It wasn’t always pretty for Tennessee to start the Music City Bowl but eventually the offense started to click in the second quarter and the defense put forward their best effort in months to help the Vols hold a 21-7 halftime lead over Nebraska.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs showed off his arm (163 yards) and his legs (71 yards, two touchdowns) against the Blackshirt defense as he looks to close out his career with a postseason win. John Kelly was nearly as effective running the ball as his signal-caller and finished with 53 yards and a score on the ground while Alvin Kamara chipped in with 49 yards of total offense as well.
While there were several positives to build off offensively for the Vols, things weren’t so rosy in the half for the opposite number. Ryker Fyfe was very shaky in his first start for the team at quarterback but did throw a beautiful touchdown strike to Brandon Reilly just a few minutes before the whistle to cut into the lead and give the team some late life. One issue for the second half might be the lone running threat for the team, Terrell Newby, appears to be out with an injury.
Hopefully the play for both squads will pick up after a few adjustments in the locker room as neither side played all that sharply until the final five minutes of the second quarter. The Music City Bowl was one of the more attractive matchups of the postseason based on the caliber of programs involved, but the play has not quite matched so far for two teams who desperately want to grab a victory.