It alternated between pretty and ugly, but Tennessee handled Arkansas State to tune of 34-19.
The game had a rough start for the Vols. They went three-and-out deep in their own territory and allowed an easy touchdown drive on the ensuing possession for the Red Wolves. UT answered with a 70-yard field goal drive, and they scored TDs on their following two drives to score 17 points unanswered. ASU didn't fall away, pulling to 17-12 after another touchdown, but the Vols kept the Red Wolves at arm's length by responding with a touchdown of its own to head into the half 24-12.
A touchdown pass from Justin Worley to Marquez North pushed the lead out to 31-12 midway through the third quarter, and it stayed there for a while. Tennessee made good adjustments to handle the uptempo attack from Arkansas State. ASU got a touchdown to cut the lead to two scores early in the fourth quarter, but they got basically nothing on offense the rest of the way.
Worley had an uneven day, completing under 60% of his passes and tossing a pick to go with his pair of touchdown passes. His line would have looked a lot better if not for a number of sideline throws that either ended up just out of bounds or dropped. North had the best day of the receivers with 68 yards and two TDs on four catches. Von Pearson had 71 yards on four catches of his own, but he hurt his ankle before halftime. His status is unclear at this point. The running game is still a work in progress. Jalen Hurd and Marlin Lane combined for 137 yards, but they needed 36 carries to get there (3.8 YPC).
It's important to remember that Tennessee is a team that replaced everyone on both lines and is playing a couple dozen brand new players. Some unevenness is to be expected, and we certainly saw more of it today than on Sunday. There's no reason to think they'll upset Oklahoma in a week, but it doesn't matter much. You can see how Butch Jones's plan is coming together despite the inconsistency.