Through one half at a sufficiently amped Neyland Stadium, No. 23 Tennessee looks every bit like the team deserving of all that offseason hype and not the one that’s one for its last 28 against ranked opponents. The Vols hold a 17-3 lead over No. 17 Oklahoma at the break.
Tennessee opened the scoring with a 19-yard Aaron Medley field goal with 9:51 to go in the first quarter, and Josh Dobbs pushed the lead to 10 when he found Josh Malone for a nine-yard strike at the 1:56 mark of the opening frame.
Dobbs then pushed the lead to 17-0 when he hit Josh Smith for a 19-yard gain and then raced in from four yards out two plays later at the 12:14 mark of the second quarter.
Austin Siebert finally put the Sooners on the board with a 35-yard field goal with 4:56 to go before the half.
The combination of Dobbs and Jalen Hurd has carried Tennessee; Dobbs has completed 6-of-12 throws for 61 yards and a touchdown and rushed 10 times for 19 yards and another score, while Hurd has totaled 66 yards on 13 carries.
Led by Derek Barnett, the Tennessee front has harassed Baker Mayfield into 13 incompletions and one interception on his 20 throws, good for all of 77 yards. Joe Mixon has rushed five times for 35 yards, while Samaje Perine has added 31 yards on 11 carries.
Worth noting: Tennessee is 13-1 under Butch Jones when leading at the half.
Tennessee will receive the ball to open the second half.