KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee got the victory it needed over Kentucky, but perhaps not enough style points to quiet critics.
The Vols (7-3, 3-3 SEC) won 49-36 over Kentucky but gave up a season-high 426 yards rushing to the Wildcats (5-5, 4-4).
Tennessee had plenty of highlights, itself. Here’s this week’s Vols’ stock report.
• Quarterback Josh Dobbs accounted for five touchdowns with 223 yards passing and another 138 yards rushing.
• Cornerback Cam Sutton made a triumphant return from the fractured ankle that’s kept him out since suffering it on Sept. 17 against Ohio. Sutton had two pass break-ups and three tackles.
• Tennessee’s run game looked strong. The Vols rushed for 363 yards and averaged 9.6 yards per carry.
• UT’s special teams weren’t as consistent as normal, as Kentucky successfully executed an onside kick and the Vols kick return men combined to average 14 yards per return.
• Junior college defensive line transfer Jonathan Kongbo didn’t play in the first half, and when he was finally inserted into the lineup in the second half at defensive end he struggled to cover his gap.
• Tennessee’s run defense surrendered a season-high 443 rushing yards to Kentucky, a byproduct of the attrition at defensive tackle where the Vols are down three players. The school record for most rushing yards allowed is 457 to Alabama, in 1986.
• The Tennessee fans keep churning through the gates. A crowd of 101,075 was on hand Saturday at Neyland Stadium.