Tennessee-Indiana State by the Numbers
The game was never really supposed to be close, and from the opening kick off, it never was. The Vols took care of business in their first ever meeting with the Indiana State Sycamores by winning 42–7. Next up UT turns their attention to their annual meeting with the Florida Gators, but before we head to Gainseville, lets take one more look at the Vols and the Sycamores, by the numbers…
The game got off to a pretty fast start for the Vols. Tennessee freshman Ty Chandler took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown making it the 11th kick returned for a touchdown in the Butch Jones Era.
Chandlers kick return marked just the second time since 1980 that the Vols have taken a game-opening kickoff back for a touchdown, when Willie Gault did it 3 times that year. The only other time was Evan Berry returning the opening kick against Arkansas in 2015.
On more of a sad note, the Vols’ legend of the game, 94-year-old Gus Manning, couldn't make it to Neyland Stadium and had to watch the game from home. Had he been in attendance, it would have been Manning's 72nd consecutive home opener and his 458th all-time Vol home game.
Quite a bit has been made about Tennessee’s lackluster defensive line play this season. While its true that the Vols have only recorded one sack, a lot of credit should go to the style of offenses they have seen so far. The Vols have defended against just 29 passes combined in the past two games.
Vols wide receiver Marquez Callaway has flourished in the absence of star receiver Jauan Jennings. In just two, games Callaway has pulled in three touchdowns on five catches and 152 yards.
Tennessee fans finally got a glimpse of prized 2016 recruit Jarret Guarantano. Guarantano finished the day 4 for 12 with 41 yards and a touchdown to Jeff George.
While the Vols offense lost quite a bit of fire power from last season, they still seem to be finding ways to put points on the board. For the first time since 2013, UT scored 40 or more points in their first 2 games.
With two games in the books, the Vols can turn their attention to Gainseville and the Florida Gators. This week, Tennessee moved up a couple of spots in the rankings to No. 23 while Florida fell to 25th. Currently, the time and location of the game are still up in the air due to hurricane Irma cleanup, but Tennessee will at some point this weekend face the Gators. Florida also currently still has 10 players suspended for various reasons, with most being suspended for an ongoing credit card fraud investigation.