Week 2 Recap: Tennessee Wins Big Over ETSU Buccaneers

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Jeremy Pruitt of the Tennessee Volunteers watches on against the West Virginia Mountaineers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Jeremy Pruitt of the Tennessee Volunteers watches on against the West Virginia Mountaineers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

After losing the opener, the Tennessee Volunteers were looking to bounce back in week 2 against ETSU. The Buccaneers were no match as the Vols won this one big, 59-3.

Early on in this game, the Volunteers appeared sluggish on the offensive line and it seemed like it was going to be another long, frustrating day for VolNation.  After a 48-minute weather delay at the beginning of the second quarter, the Vols came out and took over the game agains the ETSU Buccaneers.

Game Recap

Tennessee started this game on the defensive side of the ball after kicking off to ETSU.  The Buccaneers were only able to gain a total of 6 yards on their first drive.  After going 3 and out, Marion Watson (ETSU punter)  punted the ball to the Volunteers.

After the Vols defense jumped off to a quick start, the offense was looking to come out and do the same.  On the fourth play of the drive, Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano connected with wide receiver Josh Palmer deep down the right sideline for a gain of 51 yards.  This play gave the Vols a new set of downs on the ETSU 4 yard line.  After two unsuccessful runs by Tim Jordan for a loss of 10 yards, an offside penalty on ETSU, and an incomplete pass from Guarantano to tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson the Volunteers would have to settle for a field goal.

Poor blocking was the story through most of the first quarter.  While Guarantano was able to complete some passes, the Volunteers were unable to establish anything the even resembled a running game.  Tennessee finished the first quarter with -1 rushing yards.

The Vols were struggling to get things going on offense early on and they needed to get some points on the board.  With 2:49 left in the first quarter, Marquill Osborn gave them exactly what they needed.  Osborn blocked an ETSU punt and took it to the house for a Tennessee touchdown.

Tennessee started the second quarter with the ball but once again, they were unable to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball and would have to punt the ball.  The Tennessee defense was doing their part to help the Volunteers win this game, but they needed someone to step up and give them a spark offensively.

After the 48-minute rain delay, Jeremy Banks would give them the spark they needed on a 15 yard run up the gut.  Banks would go on to score, getting his first rushing touchdown in his college career.

On the first play of the Buccaneers next drive, the Volunteers freshman cornerback Bryce Thompson intercepted a pass from Logan Marchi, returning the ball to the ETSU 3 yard line.  On the following play, Jeremy Banks would punch the ball in from 3 yards out, giving Banks and the Volunteers their second touchdown in 15 seconds.

From this point forward, Tennessee never looked back.  On the next Buccaneers drive, Logan Marchi threw his second interception of the ball game.  Tennessee linebacker Darren Krikland Jr intercepted this one and took it 33 yards for the Volunteers touchdown.

With the Vols up 31-0, back up quarterback Keller Chryst entered the game for the first time.  Tennessee would score one more time in the first half on a 20 yard run by wide receiver Josh Palmer.  The Vols took a 38-0 lead into the half.

The second half started much like the first ended, with a Tennessee Touchdown.  This time it would be the graduate transfer from Michigan State, Madre London, getting the touchdown.  This was London’s first score as a Volunteer and he would finish the game with two rushing touchdowns on the day.

Keller Chryst added a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Murphy early in the fourth quarter to give the Vols a 52-3 advantage.  London added a late rushing touchdown and Tennessee would finish this one big, winning 59-3.


Jeremy Puritt gets his first win as head coach of the Volunteers.

Four different Vols found the end zone on Saturday.  Banks and London had two rushing touchdowns each, Josh Palmer had a rushing touchdown and Jordan Murphy had a 50-yard touchdown catch.

Keller Chryst only threw the ball 3 times but he made the most of his opportunity completing 3/3 for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Jarrett Guarantano took the majority of the snaps at quarterback and finished the day completing 8/13 passes for 154 yards.  Although Guarantano did not throw any touchdowns on Saturday, he has yet to throw an interception this season.  He seems to be making better decisions with the ball and not trying to force as much.

The offensive line was far from perfect; however, once they settled down they were able to provide better protection.

Defensively, they were able to get some takeaways and turn them into points.  If the Volunteers expect to stay in the win column, they are going to need this kind of the play from their defense every week.


The biggest thing is the offensive line.  They are going to have become more consistent and get things going earlier in the game if they expect to be able to win.

The defensive line played much better this week then opening week.  That being said, I still believe they will have to have a more consistent and effective pass rush.  If the defense chases the quarterback 15 yards deep in the backfield, they should be able to make those tackles.

When throwing deep balls down the field, the quarterbacks have to be able to lead the receivers and give them the opportunity to catch the ball in stride.  Had the ball been thrown better yesterday to Josh Palmer, he would have had a touchdown in the first quarter.  Against a better team, those underthrown balls could very easily become turnovers.

What’s Next

The next game for the Tennessee Volunteers will be Saturday, September 15, at 11:00 am CT.  The Vols will take on the UTEP Miners (0-2) inside Neyland Stadium and should be able to stay in the win column.

The next game for the ETSU Buccaneers will be this Saturday as they travel to Lexington, Virginia and take on the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) Keydets.