SEC Digital Network
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee welcomed Western Kentucky to Neyland Stadium on Saturday, and the Volunteers (2-0) sent the Hilltoppers packing after a 52-20 victory. The Vols churned out 240 yards on the ground in the win, an effort that was sparked by three rushing touchdowns from Raijon Neal.
WKU (1-1) opened the game with a 37-yard field goal, but Tennessee proceeded to grab control immediately after. Justin Coleman picked off a Brandon Doughty pass and returned it 23 yards for a score, and the Vols were off and running.
Following the Coleman pick-six, Tennessee rallied off three more touchdowns to take a 31-3 lead. WKU fought back with two scores before the half, but Butch Jones and company won the second half handily, outscoring the Hilltoppers 21-3 after the break.
Facing the high-powered offense of Bobby Petrino is never an easy task, but Tennessee handled the challenge by forcing seven turnovers on the afternoon. Doughty was intercepted five times alone, and the takeaways kept Petrino’s unit from racking up points as it is used to doing.
Marlin Lane ran the ball 16 times for the Vols for 97 yards and a score, while quarterback Justin Worley threw for 142 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Passing – Justin Worley, 11-for-19, 142 yards, TD, INT
Rushing – Marlin Lane, 16 car, 97 yards, TD
Receiving – Johnathan Johnson, 2 rec, 57 yards
Passing – Brandon Doughty, 17-for-34, 222 yards, TD, 5 INT
Rushing – Antonio Andrews, 13 car, 111 yards
Receiving – Joel German, 3 rec, 46 yards
• Tennessee has a short but positive history against WKU, winning both games between the two teams by a combined score of 115-27.
• WKU is one of two Sun Belt teams that Tennessee will face this season, the other being South Alabama on Sept. 28.
• Tennessee has won 12 straight non-conference regular season games, and 13 in a row against teams from non-BCS conferences.
• The Vols are now 8-0 against current Sun Belt teams.