Tennessee Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 10 Game vs. Troy
After watching Saturday's game, I wasn't sure what to think.
On one hand, a win is a win regardless of how it happens, and Tennessee needed one in the worst way. On the other, the Volunteers gave up over 700 yards to a Sun Belt team and had to score two late touchdowns to avoid disaster.
One thing is for sure: Saturday's game didn't do any favors for Derek Dooley's job status. He seems to be safe at the moment, but long term still remains in question.
Let's focus on what happened in Neyland Stadium this weekend and talk about winners and losers.
Winner: Tennessee Offense
Look at the numbers: 718 yards, 530 passing yards, 188 rushing yards, 6.5 yards per carry, 35 first downs and 55 points.
There's not really much more an offense can do.
Unfortunately, the only reason Tennessee ran up those numbers was because the defense gave it no choice.
Loser: Tennessee Defense
As obvious of a winner as the Tennessee offense was, the Tennessee defense is an even more obvious loser.
Let's look at the numbers: 721 yards allowed, 496 passing yards allowed, 225 rushing yards allowed, no sacks, no turnovers forced and 48 points.
Had Tennessee given up those numbers to Oregon, it might be somewhat understood—but to give that up to a team from the Sun Belt, that's inexcusable.
This defense is the worst Tennessee fans have ever seen, and I'm not sure there's a fix for the final three games of the season. Fans had better pray the offense continues to roll.
Winner: Tyler Bray
Bray didn't have a perfect day; there were receivers he missed during the game. However, if you don't consider him a winner after his afternoon, I'm not sure he's ever going to be a winner.
The junior went 29-of-47 with five touchdowns and set a Tennessee record with 530 yards passing. Anytime you break a record previously held by Peyton Manning, you've accomplished something.
I'm of the opinion that Bray needs to return for his senior season to fine-tune his craft, but he showed Saturday why NFL scouts love what he has to offer.
Winner: Marlin Lane
Lane continues to play very well with Raijon Neal not at 100 percent. Neal actually played on Saturday for the first time in three weeks, but he only touched the ball eight times.
Lane, on the other hand, had 132 yards on the ground and two touchdowns to go along with 31 yards receiving.
He also played a big part in the final drive for the Vols that resulted in the game-winning touchdown.
Tennessee would be in a great place with its running game if Lane continued to play this way, and they were able to get Neal back healthy.
Winners: Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson
The Tennessee wide receiver duo combined for 18 catches for 400 yards and four touchdowns.
Hunter had a drop early in the game, but the two made pretty much every catch after that. Patterson made Troy defenders look ridiculous when he had the ball in his hands.
Troy didn't have the defenders to cover Hunter and Patterson, and the two had their way Saturday.
Loser: Daniel Gray
Gray made his first start of his career, and it would be nice to say that it didn't go well.
The freshman was called for an early pass interference, then picked up a personal foul penalty. In addition to all of that, Troy went after him time after time, and he couldn't stop anything.
It will be interesting to see where he falls on the depth chart this week.