee and Southern Miss combined for two touchdowns and three field goals. USM struck first with a 30-yard Jeremy Young-to-Shawn Nelson completion leading to a 30-yard Justin Estes field goal. UT roared back to go 70 yards in seven plays, Erik Ainge hitting Austin Rogers with a 26-yard TD pass for a 7-3 Vol lead. The lead lasted 18 seconds. On the first play after returning the ensuing kickoff to the 31-yard line, the Golden Eagles went up 10-7 when Young hit Chris Johnson with a 69-yard TD strike. Britt Barefoot hit a 51-yard field goal to extend USM's lead to 13-7 but Daniel Lincoln answered with a 31-yarder that narrowed the gap to 13-10 with 37 seconds left in an active quarter.
KEY PLAY

Young's bomb to Johnson, who was wide open behind Vol cornerback Marsalous Johnson. That quieted the crowd and interrupted UT's momentum.

KEY PLAYER

Ainge and Rogers (tie). Ainge completed 10 of 14 passes for 117 yards. Rogers caught four of the passes for 73 yards.

KEY STAT

Young completed just 5 passes (in eight attempts) during the quarter but they averaged 28 yards per completion.



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UT 10 Quarter 1 00:00 13 SM
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Estes missed a 42-yard field goal on the second play of the quarter but connected on a 40-yarder with 5:08 left in the period to pad the lead to 16-10. Tennessee responded with a 10-play, 73-yard TD drive for a 17-16 lead. The big plays were Ainge strikes of 32 yards to Lucas Taylor and 24 yards to Rogers. Josh Briscoe got the TD on a five-yard reception.
KEY PLAY

The 24-yard pass to Rogers. It came on a fourth-and-seven at the USM 32-yard line. Tennessee scored the go-ahead TD three plays laer.

KEY PLAYER

Tennessee's run defense. It limited USM's Damion Fletcher to 10 rushing yards in the quarter.

KEY STAT

Fletcher, who rushed for 1,388 yards last year, had just 27 yards on 8 first-half carries.



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UT 17 Quarter 2 00:00 16 SM
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Arian Foster opened the second half with consecutive runs of 10 and 21 yards, helping set up a 36-yard Daniel Lincoln field goal that widened the lead to 20-16. USM drove to the Vol 43-yard line but a big hit by Jerod Mayo caused a Tory Harrison fumble that Jarod Parrish recovered. Tennessee promptly went 54 yards in five plays for a 27-16 lead. Ainge hit Taylor for 35 yards, then handed to Foster, who squirted up the middle for a nine-yard TD run.
KEY PLAY

Mayo's fumble-causing hit that produced a possible 14-point swing. Instead of USM scoring to take a 23-20 lead, Tennessee scored to go up 27-16.

KEY PLAYER

Foster. The Vol tailback carried three times for 35 yards on the field-goal drive and four times for 19 yards (including the 9-yard scoring run) on the TD drive.

KEY STAT

Southern Miss was 0 for 3 on third-down conversion attempts. Also, UT ran the ball 10 times for 62 yards.



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UT 27 Quarter 3 00:00 16 SM
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Estes hit a 24-yard field goal on the seventh play of the period, closing the gap to 27-19 but two special-teams mistakes killed the Golden Eagles at this point. Barefoot's ill-fated attempt at a bloop kick went out of bounds at midfield. Counting the five-yard penalty, Tennessee got the ball at the Golden Eagle 45-yard line. The Vols scored in nine plays, Foster plunging over from a yard out as the lead swelled to 34-19. USM's Tory Harrison fumbled the ensuing kickoff after a big hit by Dorian Davis and Nick Reveiz recovered. Tennessee advanced 15 yards before stalling. Lincoln then nailed his third field goal of the game, a 46-yarder that put UT on top 37-19. Three plays later, backup QB Stephen Reaves fumbled when hit by Nevin McKenzie. Reaves kicked the bounding ball through the back of the end zone for a safety that concluded the scoring.
KEY PLAY

Barefoot's out-of-bounds kickoff. That gave UT a cheap score that put the game out of reach.

KEY PLAYER

Lennon Creer. The outcome was sealed by the time he got to play but the Vol freshman made two nifty moves on a seven-yard reception, then carried six times for 53 yards (including a 38-yard burst). On a negative note, he lost a fumble.

KEY STAT

After allowing 246 yards and 16 points in the first half, UT's defense allowed just 108 yards and 3 points in the second half.



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UT 39 Quarter 4 00:00 19 SM
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More in-depth info...

Game #: 1131
Site: Knoxville
Date: Sep. 8
Conference: USA
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Golden Eagles - Bower


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