Tennessee fumbles its way to a halftime deficit vs. LSU

Ruben Hill
November 19, 2017

A combined three-touchdown performance from LSU running backs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams proved key for the Tigers in a 30-10 road victory over Tennessee Saturday night.

Tennessee actually played an decent first half, which was largely erased by Marquez Callaway muffing not one but two punts.

Tennessee (4-7, 0-7 SEC) made the most of a pair of missed LSU tackles on its ensuing drive, converting an overturned fourth-and-1 near midfield and driving 54 yards in 14 plays to level the score on a 45-yard field goal from Aaron Medley one minute into the second quarter. Danny Etling (11-of-15, 81 yards) hit Derrick Dillon for an 11-yard gain, Williams raced 36 yards down the left sideline, and Etling (9 rushes, 42 yards) scampered 13 yards for a 17-3 lead that needed just three plays and 61 seconds.

The offense picked up in the second quarter as Darrel Williams scored his first of two touchdowns on the night breaking a 3-3 tie.

Though a sack of Etling ended LSU's next drive, another terrific punt by Von Rosenberg was again muffed by Callaway at the Vols 27 and recovered by Michael Divinity Jr. at the 19.

The goal posts in one of the end zones were completely crooked.

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Etling and the Tigers' attempt to put points on the board before the half came up just short.

The clubs traded punts on their next possessions and, facing a 13-point deficit with 17 minutes remaining and nothing to lose, Brady Hoke elected to go for a 4th-and-1 from his own 21. His 3-yard touchdown in the third quarter was the 10th of the season, making him the seventh Tiger with 10-plus TD's in multiple seasons.

Guarantano connected on 13-of-23 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown, while John Kelly mustered only 47 yards on 25 carries.

Etling took advantage of limited opportunities to throw due to the weather, as the senior completed 11-of-15 passes for 81 yards in a insane swirling wind.

A loss in Saturday night's contest means the Vols won't qualify for a bowl game this year.

The Tigers have won five of six games since being stunned at home by Troy in early October.

LSU (8-3, 7-2 SEC) accomplished eight victories for the 18th-straight season, marking the longest in SEC history and tying Oklahoma for the longest current streak in Power-5 conference football.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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