Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vols Fall At #4/3 Sooners, 34-10

In the first regular-season meeting between the Vols and Sooners, #4/3 Oklahoma handed Tennessee a 34-10 defeat on Saturday night. Tennessee fell to 2-1 while the Sooners stayed perfect at 3-0.

Vols senior quarterback Justin Worley finished the game 21-of-44 for 201 yards with a touchdown. With a pair of true freshmen starting on the offensive line, he was sacked five times. Josh Smith had a career-high five catches for 58 yards and a score. Marquez North added six catches for 67 yards.

Freshman Jalen Hurd rushed for 97 yards including a 43-yard burst late in the game.

On defense, A.J. Johnson led the way with 11 stops, for his 19th career game with double-figure stops. Jalen Reeves-Maybin followed behind with nine tackles. Cameron Sutton and LaDarrell McNeil also contributed with seven and six tackles, respectively.

Oklahoma's Trevor Knight was 20-of-33 for 308 yards and one touchdown pass and a rushing score. Keith Ford scored two touchdowns, one of the ground and one through the air. Sterling Shepard led the Sooners' receivers with five catches for 109 yards.

Leading 20-7 at halftime, Oklahoma opened the second half with a quick drive (2:35) to build a 27-7 edge as Knight ran the ball in from five yards out.

Aaron Medley converted a 31-yard field goal to bring the Vols within, 27-10 with 2:29 left in the third quarter. The Vols took advantage of a muffed punt recovered by Reeves-Maybin.

Oklahoma sealed the game as Julian Wilson intercepted a tipped ball and ran the ball back 100 yards with 10:57 left in the game for a 34-10 lead for the Sooners.

The Vols got on the board as Worley connected with Smith on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 9:46 left in first half, making it 13-7, Oklahoma. Worley converted a pair of long third downs (11 and 12 yards) with a 30-yard pass to Hurd and a 14-yarder to North to keep the eight-play, 79-yard drive alive.

The Sooners responded two drives later to take a 20-7 lead on Ford's second score of the game on an 11-yard rush. Three plays prior to the touchdown, the Vols seemingly regained possession on a fumble. But instant replay upheld a run by Samaje Perine noting he was down before fumbling.

Oklahoma jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Knight connected with Ford on a 23-yard scoring play to push the lead to 10-0 with 5:52 left in the first quarter. That TD was wrapped by a pair of field goals from Michael Hunnicutt from 29 and 27 yards.

Having already played the most true freshmen in the nation (22) coming into the game, the Vols started five true freshmen in the game including a pair of the right side of the offensive line in right guard Jashon Robertson and right tackle Coleman Thomas, making the first start of his carer. Tight end Daniel Helm also drew his first starting nod in place of classmate Ethan Wolf, who was injured in the Vols last game.

This was the first regular-season meeting between Tennessee and Oklahoma with the teams splitting a pair of Orange Bowls with the Vols winning in 1939 and the Sooners in 1968.

The teams will re-match next season in Knoxville on Sept. 12, 2015.

The Vols will have an open date next Saturday before opening SEC action at #6 Georgia on Sept. 27. That game time and television coverage will be announced on Monday.

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