(23) Tennessee Volunteers vs. (13) Northwestern Wildcats: Recap
Final Score: Tennessee 45 – Northwestern 6
Tennessee: Josh Dobbs 14 yard touchdown run (7-0)
Tennessee: Aaron Medley 35 yard field goal (10-0)
Northwestern: Justin Jackson 5 yard touchdown run (10-6)
Tennessee: Alvin Kamara 11 yard touchdown run (17-6)
Tennessee: Jalen Hurd 3 yard touchdown run (24-6)
Tennessee: Josh Dobbs 18 yard touchdown run (31-6)
Tennessee: John Kelly 1 yard touchdown run (38-6)
Tennessee: Evan Berry 100 yard interception return (45-6)
It was a dominating win for the Tennessee Volunteers in the 2016 Outback Bowl over the Northwestern Wildcats. Entering the game it was the hype of the electric running attack of the Volunteers versus the stellar defense of the Wildcats. The Wildcats were ranked 7th in the country only allowing 16.4 points per game. Against the Volunteers today, they gave up 45 in defeat. They also entered the game having only given up 99 total rush yards to quarterbacks all year, but that was before they faced Josh Dobbs. Dobbs used his dual-threat ability to run for 48 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
The MVP for this year’s Outback Bowl was easily the Tennessee defense. From the beginning, they dominated the game. They had 8 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 4 interceptions, capped off with a 100 yard interception return for a touchdown by stand-out Evan Berry late in the fourth quarter. The Volunteers held the Wildcats to only 261 total yards of offense and allowed only 6 points to a team that averaged 22.5 per game this season.
After the game, Coach Butch Jones was asked about his Volunteers and he said, “This football team defines resolve and resiliency. A group of collective individuals coming together as one and being able to show great resolve. I’m really proud of your seniors and everything they’ve done with this program. We’ve come a long way in a very short period of time.”
For the Wildcats, they finished 10-3 on the season and it is nothing to hang their head over. They were led by quarterback Clayton Thorson, who is only a freshman. Their future is bright, even in a very competitive Big 10. Coach Pat Fitzgerald, despite the loss today, is set to lead the Wildcats to another great season.
For the Volunteers, they finished 9-4, but more importantly on a 6-game win streak. When asked about the streak, quarterback Josh Dobbs said, “It feels great. It feels amazing and will propel us through the off-season.” The Volunteers will be returning 9 offensive and 8 defensive starters next year and will look to win the SEC East and be even more competitive on the national stage.
Statistics from ESPN.com