Game 531: Tennessee beats inept Nebraska defense in the Music City Bowl, 38-24

Tennessee beats inept Nebraska defense in the Music City Bowl, 38-24

Nashville, TN – Tennessee Volunteer QB Joshua Dobbs ran for three TDs and threw for another to seal the final score in his team’s 38-24 win over Nebraska in the 2016 Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl.  He ran for 118 yards and completed 23 passes of 38 for 291 yards.  From my great seat at the 35-yard line in the club level of Nissan Stadium, I watched a Husker defense that missed many tackles, that had no concept of leverage containment to keep runners inside, and that couldn’t cover receivers.  Despite Dobbs’ numbers through the air, his receivers dropped many catchable passes as did Nebraska’s, especially early in the game.  This game was a confirmation of my feelings that though today’s players are bigger, stronger, and faster than those in years gone by, they lack basic skills, blocking and tackling technique, and football knowledge that their predecessors were superior in.  Are the coaches not coaching the same way at all levels as those did in the past, or are college players in particular just looking to make the big plays to be highlighted on Sports Center to get the big bucks (a la Jadaveon Clowney of “The Hit”) as opposed to using the skills coached to be fundamentally football sound to win the game?  Some of this is becoming more evident as players decide to sit out games to avoid injuries as opposed to continuing to contribute to the team that got them there.  This is supposed to be “team” sport.  Fantasy football be damned!  It’s screwing up my favorite game! What did General Patton say about “individuality”?

Husker DE Freedom Akinmoladun (91) sacks Josh Dobbs in scoreless first period of the Music City Bowl.

Husker DE Freedom Akinmoladun (91) sacks Josh Dobbs in scoreless first period of the Music City Bowl.

     Dobbs led his team to a 21-7 lead in the second period, following a scoreless first 15 minutes to start, with a 10-yard and a two-yard TD run following John Kelly’s 28-yard run down the left sideline.  Nebraska scored between Dobb’s two TDs on a 38-yard pass from Ryker Fyfe to Brandon Reilly (4 catches for 98 yards and two TDs). The last Vol drive covered 75 yards on nine plays in 1:27 with nine seconds left in the half.

An actual form tackle by a Nebraska defender in the first period.

An actual form tackle by a Nebraska defender in the first period.

    In the third, Aaron Medley’s FG of 46 yards seemed to surprise several UT fans nearby who were critical of his kickoffs that resulted in numerous out of bounds penalties allowing the other team to start from the 35.  Medley had done this twice already today.   Before the third period expired, Reilly would make his second TD reception to cut Tennessee’s lead, 24-14.

     In the last period, Dobbs broke out of the pocket at the Husker nine with several defenders trying to arm tackle him before he bolted to his left to take it in for another score.  The ensuing Cornhusker drive resulted in Drew Brown’s 45-yard FG.  The Nebraska kickoff unit caused Tyler Byrd to fumble and they took the ball back at Tennessee’s 31.  Fyfe now ran it in from the nine to close the score, 31-24, looking to possibly take this game down to the wire.  However, four plays later, Dobbs connected with WR Josh Malone who easily beat CB Joshua Kalu for a 59-yard scoring play.  Nebraska would hold the Tennessee offense in check with two three and outs for the balance of the game, but the last two Husker possessions ended with the Vols taking over on downs.  The first time finished at their 48 on a fourth and 35 following a16-yard sack by DL Jonathan Kongbo right before a nine-yard sack by DE Derek Barnett.   The final NU drive came to a halt after four straight incompletions from the 14.  Tennessee took a knee and celebrated their 38-24 victory.

Dobbs (11) breaks out of the pocket before running to his left for a nine-yard TD to put UT up by 14.

Dobbs (11) breaks out of the pocket before running to his left for a nine-yard TD to put UT up by 14.

     This was the third time in three years the Vols defeated a Big Ten opponent. attended all three (plans had been made to attend prior to knowing what teams would be playing) – this one, last year’s 45-7 win over Northwestern in The Outback, and their humbling 45-28 win over Iowa at the Taxslayer Bowl the year before that.  They should offer us tickets if they end up again in a bowl we pre-select to guarantee them a win unless it’s against Penn State.  We watched the Nittany Lions defeat them in the Outback in 2007, 20-10 (Wow! Ten years already).  We were rooting for the Lions, of course.  We also saw the Vols defeat Wisconsin in the short-lived Garden State Bowl, 28-21, in 1981 at The Meadowlands.  I still remember Tennessee’s Willie Gault streaking down the right sideline in front of me for a long kickoff return for a TD in that one.

     For, we’re on the road from Nashville to Atlanta early Saturday morning for the big one in the Chick-Fil-a Peach Bowl where No. 1 Alabama meets No. 4 Washington in the College Football Playoff Semi-final round.  Look for our update on this one late New Year’s Day.

 Happy New Year to all of you!

Don't worry! will keep coming back for teh cheerleaders!

Don’t worry. will keep coming back for the cheerleaders! Go Huskers!

About Steveo

This website is dedicated to my unique and ongoing adventure to continue to see every major Division 1A (I despise the moniker "FBS") football team play in person at least once. I've seen all 124 teams in existence as of 2013 play and plan to attend games with the five newest editions in the next few years. This also records my ongoing adventures attending as many college football games as possible every season. I "officially" started this crazy goal in 1979. The upcoming 2014 season will be the 35th straight year of sharing this fun endeavor with others in person and through weekly reviews about each game I attend. Entering 2014, I have attended 459 NCAA football games at all levels. My book, Tales from the Tailgate: From the Fan who's seen 'em all! published in 2011, tells my story over 30 years of when I attended a game in person played by each D1A team for the first time. Now, I haven't attended a game at every major stadium on each campus (yet) because I'd probably be unemployed and definitely divorced by now. However, I'm proud to report that I remain gainfully employed and have been married to the same woman ("Saint Laurie") for almost 25 years. We have two kids that have recently ventured away from our home in Byram Township, NJ over the last few few years. Our daughter Alex is a junior at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!), and our son Eric is now enlisted in the United States Navy (Go Navy!). You will find that my site and my book focus on enjoying a passion for college football and great opportunities to have fun with friends and family around the country.

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