KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Derek Barnett needs just a single sack to tie an all-time great in Tennessee’s record books.
In likely his final game at Neyland Stadium, the Volunteers junior recorded 6 tackles and another quarterback takedown in a 63-37 win Saturday over Missouri, moving one step closer to Hall of Famer Reggie White’s school-record of 32 sacks.
The All-American defensive end, who is considered a consensus first-round pick according to NFL draft analysts, has 11.0 sacks on the season and will have a chance to tie — or set the record — in his hometown next weekend at Vanderbilt.
“I would be excited to catch that record back home, but I’d be more excited if we get a W,” the Nashville native said.
“Every time I step on the field, that’s what I’m worried about is winning and if that’s me getting a sack, helping the team win, then good. Or if that’s me just affecting the quarterback, getting no sacks and we still win, I’m fine with that.”
Barnett is almost always helping the team win. He entered the game the FBS active leader in sacks (30) and tackles for loss (49). More than 90 percent of Barnett’s sacks have come in conference play — including eight consecutive league games with a sack.
Despite consistently facing double — or sometimes even triple-teams — Barnett is the only player in SEC history with three seasons of 10 or more sacks.
— Jesse Re Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) November 19, 2016
TENNESSEE ALL-TIME SACKS LIST
1) Reggie White (1980-83), 32
2) Derek Barnett (2014-), 31
3) Leonard Little (1995-97), 28
4) Jonathan Brown (1994-97), 25
5) Todd Kelly Sr. (1989-92), 22.5