KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee won its ninth consecutive game dating to last season, but it would be hard to classify the Vols as a team playing with momentum.
Tennessee’s training room was full after the 15th-ranked Vols (3-0) scored a hard-fought 28-19 win over Mid-American Conference stalwart Ohio (1-2) before the crowd of 101,362 at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
Players injured in the game included: cornerback Cam Sutton, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, defensive tackle Danny O’Brien and linebacker Quart’e Sapp.
Cornerback Justin Martin did not dress due to injury, nor did receiver Josh Smith, middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. or defensive end LaTroy Lewis.
• Derek Barnett: The Vols’ premier pass rusher was in the Ohio backfield throughout the game. Barnett put relentless pressure on Bobcats QB Greg Windham, forcing at least two incomplete third-down passes and topping it off with a fourth-down QB pressure in the game’s final minutes.
• Josh Malone: Tennessee’s leading receiver continues to break open and make big plays when the ball is delivered on target. Malone had five catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
• UT offensive line: The Vols tried a new starting lineup, but it didn’t help much. Josh Dobbs was sacked three times and pressured throughout the action.
• Todd Kelly Jr.: Tennessee’s starting safety was considered a team strength at the start of the season, but Kelly Jr. missed three tackles and had a face-mask penalty on special teams.
• Dobbs continues to have his moments, good and bad. Dobbs was 19-of-27 passing for 203 yards with two TD passes to Malone and an interception. Dobbs also rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, but he was also sacked three times.
• Punter Trevor Daniel continued his steady play, averaging 39.3 yards per punt with one dropped inside the Ohio 20-yard line.