Tennessee's offensive line was a question mark entering the season after losing all its starters from last year. Oklahoma took advantage of that en route to five sacks and numerous quarterback pressures in a 34-10 win over Tennessee in Norman on Saturday. The loss was Tennessee's 20th consecutive road loss to foes ranked in the AP Top 25.
Tennessee's defense conceded points on Oklahoma's first three possessions, but limited the Sooners to field goal attempts on two of those drive. With a 13-0 deficit after the first quarter, the Volunteers' offense came alive and responded with an eight-play, 79-yard touchdown drive. Included in the drive was a screen pass from Justin Worley to Jalen Hurd that went for 30 yards which seemed to, temporarily anyway, make the Oklahoma defense not play as aggressively. After Tennessee was bailed out of a sack on third down by an off-side penalty, the drive culminated in a 40-yard touchdown pass to Josh Smith in which Worley stepped away from pressure and delivered a ball just above the reach of the Oklahoma defensive back.
Oklahoma responded on its next series with a long, 81-yard drive of its own to extend the lead back to 13 before halftime. On their first drive of the second half, Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight led Oklahoma to another touchdown, capped by a five-yard Knight touchdown run to extend the lead to 20. Knight finished the game 20-of-33 passing for 308 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The performance was Knight's second career 300-yard passing game after the victory over Alabama in last season's Sugar Bowl.
After a 31-yard Aaron Medley field goal made the game 27-10 and Tennessee's defense got a few stops of the Oklahoma offense, Tennessee started to look like it still had life. A 29-yard Jalen Hurd run got Tennessee to the 12 and, two plays later, Worley scrambled away from pressure to get to the 4-yard line. Worley threw towards the endzone, but was intercepted by Julian Wilson, who returned the interception 100 yards untouched for a touchdown to put the game away at 34-10 with 10:57 to play.
Tennessee's offensive line problems were not limited to the passing game. The Vols started two true freshman offensive lineman and, in the first half, the line struggled with both pass protection and rush blocking. At halftime, Tennessee had rushed for 14 non-sack rushing yards and minus-11 yards when including sacks. The rushing game came alive in the second half, with Jalen Hurd finishing with 97 yards on 14 carries. Worley finished the game 21-of-44 passing with 201 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.