KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football survived a shootout Saturday in Neyland Stadium, out-gunning Kentucky 49-36 in a seesaw affair littered with explosive plays.
The box score read like an arena league game, but the Vols (7-3, 3-3 SEC) made enough plays to keep pace in the SEC East standings, putting pressure on Florida to win at LSU next weekend to secure a spot in Atlanta.
“I’m just happy for this team, we’re in a two-game playoff now,” coach Butch Jones said afterward.
“I thought they had great energy, great excitement, and we have a lot of momentum right now, but as we know it’s a week-to-week season and we have to be ready for Missouri coming in here.”
The Vols averaged more than a first down on every snap Saturday (10.2 yards per play), and they needed just about every last touchdown, too, as Kentucky rumbled for 443 yards on the ground … and still lost by two scores. Tennessee’s red zone defense ultimately proved to be the difference.
The win marked the return of injured captains Cam Sutton and Alvin Kamara, as well a historic performance by senior quarterback Josh Dobbs.
Following Saturday’s victory, Tennessee sits at No. 6 in this week’s SEC Country Power Poll.
The weekly poll includes 26 voters from SEC Country and around the country.
The Volunteers host Missouri, who beat Vanderbilt over the weekend, at 3:30 p.m. on CBS next Saturday.
Check back each week for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 11 Power Poll rankingsResults are below:
|1||Alabama (14 - 1)||338||26||1||1||1|
|2||LSU (8 - 4)||302||0||4||2||6|
|3||Auburn (8 - 5)||271||0||2||2||7|
|4||Florida (9 - 4)||242||0||6||2||8|
|5||Texas A&M (8 - 5)||220||0||3||2||9|
|6||Tennessee (9 - 4)||208||0||7||4||10|
|7||Arkansas (7 - 6)||181||0||5||4||11|
|8||Georgia (8 - 5)||168||0||9||4||10|
|9||Ole Miss (5 - 7)||165||0||8||5||11|
|10||Kentucky (7 - 6)||111||0||11||7||11|
|11||Mississippi State (6 - 7)||68||0||10||9||14|
|12||South Carolina (6 - 7)||60||0||12||10||14|
|13||Missouri (4 - 8)||23||0||14||11||14|
|14||Vanderbilt (6 - 7)||9||0||13||13||14|
This week's voters:
Adam Sparks (The Tennessean)
Alec Shirkey (SEC Country)
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Barrett Sallee (Bleacher Report)
Ben Wait (Columbus Commercial Dispatch)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Cory McCartney (Fox Sports)
David Caraviello (Post & Courier)
Jason Kersey (SEC Country)
Jeff Drummond (AllWildcats.com)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Michael Bonner (Clarion-Ledger)
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Mike Wilson (SEC Country)
Otis Kirk (Hawgs 247)
Parrish Alford (Daily Journal)
Pat Dooley (Gainesville Sun)
Patrick Brown (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Shehan Jeyarajah (SEC Country)
Suzanne Halliburton (Austin American-Statesman)
Travis Reier (BamaOnline)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)