Tennessee got off to a fast start against Oklahoma at Neyland Stadium and lead 17-3 at halftime.
There’s pressure on the No. 23 Vols to win a big game against a ranked opponent, and right now they have the No. 19 Sooners on the ropes. Here’s how the Vols jumped to a big lead:
1. Jalen Hurd continues to be a workhorse for the Vols
A week after rushing for 123 yards and three touchdowns in the Vols’ opener against Bowling Green, Hurd has a game-high 66 yards on 13 carries to lead the attack.
Perhaps the Vols could have an even bigger lead had they used Hurd on a goal line situation on their opening drive. Tennessee was on Oklahoma’s 1, but on third down, they went with the less physical Alvin Kamara, who was stopped for no gain. The Vols settle for a field goal.
2. Tennessee’s defense is stepping up
The issues in the secondary that plagued the Vols last week have apparently been resolved.
Oklahoma’s game-opening drive ended when Todd Kelly Jr. intercepted Baker Mayfield near midfield. Baker has been held to 7 of 20 passing for 77 yards and no touchdowns.
With less than two minutes remaining in the half, the Vols made a key stop on fourth down to get the ball back, with the Vols breaking up a Mayfield pass.
3. Josh Dobbs is making plays
The Vols quarterback has accounted for both of Tennessee’s touchdowns, including a 9-yard pass to Josh Malone in the first quarter, and a 4-yard run in the second quarter.
Dobbs has completed 6 of his 12 passes for 61 yards and has 19 rushing yards on the ground.