Quarterly report

What follows is a quarter-by-quarter recap of Tennessee's 13-9 defeat of Northern Illinois Saturday night at Neyland Stadium:

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UT 0 Quarter 1 15:00 0 NIU

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Visiting Northern Illinois took the opening kickoff and marched to the Vol 29-yard line but Mike Salerno missed a 46-yard field goal. Tennessee advanced to its 48-yard line, where Josh Briscoe coughed up a fumble. NIU then advanced to the Vol 8-yard line and Salerno hit a 25-yard field goal for a 3-0 Huskie lead.
KEY PLAY

On third-and-five at the UT 31-yard line, Dan Nicholson completed an 11-yard pass to Landon Cox. Demonte Bolden was called for roughing the passer on the play, tacking on a half-the-distance-to-the-goal line penalty that advanced the ball to the Vol 10-yard line. NIU went up 3-0 four plays later.

KEY PLAYER

Nicholson. The Huskies QB completed 7 of 9 passes for 53 yards in the quarter.

KEY STAT

Tennessee was penalized four times for 30 yards, NIU zero times for zero yards.



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UT 0 Quarter 1 00:00 3 NIU

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A 48-yard interception return by Eric Berry would've gone 64 yards for a touchdown except he landed on teammate Demetrice Morley after leaping an NIU tackler. Tennessee's offense couldn't exploit the field position, however, advancing only from the 16-yard line to the 15. The Vols salvaged three points when Daniel Lincoln's 36-yard field goal bounded off the left upright and through to tie the score at 3-3.
KEY PLAY

Berry's interception. It was the closest thing the Vols had to an offensive highlight in the first half.

KEY PLAYER

Berry. Without his big play, Tennessee would've gone to the half trailing 3-0.

KEY STAT

Northern Illinois had just 97 net yards at the half. That was still 15 more than Tennessee (82).



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UT 3 Quarter 2 00:00 3 NIU

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On the first official snap of the second half Nick Stephens hit Gerald Jones with a 43-yard pass to the NIU 21-yard line. The Vols stalled, however, and Lincoln hit a 34-yard field goal for a 6-3 lead. Stephens found Denarius Moore with a perfectly thrown 52-yard TD pass on the first play of UT's next possession, extending the Vol lead to 13-3. The Huskies retaliated with a march from their 25-yard line to the Vol 7, from which point a 24-yard field goal by Salerno narrowed the gap to 13-6. After Stephens fumbled attempting to pass, NIU recovered at the Vol 9-yard line. Thanks to delay and sideline interference penalties against NIU (and some good defensive work by UT), the Huskies had to settle for a 25-yard Salerno field goal that pulled them within 13-9.
KEY PLAY

The 43-yard throw to Jones. Even though it didn't produce a touchdown, it got the crowd into the game and seemed to give Stephens' confidence a big boost.

KEY PLAYER

Stephens. He completed just 3 of 5 passes in the quarter but they produced 102 yards and a touchdown.

KEY STAT

Through three quarters Tennessee had just 23 rushing yards on 16 attempts.



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UT 13 Quarter 3 00:00 9 NIU

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Tennessee advanced to a third-and-goal at the SIU 4-yard line but Stephens was sacked for a 10-yard loss, then Lincoln missed a 32-yard field goal. Tennessee's defense forced two three-and-outs, however, to seal the victory.
KEY PLAY

The sack of Stephens and the ensuing missed field goal. A touchdown there would've extended UT's lead to 20-9 and probably put the game on ice.

KEY PLAYER

Larry English. His sack of Stephens kept NIU in the game.

KEY STAT

Neither team could convert on third down. NIU was 4 of 17, UT 3 of 13.



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UT 13 Quarter 4 00:00 9 NIU

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More in-depth info...

Game #: 1148
Site: Knoxville
Date: Oct. 4
Conference: MAC
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Huskies - Kill


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