Tennessee's defense celebrated it's first shutout since November, 2016 in it's 24-0 win over UTEP on Saturday.
The Vols limited UTEP to just 134 yards of total offense, the fewest the Miner's have tallied this season.
"Each and every week as a defense, we don't want anyone to score on us," said senior defensive end Kyle Phillips. "In our mindset, they don't score, they don't win. It doesn't matter what offense does, we just have to make sure we control what we can control. As a defense you love that, coaches they love that, cause they don't score, they don't win."
On the other hand, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt knows his team needs to do a better job creating turnovers and the Vols are going to need the help if they want to be competitive in SEC play.
UT's defense had a couple missed opportunities against UTEP, including what should have been an easy interception by Nigel Warrior in the third quarter. He dropped the ball but it also would have been called back. Sticking to the theme of the game, there was a penalty on the play.
"It's going to be hard to win in the SEC moving forward not creating any turnovers," said head coach Jeremy Pruitt. We're going to have to be a team that creates a bunch of turnovers. We have balls that are hitting us all over, in the head, in the hands. We're going to have to find guys who can play the ball and finish on the ball."
Running backs continue to shine
For the third week in a row, a different running back has shined. Tim Jordan in Week 1, Jeremy Banks in Week 2 and now Ty Chandler in Week 3.
Chandler returned to the field for the first time since early on in Tennessee's season-opener against West Virginia, and didn't miss a beat.
The sophomore back took a toss out of the backfield 81 yards for a touchdown, that gave the Volunteers a 17-0 third-quarter lead.
"He done a good job finishing that run," Pruitt said. "It's a good thing he did, because I'm not sure that we wouldn't have got another penalty before we got it in the end zone, so I'm glad he got into the end zone."
Chandler finished with with 158 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Sophomore running back Tim Jordan added another rushing TD for the Vols, who tallied 345 yards on the ground.
Jauan Jennings is back
After a year filled with adversity, senior wide receiver Jauan Jennings is back. He caught his first touchdown pass since 2016.
“When you look at it, as far as playing on Saturday’s, Jauan is back," Pruitt said. "I think Jauan has a really competitive spirit about him. When he gets to the game, he likes to compete. I think the more he gets to practice – as he is doing more and more each week, the closer he is getting to play all the time.”
"I saw he got the touchdown and I kinda emotional for him," said senior linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. "We've battled a lot this offseason being together. He's a fighter every day and I'm just happy for my man."
Jennings and Kirkland have both overcome a lot in the last year. Hopefully their performances in the last two games will help them feel they've officially turned a new leaf.