1. (48) Ja’Quain Blakely (R-Sr., 6-2 / 270)
2. (97) Caleb Tremblay (R-Sr., 6-5 / 280)
1. (94) Matthew Butler (Sr., 6-4 / 295)
2. (11) LaTrell Bumpus (Sr., 6-3 / 280)
1. (51) Elijah Simmons (R-Soph., 6-2 / 350)
2. (95) Da’Jon Terry (R-Soph., 6-4 / 325)
3. (21) Omari thomas (Soph., 6-4 / 316)
1. (9) Tyler baron (Soph., 6-5 / 260)
2. (6) Byron Young (6-3 / 245)
3. (30) Romain Harrison (Jr., 6-2 / 240)
While the Vols did not have Simmons for a second straight game as he faces an ankle injury suffered against Missouri, they did get Bumphus back for only his third appearance of the season (Bowling Green and Florida were the other two), and the super senior started alongside Butler, Blakely and Young.
Tennessee continued their rotation up front with nine guys getting the majority of the shots. Among the inside quartet, Butler came close to 80 snaps (a remarkable number for a defensive tackle), Bumphus played north of 40 snaps, Terry was around 35 and Thomas, who had four tackles, a sack for safety and a slap pass, was around 20. On the defensive end, Blakely came close to 70 snaps and Young was close to 60 with Baron around 40 and Tremblay and Harrison in the 30.
The defensive line left its mark on the game, accounting for seven tackles for losses and four sacks, including two from Butler on her tiring night as Ole Miss made 101 snaps.
“You know, God really blessed me with just the ability to support me mentally,” Butler said Monday. “Also, I haven’t had any injuries in my career, it’s a blessing. But other than that, we have a great strength staff, great nutrition staff, and I pride myself on taking strength, conditioning, and nutrition seriously. I am able to go there and put it all on the line.
“Yesterday I really didn’t feel anything. Adrenaline is still high. It’s kinda weird, my adrenaline will just run through the game, all night and the next day. So maybe this morning a little more painful, but you just take your precautions, get in a bit early, tubs, NormaTecs (muscle recovery), all kinds of different conditioning, and of course a good diet. This is the main thing with me.