Butch Jones needed a win over Vanderbilt to become the first Tennessee coach since Philip Fulmer to win eight games with the Volunteers. He got there on Saturday by running all over one of the SEC's toughest defenses.
The Vols ran for 331 yards in a 53-28 mashing of their in-state rivals in a rare game where the Commodore offense was levels ahead of their normally stingy defense. Tennessee rolled up 523 yards - 112 more than Vandy's 411 - to coast to a win in Neyland Stadium.
The Vols took their opening drive 56 yards in just 1:41 to take a lead that they never relinquished. Ralph Webb kept the Commodores in this one early thanks to some big runs against a UT defensive line that got beat up by Vandy's blockers, but they were unable to keep this game within reach after falling behind 27-14 at the half. The 'Dores trailed 53-14 before adding a pair of late touchdowns against Tennessee's second-teamers in the fourth quarter.
Webb finished the day with 149 rushing yards on 21 carries. Kyle Shurmur only completed 15 of his 34 passes, but he threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the team's strongest offensive effort against an FBS opponent this season. Though Vandy did enough on offense to provide some hope for the future, their inability to complete sacks and make plays defensively and on special teams wasted that 28 point performance. The 'Dores finish the season with a 4-8 record overall and a 2-6 mark against SEC opponents.