Vols pick up big road win outlasting Wildcats, 33-27
Tennessee has won 19 of the last 21 games in Lexington
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - No. 21 Tennessee looks to get back in the win column when it travels north for an important divisional battle against Kentucky on Saturday night at Kroger Field in Lexington.
With both teams sitting at 5-2 overall and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play, Saturday’s contest will be pivotal when it comes to staying in contention in the SEC Eastern division race.
Vols defer, defense holds and on 1st possession Jaylen Wright, who had 11 carries for 22 yards at Bama, breaks one 52 yards for a TD! Tennessee leads 7-0 early in Lexington.
Tennessee stops Kentucky on 4th and one at their own 34, but the UT offense stalls once again in the red zone resulting in a Charles Campbell 44 yard FG. 10-0 Vols at the 5:34 mark of the 1st quarter.
After a Kentucky FG, the Vols drive into UK territory thanks in large part to the running of Wright. 5 rushes for 90 yards so far. Vols avg. about 10yd. per carry, but drive stalls. Campbell connects from 49 yards out, longest of the season giving UT a 13-3 lead in the 2nd quarter.
Vols, minus Kamal Hadden, making UK QB Devin Leary look good. He’s 10-13 for 129yd. and now a TD pass to Barion Brown, who made two contested catches on that drive including the touchdown. One over Slaughter and the score over McDonald. 13-10 UT, 7:38 2nd quarter.
Milton answers Leary with a nice drive of his own capped off by a 39 yard TD pass to Chas Nimrod, his 1st as a Vol. Tennessee run game continues to shine, now 152 yards on a defense giving up just 95 per game! 20-10 Big Orange!
Vols had kept Ray Davis in check until late in the half where he picks up 18 yards, the final 7 goes for a TD as the Cats pull to within three again at 20-17. Davis’ 14th of the season. Another long drive on this UT defense 10/75/4:30.
Joe Milton has been on his game. A sideline pass to Ramel Keyton and then a scramble pass to Squirrel White sets up Charles Campbell from 34 yards out. Vols take a 23-17 lead into the break and will get the ball first in the 2nd half.
Some more Milton magic as a nifty scramble results in a 47 yard pass play to Dont’e Thornton. Vols stymied in the red zone again though as Charles Campbell kicks through is 3rd FG of the night, this one from 35 as the Vols extend lead to 26-17.
Aided by a couple UT penalties, Vols now with 7-45, the Cats mount a drive capped off by a 7-yard TD pass from leary to Dane Key. 26-24 Vols with 2:39 left in the 3rd.
Vols get a break to pick up a 1st down when the Cats jump on 4th and 1, but then on 3rd and 5, Milton is sacked. Jeremiah Crawford beaten on the play filling in for injured John Campbell. UK with 2 sacks in the game. Vols forced to punt it back to the Wildcats.
Vol defense bends, but doesn’t break. Alex Raynor’s 53 yard FG attempt for the lead is wide left, but a personal foul on Aaron Beasley hurts Tennessee field position setting UT up at its 20 yard line.
Dylan Sampson was awesome on UT’s latest drive catching a 1st down pass on 3rd and 10 at the UK (29) and then he runs it in from 12 yards out giving Vols a two score lead once again at 33-24 in the 4th quarter.
Vols get 120 yards rushing from Wright, 76 more from Sampson, each with a TD. Milton very efficient 17-20, 227-1TD and UT gets 4 FG’s from Campbell in a 33-27 win, the 19th in their last 21 games in Lexington. TN now (6-2, 3-2) coming back home next week to host UConn. The homecoming game will kickoff at Noon on the SEC Network.
Senior quarterback Joe Milton III played one of the most complete games of his career, firing 18-of-21 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. His 85.7 completion percentage was a career best, and he added 26 yards on the ground.
Junior running back Jaylen Wright hit the century mark for the fifth time in eight games, logging 120 yards on 11 carries, averaging 10.9 yards per carry. His 52-yard burst put the Vols on the board with 10:47 left in the first quarter, culminating a five-play, 70-yard drive.
Senior placekicker Charles Campbell extended the UT lead to 10-0 with a 44-yard field goal with 5:34 left in the first. Campbell finished the evening a perfect 4-of-4 on field goals.
Senior safety Wesley Walker was UT’s leading tackler with nine – his most ever in a Vol uniform. Sophomore linebacker Elijah Herring added eight tackles, while junior defensive tackle Omarr Norman-Lott added one sack.
Against UConn, the Vols will be looking for the 14th straight win at home.
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