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Vols get first SEC win of the season, beating Mississippi State

The Vols defense sacked the Bulldogs 7 times, en route to a 20-10 win on Saturday.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Vols recorded their first SEC win of the season, beating Mississippi State 20-10.

With the temperature at 56 degrees inside Neyland Stadium, The Vols defense was hot in their best performance of the season. The unit finished the game with 7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 10 tackles for loss and just 10 points allowed.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt said the lack of causing turnovers and turning the ball over were the biggest things that held the Vols back from winning games.

The Tennessee defense corrected their part of the issue. They intercepted Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens twice in the first half. Mississippi State turned to freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader in the second half. Nigel Warrior intercepted Shrader in the third quarter.

The Tennessee offense, however, still turned the ball over. Freshmen Brian Maurer threw 2 interceptions in the first half. Both interceptions occurred in the end zone, abruptly ending potential Tennessee scoring drives.

After his second interception, Maurer left the game with an undisclosed injury. Pruitt revealed that it was a concussion, after the game. Jarrett Guarantano finishing the game at quarterback.

Maurer finished the game with 61 passing yards and 41 rushing yards.

The Vols ran nine consecutive ran plays when Guarantano entered the game. He ended the game with 106 passing yards and the game-sealing touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee rushed for nearly 200 yards on Saturday. Ty Chandler led the way with 63 rushing yards. Tim Jordan ran for 59 rushing yards and a touchdown.

The Vols are now 2-4. They take on Alabama next Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.