There would be no hangover for Tennessee following last week’s heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma. With former star Eric Berry in attendance, the Volunteers dominated in all three phases en route to a dominant 55-10 win over Western Carolina on Saturday.
What the win means for Tennessee: The Vols weren’t likely to lose Saturday, but the way they came out and took care of business showed a lot of poise for a young football team. The offense got back on track, with quarterback Joshua Dobbs playing much better. The defense didn’t let up. And on special teams, Tennessee returned both a kick and a punt back for a touchdown. It was the perfect tune-up game before the Vols go to Florida next week.
What the loss means for Western Carolina: Give credit to the Catamounts, who have shown they're not afraid to play SEC opponents. But they are now 0-17 all time against the league. They will get another chance later this season when they travel to Texas A&M.
Top play: It was a cool moment when Berry, a cancer survivor, was introduced at Neyland Stadium. But it was even cooler for him when his younger brother, Evan Berry, returned a kick 88 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter. Evan broke about four tackles and somehow spun out of a group of defenders on his way to the end zone. Not to be outdone, teammate Alvin Kamara returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown later in the game.
Freshman impact: Tennessee has become accustomed to playing true freshmen under Butch Jones. It was no different Saturday. Backup quarterback Quinten Dormady got his first real action of the season and went 6-of-8 for 93 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown toss went to another freshman, Preston Williams, who caught two touchdowns in the game. And on defense, the two big defensive tackles -- Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle -- made their presence felt early when McKenzie forced a fumble and Tuttle recovered it.