Brent Cimaglia

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Tennessee can’t put Indiana away, leading 6-3 at halftime in Gator Bowl

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For as one-sided as the box score looks at halftime in the Gator Bowl, you would think Tennessee would be sitting in a much more comfortable spot at the break. Such is not the case as the Vols lead Indiana just 6-3 at halftime in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.

Tennessee out-gained Indiana 202-69 and forced a turnover by the Hoosiers, but Indiana’s defense has found ways to limit the damage in a big way on defense. Indiana created a turnover on downs at the Indiana two-yard line after the Vols took over with an interception by Shawn Shamburger off Indiana’s Peyton Ramsey. Tennessee was forced to settle for a field goal on their next possession, staling this time at the Indiana six-yard line. A third red-zone trip would once again end with a field goal by Brent Cimaglia on Tennessee’s next possession.

Indiana has rushed the football nine times for a total of six yards. Ramsey has completed eight of 13 passes for 37 yards with an interception. Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano has passed for 130 yards. One thing to keep in mind is Tennessee will get wide receiver Jauan Jennings in the second half. Jennings was suspended for the first half of the game due to his sideline incident in the regular seaosn-finale against Vanderbilt.

It certainly feels as though Tennessee is fit to win a defensive battle, but Indiana hanging around could be scary for the Vols.

Tennessee leading BYU at halftime in Knoxville

Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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A week after a humbling loss at home, Tennessee knew they wanted to get on the scoreboard early against BYU. And they did. The Vols also hold the lead on BYU at halftime in Neyland Stadium, 13-3.

After BYU opened the game with a drive that end ed with a punt, the Vols offense went to work to get an early lead. Not content to settle for a field goal, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt opted to go for it on a 4th & 3 on the BYU five-yard line, and it paid off. Jarrett Guarantano completed a five-yard pass to Jauan Jennings for a touchdown and the first points of the game. BYU would answer with a field goal on the ensuing possession.

The Vols tacked on a 51-yard field goal by Brent Cimaglia to add to their lead in the second quarter, and one more 39-yard field goal just before the end of the first half to build the lead to 10 points.

There may not have been as much improvement from Tennessee as fans may have hoped to see so far, and this game is very much still up in the air going to the second half. But the Volunteers have avoided turning the football over and the defense has held BYU to negative rushing yardage. Can Tennessee keep this going and avoid a second straight tough loss at home to start the year? We’ll find out in the second half.