by Ben Ennis
TAMPA, FL. – The Tennessee Volunteers won by the largest bowl victory in program history, 45 – 6 over the Northwestern Wildcats at the Outback Bowl.
The vols dominated both sides of the ball. Tennessee’s offense ran for five rushing touchdowns while the defense held the Wildcats to 261 total yards.
The defense recorded eight tackles and four sacks to go along with four pass interceptions.
Tennessee’s sophomore running back, Jalen Hurd, shook off a hamstring injury to become the first player in program history to rush for 100 yards in two bowl games and
earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Vols’ 45-6 victory over Northwestern.
“I made up my mind that I was going to play either way and that was that,” Hurd said of his mindset after suffering a strain in practice early in the week. “There was nothing that was going to stop me from playing.”
“Jalen’s a fighter, so I knew come game time, he was going to be ready to go,” quarterback Joshua Dobbs said. “That’s Jalen. We knew he was going to make plays, and it’s always great to sit back and watch it happen.”
Once he was on the field, Northwestern could not stop him, either. Hurd carried 24 times for 130 yards and a touchdown. It was the ninth 100-yard game of Hurd’s career and his sixth of the season.
All 24 of his carries went for positive yardage.
Hurd’s touchdown capped a grinding drive in the third quarter that put Tennessee up 24-6. He carried seven times for 26 yards on the drive, marching Tennessee downfield.
“It was awesome and you could tell that we were wearing on them,” Hurd said. “It goes back to our strength and conditioning program and our style of play and how we practice.”
Photos by Ben Ennis