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Let’s Talk Football

by Cass Teague
Titans QB Ryan Tannehill (on left) hands off to RB Derrick Henry (at right) during the victory at Washington. (photo courtesy tennesseetitans.com)

Tennessee Titans

The Titans escaped with a 21-17 victory over the Washington Commanders last Sunday as linebacker David Long Jr. intercepted quarterback Carson Wentz at the one-yard line with six seconds left.

 “I was prepared for the play,” Long said after the game, still clutching the football. “The thing is, we never panicked and we just had to make a play.”

Titans’ running back Derrick Henry ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, and he was a workhorse, carrying the ball 28 times. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 15-of-25 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown – a 13-yard pass to running back Dontrell Hilliard.

The Titans improved to 3-2 with the win, and are alone atop the AFC South. After a bye this Sunday, they return to action, host the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium on October 23 at Noon on CBS. Two road trips follow, at Houston at Noon on October 30 also on CBS, and at Kansas City on November 6 for Sunday Night Football on NBC, before they host the beleaguered Denver Broncos on November 13 at Noon on CBS.

UT Volunteers

No. 6 Tennessee will look to build off its best all-around performance this season in a convincing victory over LSU and carry that momentum into Saturday’s top-10 showdown against No. 3 Alabama. The Vols are coming off their best rushing performance of the year, totaling 263 yards on the ground in their 40-13 thumping of the Tigers down in Baton Rouge. Despite missing its starting left tackle, the offensive line was dominant in the win, allowing for junior running back Jabari Small to rush for a season-high 127 yards and two touchdowns.

Much like the offensive line group, Tennessee’s defense is also coming off arguably its best performance of the year, racking up five sacks and nine tackles for loss while holding LSU to just 13 points. Byron Young was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after posting five tackles and a career-high 2.5 sacks to lead an impressive effort from the Vols’ front seven. The Big Orange know that it will take another strong effort from their front seven if they hope to knock off the undefeated Tide this weekend.

With the win, the Volunteers are off to a 5-0 start in the 2022 season, Tennessee’s first 5-0 start since the 2016 season. The Vols and the Crimson Tide will face off at 2:30 p.m. CDT on CBS in college football’s premiere Game of the Week.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt led Ole Miss at halftime of their Homecoming matchup last Saturday, but the ninth-ranked Rebels used five second-half touchdowns to knock off the Commodores 52-28. Vanderbilt is set to travel to Athens this weekend to face No. 1 Georgia on the road, the first of back-to-back road games for the Commodores, and Vandy’s first trip to Athens since 2018. The matchup with the Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0) pits Vandy (3-3, 0-2) against its third consecutive top-10 opponent.

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